14 September 2010
The £90m Church Village Bypass in South Wales - the largest
single highways project undertaken by any local authority in the UK
- has officially opened two months ahead of schedule.
The project, which was led by Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough
Council through a Welsh Assembly Transport Grant, was officially
opened by the Welsh Assembly Government’s First Minister – Carwyn
Jones – and Council Leader Cllr Russell Roberts.
A team from Capita Symonds’ Glamorgan office provided project
management, CDM coordination and geotechnical advisory services on
the 7km scheme.
Built by contractor Costain, the single carriageway scheme will
provide traffic relief for the heavily congested A473 which passes
through the communities of Church Village, Ton-teg and Llantwit
Fardre. The reduction in traffic will lead to road safety, noise
and vibration and air quality environmental benefits for local
residents and businesses.
The scheme comprises four roundabouts, a traffic signal
controlled junction and around 3km of side roads which provide
links to the existing road network and the communities. Structures
consist of two road bridges, three footbridges, a pedestrian
underpass and two cattle creeps together with a number of major
culverts. To reduce health and safety risk and to simplify and
speed up construction the road bridges were constructed using
precast concrete arches while the culverts and cattle creeps were
constructed using steel arch designs.
Particular attention was paid to reducing the visual impact of the
Bypass through the use of bunding and extensive planting of around
117,000 trees. This will reduce the effects of traffic noise on the
community that will be further supplemented by selective use of
A pedestrian and cycle community route is also being provided
along the whole length of the scheme. This will link into
communities along the route providing a safe, sustainable
alternative form of transport.
A total of 1,400,000 working man hours were undertaken with 73
inactive individuals being employed. The work was undertaken
without any reportable accidents.
The first vehicles to travel the new Bypass were a selection of
the classic Gilbern cars that were built in Church Village from
1959 onwards. The First Minister and fellow guests travelled the
highway in one of the vintage vehicles before the Bypass became
accessible to all.
This extremely challenging project is also an exemplar in demonstrating how the public and private sectors can work together to successfully deliver major Welsh schemes on time and on budget
First Minister Carwyn Jones said at the unveiling: “I’m
delighted to see this road fully open to users and it is testament
to the hard work of the local authority and the contractors that it
has been completed on time and on budget. As well as the economic,
environmental and social benefits, the new road will bring by
allowing traffic to travel more efficiently along this crucial
route, this project has provided a valuable boost to the local
economy in difficult times.”
Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, Cllr Russell Roberts, said:
“This is an extremely proud day for us in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Many of us have campaigned long and hard for this moment and I want
to thank everyone who has been part of this effort, including
Pontypridd AM Jane Davidson, Church Village councillors and of
course the Welsh Assembly Government for providing the financial
Darren James, Managing Director of Infrastructure for Costain
said: “We are delighted to announce the completion of the Church
Village Bypass that has been delivered safely, on time and to best
value and provides an outstanding example of effective partnership
working. Perhaps what has made the project even more successful is
the wider community benefits that have been achieved, including the
employment of over 70 economically inactive individuals, the
support of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), the investment into
the local economy and a comprehensive schools and education
programme that has ensured over 4,000 students have benefited from
the construction of the Bypass."
Wayne Palmer, Associate Director of Capita Symonds, which
project managed the scheme, said: “I would like to thank everyone
involved for the many years of hard work in bringing this scheme to
fruition. The new Church Village Bypass provides the local area
with exceptional transport links that will play a vital role in its
ongoing regeneration. This extremely challenging project is also an
exemplar in demonstrating how the public and private sectors can
work together to successfully deliver major Welsh schemes on time
and on budget.”