THE £60million project to protect the Dawlish railway line has won a top civil engineering award.

The Colonnade to Coastguards seawall project, part of the major scheme to safeguard the vulnerable coastal line, took top honours at this.

This part of the scheme attracted the Showcase Award for a landmark regional scheme and the trophy for the best re-engineered project over £8m during a gala ceremony in Bristol.

Since the peninsula’s main rail route was badly damaged by storms in 2014, Network Rail has been investing in a programme to improve the resilience of the line between Dawlish and Teignmouth.

The winning scheme, constructed by BAM Nuttall and designed by Tony Gee and Partners, saw the completion of a 415m second phase of the sea wall, including improvements at Dawlish station and a new colonnade viaduct pedestrian bridge over Dawlish Water.

Sally Walters, chairman of judges and chairman of the ICE South West regional committee, said: ‘This was a very challenging scheme involving complex construction works between the coastline and a live railway.

‘The project team overcame many technical challenges while maintaining positive relationships with the public and numerous stakeholders.

‘This remarkable scheme deserves recognition for showcasing the importance of civil engineering in creating a resilient future for the region.’