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Heads of the Valley Expansion Project

Shay Murtagh is proud to be a part of the Heads of the Valley Expansion Project, a £500 million project located in Aberdare, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales. The project is being executed by FCC, a Welch-Spanish Consortium, and funded by Meridiam. This project is crucial for the improvement of mobility and connectivity in Wales and for reviving the local economy post-COVID-19.

As a result of a competitive tender process, Shay Murtagh was awarded the business based on pricing and our experience, product, and ability to deliver. Our role in the project involves supplying most of the precast concrete for the entire project. The precast elements include prestressed beams, portal frames, culverts, retaining walls, and reinforced earth structures.

Our team, led by Robert Fitzsimons, Pat Barrett, and Ger Glennon, brings expertise in project management, covering various aspects including commercial, production, value engineering, and transportation/delivery. Shay Murtagh will provide 1014m of culverts of 17 different structures, 6 structures of deck slabs and parapets, and 3427 m of beams and parapets. So far, the project counts 9,153m3 of concrete and 7,106 no of units.

The project is driven by sustainable objectives, including waste reduction and minimisation techniques, optimal curing conditions, a controlled environment, and an appropriate mix composition. The large number of standard loads and abnormal load sizes, as well as the route's weather, traffic volumes, and traffic diversions, presented challenges. Our team provided additional resources and escorted deliveries to overcome these challenges.

We worked closely with our client to demonstrate value engineering on some of the original designs, creating a user-friendly program. Our team monitored progress through weekly meetings and site visits and worked in cooperation with the client's program to respond to any slippages.

All concrete elements are made from 50,000t’s of precast concrete and 3,300t’s of steel, including rebar and prestressing strand. The project requires the usage of 2910 no. of components including culverts, portal frames, retaining walls, prestressed beams, deck slabs, and parapets.

Shay Murtagh has the manufacturing capability, experience, and expertise to handle the contractor’s requirements for major civil engineering developments. The project is planned for completion in 2025 and will provide benefits for local companies participating in the development.

A super photo from our Clients @FCC from the A470 structure on the Heads of the Valley Improvement Scheme. This is from one the structures we supplied which was 9 no 80 ton 33.5m W13 bridge beams along with 2 no Edge Beams. We will complete this structure with 24 no edge parapets later this year.

Poor connectivity is a longstanding issue for the Heads of the Valley area not only to links with other parts of Wales and the UK, but also the quality of access within the Heads of the Valley area itself. The overarching objectives of the Scheme are: To facilitate economic regeneration of the Heads of the Valleys Area by improving accessibility, reducing journey time and improving journey time reliability, and To strengthen resilience on the A465 by improving standards and enhancing road safety. We continue on this final 18km section of the Project with FCC with a number of different products across multiple structures which we will highlight over the next few weeks

In conclusion, Shay Murtagh is committed to delivering the Heads of the Valley Expansion Project with the highest quality standards, sustainability objectives, and efficiency. We are honoured to be a part of this important project that will contribute to the growth and development of Wales.

Great photos from construction to completion of the UAN at Section 1 – Structure 22 in Wales at Nant Y Bwlch with our client Future Valley Construction for the Heads of the Valley/A465 project.

The UAN photographed is 11m wide x 2m high and is close to 38m in length. Each individual unit is circa 40 tonne with the heaviest wingwall weighing in 15ton

This is one of 19 culvert structures and overall one of 49 structures in our package of works in improving Wales' transport infrastructure with this scheme will support economic growth in the region.

Thank you to our Clients FCC for this in construct photograph of their installation of our precast concrete Hexlok retaining earth panels along the Nant Ffrwd wall. This is part of the Heads of the Valley project and the picture is somewhat deceiving as this wall actually spans 9m in height at its highest point. Over 600 panels to form the structure each 1.5m in height – looking forward to seeing the finished structure soon.


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