THE MEDMERRY realignment scheme was hailed as ‘innovative’ as it took a top engineering award.
The scheme was the winner of the Environment and Sustainability award at the Institution of Civil Engineers south-east England awards for engineering excellence.
The £28m project took the gong as it caught the judges’ attention.
After the prize-giving, judges said: “The project accepted that maintenance of the existing coastal defence was untenable.
“We were impressed by the innovative approach taken, the local benefits, and fact this scheme will create more than 180ha of important new wildlife habitat which will compensate for the expected loss of other wetland habitats in the Solent.”
The two-year construction project saw seven kilometres of new walls built behind the old sea defences, which have now been breached to create a new wetland zone.
A spokesman from the institution said: “The scheme drastically reduces the risk of coastal flooding to 348 properties, along with the only access road serving the community of 5,000 households in Selsey and the town’s wastewater treatment works.”
Regional director of the institution John Laverty said he was ‘delighted’ with the quality of the entries, which he said demonstrated ‘how civil engineering has a huge impact on our lives’.