We are converting the A465 from Dowlais Top to Hirwaun to 2 lanes in each direction.
What we are doing
This road project is known as the A465 Heads of the Valleys section 5 and 6. The project will extend between Hirwaun and Dowlais Top for 11 miles (17.7km).
It will leave the current A465 between the Hirwaun and Trewaun junctions for about a mile (1.4km) and between the Taf Fechan Viaduct and the Gurnos Farm underpass for about half a mile (0.8km).
The new road will be a 70mph dual carriageway with 6 junctions.
Slip roads on and off the A465 carriageway will connect the joining roads.
Why we are doing it
The objectives are to:
- improve traffic flow and make it safer to overtake
- make the road safer, especially around junctions and areas with poor visibility
- improve access to key services, jobs and markets supporting inward investment to areas like the Ebbw Vale Enterprise Zone.
The main work started in May last year.
The work has included:
- environmental surveys and vegetation clearance along the route
- translocation of tree stumps to establish new woodlands
- initial groundworks along the entire route
- moving utilities including: water, gas, electricity, telecoms, drainage at key locations
- installing culverts at key locations
- erecting boundary fencing
- re-routing traffic at Dowlais, Hirwaun and Rhigos junctions
- building mini roundabouts to improve traffic flow and provide space for building the road
- installing water management measures along the scheme
- piling on the south side of the A465 at Cefn Coed to widen the cutting for the new dual carriageway
- beginning bridge building at Hirwaun west and east, Nant Ffrwd eastbound slip road and Taff Fawr
- installing a temporary footbridge at Cefn Coed to allow the existing bridge to be demolished
- started earthworks at Court Farm, Baverstock, Gurnos, Pant and Dowlais
- carried out environmental works including:
- planting of 6,000 trees to create new woodland near Crematorium Road
- planting of Devil’s Bit Scabious to encourage Marsh Fritillary Butterflies
- installing over 70 bat boxes
- preparation work for building a new underpass at Court Farm
- building the slip road retaining wall at Prince Charles junction
We are working on:
Public exhibitions: end 2015
Publication of draft orders and environmental statement: summer 2017
Publication of draft supplementary orders and supplementary environmental statement: early 2018
Public local inquiry: spring 2018
Minister's decision: early 2019
Making of Orders: spring 2019
Publish draft Supplementary Orders (No.1): autumn 2019
Making Supplementary Orders (No.1): summer 2020
Publish draft Supplementary Orders (No.2): summer 2020
Procure contractor: autumn 2020
Start of construction: early 2021
Completion of new section of trunk road: mid 2025
Main building works include:
- building bridges at Afon Cynon Hirwaun East, Tramway (footbridge), Vale of Neath railway, Nant Hir, Nant Ffrwd, Taff Fawr and Dowlais
- building a new underpass at Court Farm
- moving of ancient woodland at Croesbychan and starting to build the new Croesbychan junction
- building new Swansea road link and the new junction at Baverstock
- building a temporary road at the A470 to provide space for building the new road
- strengthening and widening of Taff Fechan bridge
- starting to build the new Prince Charles junction
- building a new side road at Pant Industrial Estate
- building the new westbound road between Bryniau road and Pant road to enable the construction of new bridge and retaining wall at Pant road
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.
We held public information exhibitions in December 2015. At these events we presented the 1990s design and highlighted areas where we are considering options to improve this design.
We have run a series of presentations to local interest groups and meetings with local landowners, businesses and other key stakeholders. We have used these to gather information on and understand how the proposals fit with local priorities, objectives and policies.
We held a series of draft orders exhibitions in August 2017.
We held a public local Inquiry in April and May 2018.