Church village bypass, South Wales, United Kingdom
In 2007/08 the Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council tendered for the design and construction of the 7km Church Village Bypass, which involved five major civil engineering contractors.
The Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) confirmed funding for the scheme in March 2008 and proceeded to utilise an Early Contractor Involvement methodology for project delivery. This involved establishing a partnering approach to design and build, in which the main contractor (Costain) was engaged before the detailed design stage and completion of statutory processes, to assist in planning the project and estimating its cost.
Costain reviewed the original outline plans as part of a value engineering exercise and proposed a revised scheme which identified savings of £37 million (€46.5 million) and 51% reduced carbon emissions compared to the original scheme, through a number of initiatives, including:
- Imported stone and primary steel being at least 60% recycled content
- 70% recycled aggregate, from local suppliers
- As the scheme went through old landfill sites permission was sought from the Environment Agency to use materials from these for the scheme, including 300,000 tyres and 80,000m 3 of pulverised fuel ash.
The revised scheme was presented at a public exhibition and outlined the numerous benefits including a reduction in visual impacts through extensive planting and the use of bunding to reduce traffic noise. Additionally Costain worked closely with the Council and Constructing Excellence in Wales to consult with the public and key stakeholders to develop a Community Benefits plan which aligned with the Council’s own Community plan. On completion of the project in 2010, three months ahead of schedule and £1 million (€ 1.24 million) under budget, a total of 90% of waste had been diverted from landfill and 70% of the bypass had been constructed from locally sourced recycled aggregate. The local community was kept informed and involved throughout the project by utilising newsletters and information notices along with a dedicated website and visitor centre. Additionally 75 jobs were created for long-term unemployed during the project and more than 90% of sub-contracts were awarded to local companies based in South Wales. The project has won numerous awards and is part of Constructing Excellence in Wales’ Demonstration project programme.
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