Six awe-inspiring engineering projects in the UK

Published: 19 Aug 2015

It’s an exciting time to be an engineer in the UK. There are major infrastructure projects planned and underway across the country, including numerous road developments, waste disposal projects and flood defences, promising to support over 150,000 construction jobs nationwide. Meanwhile London is becoming a mecca for cutting edge architecture. 70 tall buildings are already under construction, including one which has already been nicknamed the ‘Scalpel’, promising to transform the capital’s skyline. Below is a list of some of the most impressive engineering projects which are underway right now or planned for the near future.

Forth Bridge

1. Crossrail

Crossrail makes this list for obvious reasons. It is, in fact, the largest construction project in Europe, with over 10,000 people working over 40 construction sites. Work started in 2009 and since then nearly 70 million working hours have gone into the project, which will increase London’s transport capacity by 10% and significantly cut journey times across the city. The route will run over 100km and encompass 40 stations, including 10 new ones, bringing an extra 1.5 million people to within 45 minutes of central London. Tunnelling under London was recently completed, using eight huge 1,000 tonne tunnelling machines to bore through 26 miles of earth. Services are due to start in 2018.

2. HS2

High Speed 2 will link London to Birmingham with a new high-speed railway, which will eventually be extended to Manchester, Leeds and beyond. However, you probably already know something about HS2, as it has certainly caused a great deal of debate and controversy. However, as it stands, construction is due to begin in 2017, with the entire network projected to be completed in 2033 at a total cost of £43bn. There can be no doubt that such a large and long running infrastructure project will bring excellent opportunities for engineers in the UK.

3. Queensferry crossing

Due to open in 2016, this new bridge across the Forth in Scotland will cost up to £1.4bn, and at 1.7 miles in length will be the longest three tower cable-stayed bridge in the world. It forms the centrepiece of the Forth Replacement Crossing scheme which includes major motorway upgrades to the north and south of the bridge and features the first ever use in Scotland of variable mandatory speed limits to help control congestion. Once completed the new bridge will stand alongside the Forth Road Bridge and the iconic 19th century railway bridge, which was granted UNESCO World Heritage status in July this year.

4.Manchester Victoria station redevelopment

First constructed in 1844, Manchester Victoria station is currently undergoing a £44m transformation to update it to meet the needs of 21st century Britain, whilst preserving the Grade II listed buildings which it encompasses. The centrepiece of the development is a £16m new roof, in a contemporary style, which will transform the building into a bright, modern space. Construction is due to be completed soon.

5. Mersey Gateway Bridge

Work started last year on this six lane toll bridge over the Mersey between Runcorn and Widnes, built to relieve congestion on the ageing Silver Jubilee Bridge. With a similar design to the second Severn Crossing, this bridge, including the approach viaducts, will be 2,130 metres long, with a river span of 1km.

6. Leeds Flood Defences

This £45m scheme is one of the largest river flood defence projects in the country, involving major construction work along the River Aire in the city centre along a 4.3km expanse. It’ll feature the UK’s first moveable weirs, which can be lowered in flood conditions to reduce river levels. The project began in January this year and is due to end in 2017.

With the UK investing like never before in renewing our infrastructure and skilled workers in high demand, now is a great time to be an engineer. If you’re looking for a new opportunity, be sure to check out our jobs page, where we have lots of fantastic opportunities in a variety of sectors.

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