News Nov 29, 2018

Jacobs-Supported Scottish Projects Shine at Saltire Infrastructure Awards

Queensferry Crossing and Shieldhall Tunnel projects celebrated for their lasting mobility and resiliency benefits

Queensferry Bridge at sunset

An iconic three-tower, cable-stayed bridge allowing motorists to trim five minutes from their commute and a sewer superstructure capable of keeping 36 Olympic-sized swimming pools worth of stormwater from flooding the streets – with benefits such as these, it’s no wonder that the Forth Replacement Crossing and the Shieldhall Tunnel recently earned recognition for their contributions across Scotland. 

Jacobs served as the lead consultant on the Forth Replacement Crossing and as a strategic advisor on the Shieldhall Tunnel, which received the Greatest Contribution to Scotland Award and the Infrastructure Award, respectively, at the 2018 Saltire Infrastructure Awards. Held in partnership with the Institution of Civil Engineers Scotland, the Saltire Society’s Civil Engineering Awards recognize the highest standards in design, conservation, environmental sustainability and construction of civil engineering projects in Scotland.



Forth Replacement Crossing

Queensferry Crossing

Scotland’s largest infrastructure project for a generation, the Forth Replacement Crossing scheme includes the Queensferry Crossing, the centerpiece of Transport Scotland’s major upgrade to the cross-Forth transport corridor between Edinburgh and Fife, in the east of Scotland.

The Queensferry Crossing is the world’s longest, three-tower, cable-stayed bridge, comprised of 23,000 miles of cabling, almost enough to wrap around the circumference of the Earth, connecting the bridge deck to the towers.

As lead consultant and delivery partner of the Jacobs Arup Joint Venture, Jacobs supported Transport Scotland from the earliest option development. From feasibility studies and support with drafting the Forth Crossing Bill, through to co-locating with the client as an integrated project team on-site to develop and manage the entire Forth Replacement Crossing scheme.

The overall scheme incorporated major motorway upgrades to the north and south of the bridge and innovative technologies. These include the first ever use in Scotland of variable mandatory speed limits and bus lane hard shoulder use via an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) to help keep traffic moving, improve traffic safety and reduce vehicle emissions. The Queensferry Crossing also includes wind shields to provide vehicles protection from the frequent gale force winds, and the implemented structural health monitoring system informs the maintenance regime and helps enhance reliability.

The Queensferry Crossing has dramatically improved the reliability of cross-Forth travel – since opening there have been 17 occasions on which the Forth Road Bridge would have closed to high-sided vehicles. Closures like this would have meant costly diversions and delays, especially for HGV (heavy goods vehicles) drivers with additional effects on the economy, businesses and commuters.

Along with the Greatest Contribution to Scotland Award, Queensferry Crossing won the Outstanding Transport Project in a Generation award at the 2018 Scottish Transport Awards; Project of the Year (over £30 million) at the 2018 Construction News Awards; and Project of the Decade at the Ground Engineering Awards 2018, among several other industry recognitions and awards.

Shieldhall Tunnel

Shieldhall Tunnel

When a month’s worth of rain fell over Glasgow on a June afternoon in 2002, the city’s sewer system just couldn’t keep up, leaving portions of the city under several feet of water. Completed in 2018, the Shieldhall Tunnel is the biggest wastewater tunnel in Scotland, and a main component of Scottish Water’s program, conceived as an answer to the 2002 flooding, to transform how it manages rainfall, protects water quality and prevents flooding from stormwater overflows. 

Big enough to fit a double-decker bus inside, Shieldhall Tunnel is one of the most significant infrastructure projects in Glasgow since the Victorian era and can provide 90,000 cubic meters of extra stormwater storage, helping contain an estimated 90 percent of combined sewer overflows following storms.

Appointed by Scottish Water in 2012 to advise on various tunnel options, Jacobs prepared the reference design, carried out site investigations and assisted with tender preparation and evaluations. Throughout the project, Jacobs provided technical assistance and a site team to supervise the tunnelling works construction. 

A tunnel boring machine, nicknamed Daisy the Driller, spent 15 months creating the 3.1-mile-long tunnel beneath southern Glasgow, excavating more than 500,000 tonnes of earth, stone, clay and other aggregates – 90 percent of which are being recycled. 

Running for more than 30 years, the Saltire Society Civil Engineering Awards aim to increase public awareness of the crucially important contribution civil engineering makes to the Scottish economy and society. 

The Shieldhall Tunnel also won the CIWEM Urban Drainage Group’s WaPUG Prize from the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM), which represents thousands of members and organizations worldwide dedicated to improving water and environmental management.

In addition to the Queensferry Crossing and Shieldhall Tunnel efforts, Jacobs is also involved with several other impactful projects across Scotland, including the A9 Improvements Program and the transformation of Edinburgh City Center.