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Event Organiser: ICE

A465 Heads of the Valley Section 2 – The story so far, Cardiff

  • Lecture
  • Cardiff
  • 10 July 2018
  • 17:30 - 19:30
A465 Heads of the Valley Section 2 – The story so far, Cardiff

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The A465 Heads of the Valley Section 2 Project is part of the Welsh Government strategy to dual 40kms of the existing A465 Abergavenny to Hirwaun and so complete dualling from the M4 to the A40.

The Project scope requires the design and construction of 8.5 kms of dual carriageway road between Brynmawr and Glanbaiden Junction of the A465. This includes 2.2km split level carriageway up to 8 metres high, 12,500 metres of retaining structures of various forms, 1,200,000 m3 of excavated material and 16 major structures.

The speakers from Costain and Atkins will present an overview of the scheme, how this extremely challenging project is being delivered and run through progress since construction started in January 2015.

They will then focus on the construction of The Gateway Bridge, a landmark single span thrust arch, with a presentation on a specific design solution developed for the Saleyard River Crossing, namely a precast bridge deck design including innovative trust plates.



Bruce Richards

Bruce Richards

Project Director KS6

Bruce brings more than 25 years’ experience managing major civil engineering projects with contract values up to £415M. He spent four years at Freyssinet International working on projects for cable-stayed bridges, complex pre-stressing and launching structures, before successfully delivering the major M1 J10-13 ECI D&B scheme. He is based in Cardiff, and was a Site Agent on a number of Welsh road schemes in his early career, including M4 Widening and Second Severn Crossing Gwent Approach.

Relevant project experience:
2012 – to date: A465 Heads of the Valleys Section 2 ECI (£200M) Company: Costain

This ECI D&B project has completed KS3. As Project Director, Bruce successfully led the integrated project team through preliminary design, public consultation, production of the environmental statement and publication of Draft Orders in KS3, and to Public Inquiry in Spring 2014. He has built excellent relationships with Welsh Government and key stakeholders.

Key skills and experience:

  • Leadership and management of Contractor and Designer ECI project teams through Key Stages 3,4 and 6
  • Building and managing effective collaborative integrated teams
  • Planning and construction of major highways projects
  • Planning and construction of complex major bridge structures
  • Detailed knowledge of KS3 and KS4 statutory processes
  • Detailed knowledge of environmental statutory processes
  • Experienced in preparing evidence for Public Inquiry
  • Expert  in championing and realising social and economic benefits
  • Expert in stakeholder management and building relationships

David Morris

David Morris

Structures Manager, Costain

David is currently the Structures Manager on the A465. He has 19 years Civil Engineering and Project Management experience with Costain most recently in the Highways sector and previously in the Marine and Water Sectors.

David has a proven track record in managing the safe delivery of technically complex civil engineering projects, involving 25 major structures, from target cost submission, through design and construction phases to client handover.

Most recently David is managing the construction of the principle bridges on the A465 Project including the landmark Gateway Bridge in Brynmawr.

Joe Niblett CEng

Joe Niblett CEng

Principal Bridge Engineer, Atkins

Joe is a Principal Bridge Engineer based in the Cardiff Office and has 18 years of bridge design experience. He has worked on a variety of major projects such as the M50 widening around Dublin and London 2012 Olympics before becoming responsible for the design of several bridges on the A465 Dualling Section 2 scheme. He is also involved in the assessment and maintenance of highway structures for SWTRA delivering innovative solutions to a deteriorating stock of bridges such as the latest reliability assessment approaches.

In terms of the A465 Heads of the Valleys Widening Scheme Section 2, Joe has been involved from the Preliminary Designs at KS3 through to KS6 Construction. During KS6, he was the Designer responsible for delivery of a 70m span integral bridge where an innovative fully precast deck was designed. The self stable cantilever units combined with the long spans significantly reduced the steelwork required for the bridge. Joe also included further development of the thrust plate integral connection detail on the same bridge to minimise embedment of the beams into the abutment.

With Joe’s history of the scheme development, he was ideally placed to become the DJVs Structures Site Representative. He was responsible for resolving site queries and being a facilitator of communication between key parties. This allowed him to collaborate closely with the fabrication of the precast deck units on site as part of an enhanced quality process ensuring a zero reduction rate for the cast units. Joe was also a key part of the IVQT ensuring construction compliance of the bridges across the scheme.

Event venue

Trevithick Lecture Theatre
Cardiff School of Engineering
Cardiff CF24 3AA
United Kingdom

For more information please contact:

Felicity White

e: [email protected]