South Australia’s Seaford Rail Extension has won the Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) Earth Award, an honour bestowed jointly on the State Government’s Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI) and the Thiess MacDow Joint Venture.

The $291 million project delivered the first major upgrade of Adelaide’s rail network in 35 years. It involved a 5.7 kilometre extension of rail line from Noarlunga to Seaford, a new railway station at Seaford Meadows and a rail terminus close to the Seaford Shopping Centre.

It also included a 1.1 kilometre rail bridge across the environmentally sensitive Onkaparinga Valley floodplain - one of Australia’s longest rail bridges, the longest incrementally launched bridge in the Southern Hemisphere, and the third longest of its kind in the world.

CCF SA chief executive Phil Sutherland said the Seaford Rail Extension was one of the most impressive civil construction feats undertaken in South Australia. “Combined with innovative approaches in construction, addressing shrinking and thermal movement gave the project the edge over its rivals,’’ he said.

DPTI project director David Bartlett said he was proud that the judging panel had recognised the project’s significant environmental challenges. “The excellent outcomes of the landmark Onkaparinga Valley Bridge, and the two impressive stations are testimony to the attention to detail in the design stage, and consideration of the client and stakeholder feedback,” he said.

“Innovative design, collaborative relationships and a strong sense of responsibility for the environment and local community all contributed to the resulting infrastructure which has received very positive feedback. Well done to all concerned; a lasting legacy has been created.”

Thiess’ General Manager Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand, Rod Heale said the project was a great example of the diverse range of specialist expertise within the company. “Winning a CCF Award is a tremendous honour for Thiess,” he said. “It is testament to our strong and effective working relationship with DPTI and the innovation shown by Thiess MacDow.”

The Seaford Rail Extension was also the winner of the Professional Excellence Award in the Australian Institute of Building SA Chapter 2013 Professional Excellence in Building Awards – Commercial Construction $100 Million plus.