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A Tour of the Valleys

  • Thursday April 18, 2019

Members of the IHE’s South Wales branch enjoyed a fascinating and insightful afternoon on the A465 Heads of the Valleys, Section 2 site visit.

The branch assembled at noon for a buffet and informal meeting and were then given a presentation by Jeff Mapps, Costain’s public liaison officer for the project.

Mr Mapps gave an extremely interesting account of this huge infrastructure project, informing us how the site was managed and how extremely sensitive and complex issues have been overcome using innovative, and in some cases massive, plant construction techniques.

Fast motion videos of construction processes showed how bridge decks were lifted into place and how large-scale embankments were made, cuttings excavated and the materials processed.

We were shown how bats had been managed on the site with the construction of a bespoke bat house; how an abandoned church was dismantled and built into a retaining wall to resemble rock face strata; and how 100km of soil anchoring pins were used.

The iconic Jack Williams Gateway Bridge – named after a local war hero – has also been constructed as a fitting tribute and gateway to the Brecon Beacons.

The branch was then given a tour through the site. It was an excellent and informative afternoon, very much enjoyed by all.

Keep an eye on the South Wales Branch page in the Members area for upcoming events and news.

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