£150m A465 Heads of the Valleys road project awarded

A £150m contract has been awarded to turn the Heads of the Valleys road in south Wales through Clydach Gorge into a dual carriageway.

Costain Limited will build the four mile (6.4km) section of the A465 between Gilwern and Brynmawr.

Contractors have to employ and train people from the Heads of the Valleys.

Transport Minister Carl Sargeant called it "a crucial artery of our transport network and the principal road link between west Wales and the Midlands".

The gorge is considered one of south Wales' most important "environmental and ecologically sensitive areas", according to the Welsh Government.

It said special considerations would be central to the project with environmental support being provided by two other companies, Atkins/Halcrow and RPS.

The A465 Heads of the Valleys "dualling" programme has been split into six sections.

Tredegar to Dowlais was opened to traffic in 2004 and the Abergavenny to Gilwern improvements followed in 2008.

Construction of the Brynmawr to Tredegar stretch of the road is due to start in late 2012.

Work on the three-year Gilwern and Brynmawr section is scheduled to start in 2014.

The final stages, Dowlais Top to A470 and A470 to Hirwaun are due to begin after April 2014.

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