Port Talbot Peripheral Distributor Road
The Port Talbot Peripheral Distributor Road project has been carried out by Alun Griffiths Contractors and our joint venture partners Hochtief UK Construction. The scheme was a dual carriageway highway improvement and was carried out in two phases, 1C and 1B, with 1C being completed first and then followed by 1B. 1C was a new build but was required to tie into the exisitng highway network at three locations. 1B was an online improvement tieing into several major and minor roads.
The objectives of the scheme were as follows:
- Remove Local Traffic off M4
• 40% Overload predicted on M4
• Restricted Corridor
- Remove East / West Traffic from Port Talbot Town Centre
- Essential link into the Docks, Deep Water Harbour and new developments
- Maintain an essential alternative route to Swansea and West Wales
The key elements of the scheme were:
- the online construction of 4.2 Km of dual carriageway, including
§ 6 footbridges
§ River Afan Crossings
§ Victoria Road Bridge Demolition
§ 5 Roundabouts
§ Construction of a new box culvert over a feeder canal between the River Afan and Port Talbot Docks.
§ Construction of several retaining walls.
§ Construction of a pedestrian and cyclist subway
§ Relocation of Existing Businesses
The key environmental challenges of the project were:
- Knotweed Infestation – much of the site was infested with Japanese knotweed
- From Site Investigations and desk studies carried out there was significant evidence of contaminated ground. The site had previous industrial usage and historic plans indicated a former creosote factory and oil pipeline.
- The site was riddled with buried services
- The proximity of the works to local stakeholders including:
§ Local shops
- Poor ground conditions
§ Running Sand
Four predominant sources of soil and groundwater contamination were encountered during the works. These were:
~ Creosote type hydrocarbons in the soil and groundwater along the line of the new North Docks Link Road.
~ Hydrocarbon contamination in the soil and groundwater east of the Port Talbot Docks Feeder watercourse.
~ Fragments of bonded crysotile asbestos sheeting.
~ System of underground tanks and pipes containing hydrocarbon contaminated water.
A Phase 1 Habitat Survey was carried out of the site by Neath Port Talbot during the design phase of the project and this concluded that the site was of low ecological value due to its previous industrial nature and current setting. The survey did highlight that there was a likelihood of encountering reptiles in several locations along the route corridor and that there were some habitats of interest for bees, that otters and bats were using the River Afan Estuary.
Over 1000 slowworms and common lizards were relocated during the trapping process which makes this one of the largest reptile translocations ever carried out in Wales.
An archaeological desk study was carried out of the area with no sites of significane being identified. Several site of petential interest were identified and a wathcing brief was put in place over these. No features or artifacts of archaeological significance were discovered.
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