ICE recognizes 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, entitled, "Lin Au Culvert, Hong Kong: taming the torrent." The paper 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...

• Institution of Civil Engineers awards Black & Veatch 'Overseas Prize'

REDHILL, UK, Sept. 2, 2008 -- Professionals from Black & Veatch, a leading global engineering, consulting and construction company, have been awarded the Overseas Prize from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), London, for a technical paper, entitled, "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-meters (m)-long, 8m-wide concrete-arch culvert is buried up to 25m 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 75m 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.

Black & Veatch was awarded the design and site supervision of the £130 million scheme by the Hong Kong Water Supplies Department in 1995. A contract to construct the WTW was awarded to Gammon Construction Ltd in early 1998.

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 night-time 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 80m³/s.

The site identified for Tai Po WTW measured approximately 300m x 400m over two steep-sided valleys and an intervening ridge with a level difference across the site of 120m. The Lin Au stream flows for 500m across the southern part of the treatment works site and falls by 75m within that distance. It then runs to the sea through Tai Po, a new town with a population of 300,000, about 2 kilomers downstream.

Stage 1 of the works, commissioned in 2003, comprises the first water treatment stream with site formation and infrastructure for the final three water treatment streams with an ultimate final treatment capacity of 1,200M l/day. The works have now entered the proposal stage for Stream 2, which will bring the works up to 800 M l/d comparable with the largest treatment works in the UK, located in West London.

Black & Veatch is a leading global engineering, consulting and construction company specializing in infrastructure development in energy, water, telecommunications, management consulting, federal and environmental markets.

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