Two Bay projects have won major awards at the 2015 Hirepool Construction Excellence Awards.

Bay of Plenty bridge specialist Bridge It NZ took top honours in the awards for the second year running, winning Category One of the awards for projects with a value of less than $500,000 for the new concrete pedestrian suspension bridge at McLaren Falls.

The Fulton Hogan/HEB Construction Alliance took out Category 4 of the awards, for projects with a value greater than $30 million, for design and construction of the Tauranga Eastern Link.

Bridge It NZ owner Pat Seuren said he was surprised to win the award.


"We're pretty stoked to have won it for the second year running, as well.

"We won against some major construction so we were quite surprised," he said.

The Katikati company worked with designers Tiaki Engineering to develop an innovative solution to provide a visually appealing footbridge, spanning 33m, at an affordable price.

Mr Seuren said the McLaren Falls bridge was "quite a difficult bridge to build".

"We had to use one of the biggest cranes in the area because we could only access it from one side," he said.

The site only allowed access for a single crane, and continued access for residents had to be ensured.

The whole bridge was built in-house, he said.

The towers were erected in about a day and the concrete left to set for a week, after which the base was transported to the site and attached.

The company also won an award last year for a farm bridge over the Motu river in Gisborne.

The Fulton Hogan/HEB Construction Alliance was also recognised for delivering the vital 21km connection from Tauranga through to Paengaroa Junction ahead of time and under budget despite the complexity of the project and major challenges, including an arson attack on a polystyrene embankment which was so badly damaged that the bridge had to be demolished and rebuilt.

The team developed an innovative sand-bag filling frame for retaining-wall construction, which saved 50 days of work and could be used in further applications.

Graduate engineer David Kingham, from Mount Maunganui, who works at Fulton Hogan, also won the Z Training Development Award.

He is currently working on minor safety works contracts around the wider Bay of Plenty. His responsibilities include staff supervision, management planning and quality and safety on the contract, overseeing this for up to five different sites at one time.