Black & Veatch Awarded Overseas Prize from the Institution of Civil Engineers

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Black & Veatch

Prize given for technical paper on award-winning culvert in Hong Kong

Professionals from Black & Veatch have been awarded the Overseas Prize from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), London, for a technical paper titled, "Lin Au Culvert, Hong Kong: taming the torrent."

The paper, co-authored by senior Black & Veatch professionals Bruce Corney, David Meigh and Michael Hieatt, describes the innovative and sustainable solutions that helped to address the challenging design and construction of the Lin Au concrete-arch culvert, part of the award-winning Tai Po water treatment works (WTW) in Hong Kong.

The 500-meter-long, 8-meter-wide concrete-arch culvert is buried up to 25 meters beneath the works. The structural integrity of the culvert was vital to support the base of the new treatment works and to protect the works from being washed out by up to 60 megawatts of hydraulic energy derived from the 75-meter drop in river levels over the site.

Bruce Corney, senior resident engineer for Black & Veatch at Tai Po WTW, commented, "Black & Veatch undertook a fresh approach at design concept, adopting a single barrel-arch culvert solution. This provided hydraulic benefits in passing larger flows, 'stilling' the total flow in a sequence of stilling basins and allowing ease of inspection while in operation. Additionally, to preserve resources, the designs made as much use as possible of rock derived from excavations on site."

The Tai Po scheme showcases ingenuity in design and demonstrates excellence through a holistic, sustainable approach to engineering, Corney added. The scheme's other commendations include the IWA Global Grand Prize, which was awarded to Black & Veatch for Design of Tai Po Water Treatment Works and Aqueducts in 2006.

Work on the culvert began in March 1998 and took approximately one year to complete. Other challenges included maintaining supply during diversion works of two water mains. Accordingly, diversion works were carried out in programmed short possessions during nighttime hours permitting water supplies to be maintained. For the past seven years the culvert has successfully contained and dissipated high-speed, boulder-laden storm flows of up to 80 cu meters per second.

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