A465 Heads of the Valleys Section 2

Constructing Excellence

The Project was awarded by the Welsh Government to Costain in June 2011. This marked the commencement of the ECI phase. Key successes to note are the completion of the preliminary design leading up to the publication of draft Orders in October 2013 and a successful Public Local Inquiry in March/April 2014.
Lying within the Brecon Beacons National Park the team also have considerable environmental challenges. The scheme is rurally set and particularly environmentally sensitive, with several European and UK designated sites including the Usk Bat Sites SAC, the Mynydd Llangatwg SSSI, The Cwm Clydach Woodlands SAC, SSSI, National Nature Reserve, Geological SSSI, World Heritage site and several Scheduled Ancient Monuments. One designation, the Mynydd Llangatwg SAC (Special Area of Conservation) – the highest order of protected ecological site (under European legislation) designated, in part, for the Lesser Horseshoe Bat, its roosts and habitats.
The aim of the project is to deliver a road scheme improvement that not only avoids negative impact on bats and their habitat but also improves their existing habitats and flight connectivity throughout the scheme. The scheme includes the construction of 14 major structures, over 12.5km of various types of retaining walls as well as excavation of over 1.2 million m³ of earthworks. All this through an extremely narrow rock gorge whilst maintaining current traffic flows on the existing route (approximately 80% of the road is online works).