A strategic road improvement to facilitate access to the port area, and stimulate economic development, the Port Talbot PDR links Junction 38, Margam Interchange via Afan Way to Junction 41 of the M4. Functioning as a local distributor route to remove local traffic from the motorway, it relieves heavy congestion and industrial traffic to the docks providing capacity and access for new development areas.

Stages 1c and 1b of the PDR included the construction of a total of 4km of dual carriageway, on-line widening of an existing arterial route, and structures over water. Extensive live traffic management was maintained for the on-line works, with a close public interface.

The project also required demolition of several structures including a railway bridge over the live carriageway.

A complex mix of new structures included two road bridges over the tidal river estuary, a new structure spanning the dock feeder system, five new footbridges and two new underpasses. These were all delivered to target cost and project programme.

With much of the works within the river floodplain, a sensitive environmental approach was required, with careful management and implementation of the Construction Environment Management Plan.

By developing a fully integrated partnering approach, value engineering and innovation was driven forward. Recycling and re-use of construction materials ensured minimisation of waste with recycled materials used as sub-base for many of the footpaths. Remediation of contaminated ground, reprocessing of insitu materials to enhance their performance in construction and treatment of ground contaminated by highly invasive Japanese Knotweed were undertaken.

In areas of made ground overlying sands and clay with a high groundwater table, embankment designs incorporated provision for pore water pressure relief and settlement periods. Carriageway designs for a shallower construction depth in these areas included extensive use of reinforced surfacing.