Chorley’s Flying Arches rail tunnel project is in the running for an engineering ‘Oscar.’
The Institution of Civil Engineers announced that the £4.5m scheme is one of seven finalists in the ICE North West Awards in the medium projects category.
During the work, which lasted six weeks and forms part of the electrificatiojn of the railway between Manchester and Preston, civil engineers were tasked with lowering the floor of a tunnel to make room for an overhead electric line – and had to put the 16 arches back in their original position on the approaches to Chorley Tunnel.
The Grade II Listed arches dating from 1841 had been removed in 2008 as part of another project, on the condition that they were reinstated.
Working around the clock, all of the arches were fully reinstated and the lines through the tunnel were reopened to traffic at the end of August – on time and on budget.
Alan Butler, North West regional director of the Institution of Civil Engineers, said: “One of the great things about this project was that while modernising an important railway line the engineers were able to restore a Grade II listed heritage site.
“Chorley can feel proud of the innovation and the civil engineering genius that goes into providing our region with world-class infrastructure, while improving the environment and economy.”
The project was commissioned by Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd and the principal designer was Neil Hudson of Amey plc.
The winners will be announced at an awards dinner on Friday.