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Five left in £27 million road race

Contracts - SOUTH W ALES

CAERPHILLY Borough Council has shortlisted five firms to bid for a £27 million road scheme at a former mining town in South Wales.

Alfred McAlpine, Carillion, Costain, Hochtief and Nuttall are all in the running for the Bargoed Bypass in Mid Glamorgan and a winner is expected to be announced in August.

The road will be built on land reclaimed from the former Bargoed Colliery site that employed 2,500 men until its closure in 1977. The reclamat ion work is est imated to have cost over £8 million and involved removing the largest coal tip in Europe.

The 2.2 km single carriageway road will link the existing A469 at Lewis School, Pengam, with Station Road in Bargoed and will ease traffic congestion in the town as well as improving access to nearby Aberbargoed.

The scheme features three major structures, the first being a 125 march bridge that will carry the road over the River Rhymney in Bargoed Country Park.

A viaduct will then take the bypass over a railway line with the final structure being a railway tunnel that will go underneath a new bus station in the town.

A source close to the deal said: 'The work is about the regeneration of the Bargoed area and the idea is to make it easier for bus and train passengers to transfer at the new bus station.'

The council's regeneration programme includes a new £2.4 million retail area south of Bargoed town centre that should be ready for development when the bypass opens in late 2008.

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