The task was to replace a bold, iconic, but terminally decaying concrete bridge for the A92 principal public road over the South Esk River in Montrose. It was made harder by the site being adjacent to an environmentally sensitive, protected tidal basin with an extreme tidal range.
The scheme involved a three-span concrete and steel bridge with a distinctive cope and pronounced curvature. Innovations included transporting and placing structural steelwork by marine crane barge, reducing congestion, and a deck designed to use almost no scaffolding.
A 160m long temporary bridge was installed to allow demolition of the old one, which was dismantled in three single lifts using a heavy lift barge, and then placed on the quayside for breaking up and recycling. After this, two new piers were built in the river bed. Steelwork fabricated in a Belfast shipyard was brought to site by crane barge, and lifted directly onto bearings, thereby avoiding road disruption.
The judges said: 'This replacement bridge project had to be robust yet sensitive to a valued natural environment. The delivery of the project was impressive and the resulting design of an appropriate elegance.'