Road closure 2019
1 August 2019 from Stephen Baldwin to local councillors:
Further to my last update we are currently working towards opening the A466 back up to vehicles by close of play Friday. There will be a number of small outstanding works to be undertaken over the weekend and early next week which will likely include final clipping of mesh, cutting and treatment of bars and general clean-up duties. Unfortunately this will require two-way lights to be set up while these works are finished but this will only be for a short period and does allow us to reopen the road in a safe controlled manner.
There will be quite a lot of works to coordinate tomorrow to allow the road to be reopened and the non-diversion signs such as ‘pedestrians only’, ‘no sat navs’ etc. will be removed early tomorrow. The remaining larger signs will be covered and the rest laid flat for later pick up. This will allow us to concentrate on making the work area safe for reopening.
30 July 2019
Stephen Baldwin, Project Engineer (Structures), Highway & Flood Management, Monmouthshire County Council, sent this to local councillors on 30 July:
"I just wanted to update you that the works on the A466 are coming to a close. We had a slight issue with the compressor failing on Sunday with about 5 short anchors to drill but thankfully this was repaired yesterday. The position we find ourselves in presently is that we are looking to clear the site of equipment and cabins etc. on Friday (2nd). At what point on Friday will influence if the road is reopened on Friday or at some point on Saturday as we will need to make sure the site is cleared and swept, the remaining barriers removed and the diversion signs taken down to ensure that everything is safe for traffic. If there are any problems between now and Friday, to get the road open we will temporarily reinstate the traffic lights so at least traffic can move through. This would only be for a short period depending on what the problem is and would only be as a last resort."
15 July 2019
Roger Hoggins, Head of Infrastructure, Networks and Sustainability at Monmouthshire County Council, sent this to local councillors on 12 July:
"Most of you know that the project has not gone well to date albeit progress is now improving.
We had shared a completion date of 19th July. At current rate of progress that will not be met and a revised date of 2nd August was has now been mooted by the contractor’s project manager.
• They have 8 operatives working a 12 hour shift working 11 days in 14.
• There are between two or three drilling rigs on site at various times.
• They brought 4 drill heads to site and so far have 3 wedged in the rock face. This is unprecedented in the site engineer’s experience but it reflects the difficult Limestone rock formation that they are working in – each head costs around £2,500. They will try to recover them at some point.
• There is security sited at each end of the works, complete with security fencing across the road and the immediate vicinity, to stop members of the public – walkers, cyclists and even one car driver – from attempting to travel through the works.
• We have agreed some change notices but the cost of the over run is so far falling largely upon the contractor.
We have been emphasising the need to make progress previously and the contractors are now putting a team in for the remaining 3 days – so working every day. The resident (consultant) engineer is also revisiting the design to see if it can be altered to reduce the number of bore holes without compromising its integrity.
We have emphasised the impact the delay is having upon residents and businesses in the valley."
[Note - these are the salient points from Mr Hoggins' much longer email]
28 June 2019 - the latest details from Monmouthshire CC:
It is now clear that due to the difficulties that we are experiencing onsite that the works will unfortunately have to extend beyond the end of June. Successful tests have been undertaken to overcome the issues of grout loss around the anchors and we are proceeding with this revised installation method. This will be continuously monitored to ensure it continues to be effective. Based on current drill logs and productivity records completion date has been assessed to be towards the end of July. However this will be revised once the Contractor has received up to date drill logs from the current shift.
In the meantime, now that we are having success with the revised bar installation method the Contractor is proposing to push the programme forward by introducing additional grout plant with associated workmen to increase productivity. We are confident that this will pull back the completion date to the 19th July. The Contractor will be reviewing drilling output and revise the programme weekly with up-to-date data and we will continue to increase productivity onsite to try and reach this revised completion date.
Project Engineer (Structures), Highway & Flood Management
Monmouthshire County Council / Cyngor Sir Fynwy
Tel / Ffôn: 01633 64 (4713)
Mobile / Symudol: 07740 845184
Email / Ebost: email@example.com
Website / Gwefan: www.monmouthshire.gov.uk
From March 2019:
Monmouthshire County Council confirm that work at the Livox site (between Tintern and St Arvans) will start on May 7th. It is expected that this will last for approximately seven weeks. The A466 will be CLOSED between Tintern and St Arvans.
Diversions will be signposted and it is expected that they will, as before, take drivers through Trellech, Llanishen and Devauden before rejoining the A466 at the south end of Chepstow Racecourse.
Council sources claim that extended working hours, including weekends, are being allowed and it aims to have the road open before the Tintern Fete being held on Saturday June 29th. A date for work at the Wyndcliffe site is still to be confirmed but it is likely to be delayed until next year.