Harbour Way Progress
Harbour Way is the largest transport project for Wales since the creation of the M4.
It will provide a 4.8km link to the motorway at Junction 38 (Margam) into Port Talbot and the Docks, serving a vital link to West Wales, the UK motorway network and mainland Europe.
The funding for the dual carriageway is made up from grants from the Convergence European Regional Development Fund (£56.2m) and The Welsh Government (£50.7m).
Harbour Way is due to be completed in Autumn 2013.
To see what Harbour Way will look like when it is completed, watch the 3D Visualisation below…
Many will have seen the progress being made at both ends of the scheme (at the A48 at Margam and around Dock Road and Oakwood roundabout), however, the majority of work has been carried out on land previously owned by Tata Steel, which many residents won’t have had access to.
The area within the steelworks, known as Tippler Siddings, has been cleared of all vegetation, all wildlife found was carefully removed and relocated to other, similar habitats within the County Borough and extensive underground drainage has been installed by sub contractors Flowline.
Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Ali Thomas says “The progress made in the first twelve months is testament to the efforts of Costain and the Neath Port Talbot team on site.”
“Our challenge is to ensure we maximise the regeneration opportunities this major infrastructure investment attracts for the benefit of the whole County Borough.”
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Cefn Gwrgan Bridge Demolished
September 2012 saw the demolition of Cefn Gwrgan Bridge, which had been the main entrance into the Steelworks site in Port Talbot for over 60 years, 7 days earlier than planned.
The old bridge had to be demolished to make way for a new 150m long road-over-rail bridge that forms an integral part of the Harbour Way dual carriageway.
The bridges parapets were removed using burning equipment and folded back by excavators with selector grabs. Once crash mats were laid out, the cantilevers and the main deck of the bridge was removed using excavators with multi-tool attachments. Where more sensitive techniques were required, deck sections were cut out using wire-saws and then lifted out.
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Tata Main Entrance Opened
Work on Harbour Way reached another significant milestone in August, with the completion of the new main entrance to Tata Steelworks.
Neath Port Talbot Council Leader, Ali Thomas, welcomed the latest stage in the development, saying: “Harbour Way is set to bring huge economic opportunities for all of Port Talbot, so it is fitting that one of the largest employers in the area can now start to benefit from this work.
“This is a major project which will benefit residents and businesses alike and I am delighted to see it taking shape alongside the new developments at Tata.
“The road will enable the redevelopment of many key sites at Harbourside, and strengthen the ongoing and future regeneration of the town centre and Aberavon Beachfront.”
Tata Steel’s Project Manager for the integration of Harbour way and the Port Talbot site, Steve Jenkins commented: “The new main entrance coupled with the new General Stores, Training Academy and Visitor Centre will show Tata Steel in a totally new way and demonstrate our commitment to our workforce and the local community. Access and egress to our site will dramatically improve with the construction of the new roadway and will support our Business for many years to come.”
Costain’s Project Manager for the scheme, John Skentelbery, said: “Reaching another milestone in our three year project shows how efficient our workforce have been, especially through the recent bad weather conditions.
“Keeping access open to the steel works for employees and visitors has been of paramount importance to us so they have minimal disruption to their work life. Our next big milestone for the project will be the demolition of Cefn Gwrgan Bridge, which is due to commence during August.”
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Tata’s West End Gatehouse Opened
The old gatehouse has been moved as part of the £107m scheme in another milestone for the project, now in its second year of production.
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A4241 Heilbronn Way Roundabout to Afan River Bridge
One lane (westbound) was opened to traffic in March 2012 following an official opening by the Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council. Ali Thomas said “This is a significant step forward in this major project. Harbour Way will bring huge benefits to residents and businesses in Port Talbot and heralds a new chapter in the history of the town.
“It will shape the future of Port Talbot, linking key employment sites and opening up land for development along the waterfront. It will also complement the Council’s regeneration aspirations at Aberavon seafront and Port Talbot town centre.”
The opening of this first section came after a year of many changes to the area, including;
- The demolition of the remaining buildings along Dock Road following the relocation of Fairwood Fabrications in 2009, RE Plant Hire in early 2010 and Wayne Jones Motors in late 2010.
- Groundworks were carried out before the base of the road was laid.
- Kerbs were installed and Tarmac laid in October 2011
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A48 at Junction 38 – Margam
The A48 dual carriage way into Port Talbot (Westbound) off Junction 38 of the M4 has been reduced to one lane since April 2011 to help with the ground works and site clearance for the Harbour Way road and the creation of a new roundabout.
Sub contractor Walters UK spent most of 2011 laying the base of the road using slag from the blast furnaces within Tata Steel, cutting down on the number of lorries travelling through the town, reducing the carbon footprint of the project and showing our commitment to source produce from local businesses and using recyclable materials where possible.
Traffic Management will be ongoing throughout 2012 to enable the construction of the new roundabout.
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Cefn Gwrgan Bridge
To watch the time lapse video of the construction, click here
Work is now underway to place the deck on the structure, ready for Tata Steel traffic to use as part of their temporary access into the steelworks at the Margam entrance from August 2012.
In April 2011, the existing Swansea to London signal was removed and a new one installed by Costain and Centregreat Rail 100m in front to accommodate the new bridge.
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