Glowing Report for SOCOTEC’s Ground Investigation Team Following Completion of Welsh Road Improvement Scheme

Fri 09/03/2021 - 13:20

SOCOTEC’s Ground Investigation team has received a glowing testimonial from the Welsh Government following the completion of the ground investigation for the proposed road improvement works for Sections 5 and 6 of the A465 Heads of the Valleys, a major strategic route which provide a strategic connection from central England through to South Wales. 

The scope of the upgrade works includes the widening of the existing route, realigning highways and junctions and developing new junctions and associated highway structures such as retaining walls, embankments and cuttings.

SOCOTEC provided geotechnical and geoenvironmental fieldwork and testing services for the final 17km sections of the route improvement (Hirwaun to Dowlais Top), working in unison with Jacobs and the Welsh Government to deliver the ground investigation elements of the project and respond quickly and effectively to all identified constraints.

The A645 Heads of the Valleys project involved overcoming a host of logistical challenges posed by topography, ecological considerations, land access and existing road infrastructure. Due to the requirement to work in proximity to potential bat roosting sites, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Local Nature Reserves and Areas of Conservation, Jacobs’ Ecological Clerk of Works worked closely with SOCOTEC to provide clearance and offer supervision of these work areas.

280 boreholes and 86 trial pits were delivered over the course of the improvement works, with 53 of the exploratory holes completed during night shifts in order to meet traffic management requirements.

“The open, collaborative approach between SOCOTEC, the Client (Welsh Government) and their Technical Advisor (Jacobs) offered both a cost and time-effective delivery of the project,” said Fil Pamment, Project Engineer, Department for Economic Infrastructure, Welsh Government.

“The one team approach also provided the most effective solution to the project delivery by streamlining decision making, which would have otherwise resulted in a series of obstacles to the contractor and implemented associated delays. Despite the impact of the global pandemic, SOCOTEC continued to support the project through the reporting period to a successful conclusion.”

Clare Chapman, operations director, Ground Investigation, SOCOTEC UK, commented: “We were honoured to have played a vital part in enhancing transportation links across South Wales through this major road improvement scheme, and were delighted to have received such a positive testimonial from the Welsh Government.

“On behalf of SOCOTEC’s Ground Investigation team, I would like to thank both the Welsh Government and Jacobs for their cooperation and support for the duration of the A465 Heads of the Valleys project, and look forward to working with them on future endeavours.”

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