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Harbour Way

Providing a vital link to West Wales

Harbour Way is the final stage of the Port Talbot Peripheral Distributor Road and involved significant contaminated ground remediation as we delivered the most sustainable scheme possible.

  • Service 1

Considerate Constructors Scheme

Gold Award 2014
Bronze Award 2013
Bronze Award 2012

  • Service 1

Constructing Excellence in Wales awards 2013

Integration and collaborative working awards
Sustainability award (shortlisted)

  • Service 1

Brownfield Briefing awards 2013

Best Conceptual Design - stabilisation of naphthalene contaminated soils

Best Reuse of Materials (highly commended)

key benefits


of savings generated - £15m pre-construction and £3m during construction through value engineering


of waste diverted from landfill with 9,000m3 of contaminated material remediated


of the supply chain on the project were based in Wales


full-time jobs for local economically inactive people

Over £25k

raised for local charities


The route of the scheme passed through an area that was contaminated with hydrocarbons (a legacy of the historic workings and heavy industry in the area). The remediation strategy, developed in close liaison with Natural Resources Wales, involved phased excavations over several areas, including the site of an historical coke washery and blast furnace.

Contaminated soil was treated using stabilisation and solidification. All contaminated soils encountered were retained on site and used as fill material in the construction of the road embankment; thereby reducing the volume of import required and avoiding the need for any off-site disposal.


Before construction could begin 4.5km of reptile fencing was erected throughout the site. Over 1800 reptiles were translocated to two new receptor sites. 

Areas of grassland identified as Small Blue Butterfly (a UK BAP species) habitat were translocated before construction works started and additional replacement habitat has been provided along the scheme corridor which will also provide value for bees, birds, foraging bats, reptiles and other invertebrates. 

Over 15,200 new trees and shrubs have been planted. Sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) was incorporated into the drainage design with planting schemes in swales and ponds to provide aquatic and semi-aquatic habitat. 


To deliver as sustainable a scheme as possible the site team used various strategies to maximise resource efficiency, minimise off-site disposal and to incorporate sustainable materials into the works. The road is built on embankment which required around 380,000 m3 of material, the majority of which comprises secondary aggregates:  

  • Processed demolition waste - 35,000m3
  • Site won material - 84,000m3
  • Blast Furnace slag (Bi-product from steel manufacture) - 220,000m3
  • Remediation of contaminated ground - 9,000m3

The blast furnace slag was sourced from within the Port Talbot Steelworks, significantly reducing the schemes carbon footprint and avoiding the transport of thousands of vehicle movements on the local road network. 

85% of existing structures were demolished and processed on site for re-use. An additional  19,000 tonnes of waste materials from other projects were imported under the control of an environmental permit. Over 99% of site won material was either recycled or re-used on site.

Other sustainable materials used include: 

  • FoamMaster Roadbase – 13,000m3 - a cold recycled bitumen bound material which consists primarily of recycled asphalt and is processed under the WRAP protocol. This is a 95% sustainable system which utilises road arisings and other secondary aggregates to produce base course. 
  • Pre-cast elements (including drainage, arch bridge units, reinforced earth panels, concrete parapet units) to ease construction, improve safety and quality, reduce the carbon footprint and reduce wastage of raw materials on site.
Harbour Way Bridge Demolition
Cefn Gwrgan bridge demolition

Energy and carbon

Energy and carbon footprint savings were delivered through choosing materials and components designed to reduce long-term maintenance requirements. For example, integral bridges have been constructed where no bearings are required to be maintained.

We undertook a carbon footprint assessment on key construction materials and achieved an estimated saving of 23% CO2e through value engineering and changes to design and specification. 

Carbon footprint reductions were achieved through earthworks design to minimise volumes of imported aggregate and sourcing local materials and labour. Other measures included PIR controlled lighting within site offices, conference call facilities, car sharing and provision of 'hot desks'.

Education and employment

Working closely with Careers Wales, the project team has supported a range of educational activities, including attending careers events, mock interview sessions and hosting work experience placements. The team also hosted placements arranged through Go Wales as part of their Graduate Academy and Work taster programmes and provided essential skills training for 10 team members in literacy and numeracy up to GCSE level.

The project has also provided: 

  • 41 full time jobs created for local economically inactive people
  •  30 work experience placements to schools, colleges and university students
  • 7 Apprenticeships

Harbour Way project is a great example of how large construction projects can bring about huge benefits to the local communities.

Jane Hutt, Finance Minister

Contact and social


Richard Stuart, Sector director
01628 842 444
[email protected]