Two ground-breaking road improvement projects that carry thousands of Surrey commuters a day are in the running for prestigious awards.

The cream of the engineering industry has short-listed both Surrey County Council’s building of the new Walton Bridge and its £100 million Operation Horizon roads overhaul among regional finalists for the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) awards.

The £32 million road bridge, which carries more than 35,000 commuter cars a day between Shepperton and Walton-on-Thames, was completed last summer on time and on budget after an 18-month construction.

Operation Horizon, which was launched last year as a five-year project to overhaul more than 300 miles of Surrey’s roads that need repair the most, is currently running ahead of schedule.

The improved roads have a ten-year guarantee on them, with the contractor having to pay if any more repairs are needed during that period. Last week, Mike Goodman, Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “Improving Surrey’s roads is a major part of what we do because we have 50% more traffic than the national average, so it’s great that two of our flagship highways projects are officially among the best in the South-east.”

The projects are among 14 which have been put forward as finalists in the Thames Valley section of the South East ICE awards.

The awards ceremony will take place on Friday, June 27.

The Walton Bridge project is also due to contest the London final of the ICE awards tomorrow (Thursday, May 22).

Earlier this year, the county council announced it had managed to make £3 million of efficiency savings in one year to plough back into its roads budgets. It received Government praise for the accomplishment in delivering efficient road improvements. Work to fix Surrey's flood-damaged roads was also given a £5.3 million boost by the Government.

The county council was allocated the cash injection towards its initial £15 million repair bill by Whitehall in March.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin confirmed the amount towards the highways repairs needed after much of the county was devastated by the flooding that hit Surrey over Christmas and in February.

The £5.3 million award, the eighth-highest awarded in England, was part of a £173.5 million emergency recovery fund to help communities nationwide.