Welsh Government seeks contractor for £60m A40 schemes

06/02/2020
Chris Ames

The Welsh Government will begin a procurement exercise this month for a design and build job worth £40m for the construction of a new section of the A40 trunk road to the north of Llanddewi Velfrey and Narberth.

The new bypass falls under the ‘A40 Llanddewi Velfrey to Redstone Cross Improvements Project, which bundles the Llanddewi Velfrey to Penblewin scheme with the £20m Penblewin to Redstone Cross.

The prior information notice indicates that the Welsh Government is seeking a contractor to carry out both jobs for £40m. The Welsh Government told Highways that this is the value of both schemes. However, Highways understands that this is likely to be the cost of the Llanddewi Velfrey to Penblewin job alone.

According to the Welsh Government, the A40 between St Clears and Haverfordwest is mainly a single carriageway with a number of issues that lead to poor journey times.

The Llanddewi Velfrey to Penblewin scheme, which has an overall price tag of £45m consists of:

  • a 2.5km bypass from Bethel Chapel to Ffynnon Wood
  • 2.5km improvements west of Ffynnon Wood
  • 1.4km extra overtaking eastbound
  • 1km extra overtaking westbound

The bypass will rejoin the existing road at Penblewin roundabout.

The Welsh Government intends to conduct the procurement through both a pre-qualification stage and a subsequent tender stage and use an NEC4 engineering and construction contract.

The scheme was originally managed by Carillion but in September 2018, Ken Skates, cabinet secretary for economy and transport, told Welsh Assembly members that following Carillion’s liquidation the Government had appointed Arup to continue with the scheme development.

Mr Skates added that the outline design and detailed environmental impact assessment for the scheme developed by Carillion ‘will very much form the basis of the project taken forward’, with the scheme based on the 2+1 bypasses at A40 Robeston Wathen Bypass and the A477 at Llanddowror.

Arup, Carillion’s designer under the original contract, was appointed to finish the preliminary design and take the scheme through the statutory process.

At that time the cost of the works was put at £35m with £23m from the European Union. Mr Skates told AMs that the Welsh Government was investigating the feasibility of including the construction of the Redstone Cross improvement as part of the Llanddewi Velfrey to Penblewin scheme.

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