We are converting 8km of the A465 between the Glanbaiden junction at Gilwern and the Brynmawr roundabout to 2 lanes in each direction.
Project status: current
Region/county: south-east Wales
Start date: end 2014
End date: autumn 2021
Cost: £336 million
Design and build contractors: Costain Ltd, with Atkins, Jacobs and RPS
This project is registered with the Considerate Constructors Scheme.
Why are we doing it
The existing A465 was built in the 1960s and is a single three lane carriageway. The road features two lanes in the uphill direction and one in the downhill direction. A regional traffic study in 1990 identified the need to improve this road.
The width of the road restricts traffic flow and opportunities for safe overtaking. In many areas there is poor visibility. Accidents on this stretch are concentrated around junctions and areas with poor visibility.
Improving the A465 is critical to the social and economic regeneration of the Heads of the Valleys area. It will improve access to key services, jobs and markets. This will support inward investment to areas such as the Ebbw Vale Enterprise Zone.
Construction progress includes:
- 2 new bridges at Glanbaiden roundabout have been completed.
- the concrete arch bridge at Gilwern has been erected and the traffic is running through the arch. This bridge is the largest of its type in the world.
- the footbridges at Gilwern, Pont Harri, Dan-Y-Coed, Pant Glas and Intermediate road have been lifted into place, with several already open to the public.
Work has been carried out along the length of the scheme to steepen the surrounding ground and enable widening of the carriageway.
The works have included the construction of over 10,000 metres of retaining walls and installation of over 14,000 soil nails.
The 2 road bridges at Saleyard have been completed and are open to traffic.
A total of 55 diversions to Statutory Undertaker apparatus (water mains, gas mains, phone lines and electricity supplies etc.) have been completed. These have included major diversions work to two high pressure gas mains and a water main that required a new 1.5m wide, 100m long tunnel at a depth of 20m below the surface. 100km of BT cables have been installed and over 20km of pipework.
The treatment of a number of old mine workings uncovered near the Brynmawr junction.
The ‘Jack Williams Gateway Bridge’ has been completed and was opened to traffic in 2018. The bridge is named after a local World War One hero.
Over 30,000 trees have been planted within the scheme footprint.
Contractor appointed: 2011
Public information exhibitions: throughout 2011
Statutory process to obtain powers to build the road: autumn 2013 to end 2014
Public local inquiry: spring 2014
Construction began: end 2014
5 Year environmental aftercare and defect correction: 2026
How we consulted
We consulted on improvements to the A465 between Abergavenny and Hirwaun in 1994 as part of the process to develop the preferred route for the whole project.
In 2011 we held a series of public information exhibitions, presentations to local interest groups and meetings with local landowners and businesses We gathered information at these events to help the team understand how this section fit with local priorities, objectives and policies. This influenced the scheme design.
We held exhibitions of the draft orders in November 2013. These provided details of the final scheme which we then took through the statutory planning process.
An independent inspector held a public local inquiry in March and April 2014, where supporters and objectors to the scheme were able to present their case.
Alternative routes proposed by objectors were considered in a public inquiry alongside our published scheme.
Find out more
Costain have a dedicated community manager and a public liaison officer, Hannah Lewis, as part of their site team.
If you have a concern or query, you can contact: Hannah.Lewis@costain.com or 0845 600 2664 (24 hours).