Eastern Bay Link

The Eastern Bay Link scheme extends the A4232 link road, situated south of Cardiff, reducing the current journey by 2.5 km. It was delivered under an Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) Target Cost Design and Build Contract, safely, on time, under budget, and to the highest quality and environmental standards, through flexible and collaborative working

CEEQUAL Excellent (81.1%) – Whole Team Award
Version 5, March 2018 | Cardiff, Wales, UK

Client: Welsh Government
Employer’s Agent: WSP
Designers: Capita and Cass Hayward
Contractors:  Dawnus Ferrovial Agroman JV

Assessor:  John Evans (Dawnus)

Ian Nicholson (Director, CEEQUAL) presented the award certificates on 10 May. Congratulations for the fantastic job.

Project summary

The Eastern Bay Link scheme extends the A4232 link road, situated south of Cardiff, reducing the current journey by 2.5 km. It was delivered under an Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) Target Cost Design and Build Contract, safely, on time, under budget, and to the highest quality and environmental standards, through flexible and collaborative working

The road is a 1.2 km long elevated dual carriageway with the conceptual design being based on the provision of two approach embankments and a 300m long viaduct. Significant challenges and constraints included the procurement of timely approvals from statutory bodies, poor ground conditions, adjacent businesses, live roads and a railway, and the diversion of major services.

The design was fundamentally changed to overcome major issues with service diversions, resulting in the viaduct being extended to 714m, and the need to carry out additional Enabling Works and the main construction, in parallel with preliminary and detailed design.

The scheme was delivered on time, under budget, to the highest quality standards, without any reportable health and safety or environmental incidents in challenging circumstances, whilst at the same time increasing biodiversity and exceeding targets for recruitment and training, use of the local supply chain and delivery of sustainable community benefits.

Challenges and achievements

Project management

The project was delivered in conjunction with and on behalf of the Welsh Government by the Dawnus Ferrovial Agroman Joint-Venture (DFAJV), designers Capita and Cass Hayward and other members of the supply chain and is an excellent example of collaborative working.   A number of initiatives  were introduced which helped forge and maintain excellent working relationships within the fully integrated team which benefitted the project and which, despite several complex technical challenges, resulted in all project objectives being met.

This collaborative approach was recognized with the DFA JV winning the 2017 NEC Contractor of the Year Award.

People and communities

Significant economic benefits of the project to the community included:

  • 78% of workforce living in Wales.
  • 1886 targeted recruitment and training weeks including 383 apprentice weeks, 587 graduate weeks and 28 new job starts including 27 long term unemployed people.
  • 66% of the contract spend was in Wales, with 32% within 10 miles of the site.
  • 42% of the contract spend was with Welsh SME’s.

Working in partnership with The Prince’s Trust Cymru, the  team developed a ‘Get Into Construction Programme’ for young people to gain new skills through training to enable them to find work in the construction industry and delivered improvements to two local community centres. The programme delivered:

  • Two weeks training for 30 individuals
  • 75% of attendees securing employment including 6 permament jobs with Dawnus
  • Improved facilities at the at the Splott Community Hub (The Old Library) and Moorlands Community Centre.

The team also worked closely with Willows High School in nearby Tremorfa, in re-erecting a Multiple Use Games Area (value £120,000) which was salvaged from a redundant site in Llanishen, and with children in making other playground improvements.

Economic regeneration with reduced journey times and enhanced road safety has been achieved and cycling and walking has been promoted by provision of a combined cycleway / footway, which links to the Wales Coastal Path and local and national cycle routes.

Relationships with the local community

The location of the site required extensive communication within the community which commenced with an extensive stakeholder consultation exercise during the Initial Design Phase. Over 30 local businesses were contacted, mainly through door-to-door meetings and. through this engagement, contact details for each business and the extent of their involvement and interest in the scheme were established. Access requirements, working hours (to avoid causing congestion at key times) and programming of major service diversions with utility providers were also agreed.

To ensure effective and continuous stakeholder management Focus Groups were formed covering different aspects of the scheme, and these groups then developed optimal solutions to the key design and construction challenges.

The Environment


An Environmental Liaison Group was set up and included representatives from the DFA JV, Capita, Natural Resources Wales, City of Cardiff Council, Welsh Government, Landscape and Ecology Advisors and the local Archaeological Trust. The group addressed numerous issues; in particular the rewriting of original Environmental Statement to accommodate the required design changes.

Environmental constraints included a neighbouring Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) at the eastern end of the site, close proximity to the Severn Estuary (RAMSAR, SPA, SAC and SSSI), archaeology and local cultural heritage.

The key potential environmental impacts of the project were identified as air quality, land contamination, ecology and the water environment. Prior to the start of the construction phase a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) was developed which contained mitigation methods for all potential impacts. All works were carried out in line with the CEMP; the site team included an Environmental Coordinator and Environmental Clerk of Works, who carried out dedicated environmental inspections in addition to regular inspections and audit by the project and SHEQ teams. All aspects of effective environmental management both pre, during and post construction, were diligently delivered which enhanced workforce awareness, and resulted in significantly reducing the environmental impact.

Ecology and biodiversity

The Ocean Way Site of Interest for Nature Conservation (SINC) and the existing redundant overhead gas pipeline with its antiquated gantry support system presented challenges but also opportunities not only to maintain the calcareous grasslands but also to improve the local environment, particularly the scrubland between the SINC and the northern boundary.

Site clearance, ecological investigation and monitoring in the SINC, and removal of the gantry were carefully executed in order to protect native species. Through careful management of site won materials, the landscape and biodiversity in the SINC and surrounding areas was then significantly enhanced in accordance with a revised Environmental Master Plan which was agreed with regulators. Approximately 8000m2 of the SINC was protected and enhanced and 2000m2 of scrub reclaimed and landscaped.

Water environment

The local water environment including Roath Dock were protected throughout with no environmental incidents. All groundwater generated from the bored piling operations was treated before being re-used for dust suppression and the main 1500mm diameter sewer running through the site was de-silted, improving its capacity by more than 50%. 90% of surface run off was accommodated through infiltration and interceptors provided as required.

Physical resources use and management

Headline achievements included:

  • 95% of imported material recycled and sourced less than 5km from the site
  • 10,000m3 of material used to surcharge the embankment then re-used as fill
  • 98% of excavated material was re-used on site including processing of approx. 18,000t of concrete and planed tarmacadam
  • 90% of contaminated material (tars and asbestos) treated and kept on site
  • All silt-laden water from bored piling operations treated on site and used for dust suppression.

Working with local suppliers, the use of primary aggregates was all but eliminated. Quantities of imported bulk material and disposal off site and road transport miles were significantly reduced through:

  • Purchasing re-cycled slag and reinforcement from the adjacent CELSA Works
  • Recycling and processing all concrete and other hard material
  • Using on- site concrete batching plants
  • Direct delivery of steelwork into Roath Dock

Award presentation

Ian Nicholson (Director, CEEQUAL) presented the award certificates on 10 May. Congratulations for the fantastic job.

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