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Spanish/Welsh JV among those shortlisted for £180m roads deal

Five teams, including local, national and Spanish firms, have made the shortlist for a £180 million contract on the A465 Heads of the Valleys road upgrade programme in south Wales.

It is understood that Costain made the cut for the 12-year early contractor involvement deal, as did a joint venture between Morgan Sindall and Monmouthshire-based Alun Griffiths.

Carillion and a Bam Nuttall/Ferrovial team are also thought to be in line to receive tender documents, which will be issued at the end of this month.

A joint venture between Swansea firm Dawnus Construction and Spanish contractor OHL is believed to have bagged the final place on the shortlist for the job.

The work will see the section of the trunk road between Gilwern and Brynmawr widened from three lanes to a dual carriageway.

The tender period could run for as long as 20 weeks. Contractors had initially expected the shortlist to be announced in July.

Among those thought to have attempted to pre-qualify for the job are Sisk, Bilfinger Berger and Hochtief, which worked with Alun Griffiths on another section of the A465 upgrade programme.

Sources told Construction News the scheme was particularly attractive because it was funded by the European Union. The UK Government has put funding for several transport schemes on hold until next month’s Comprehensive Spending Review.

The scheme is officially known as Section 2 of the Welsh Assembly Government’s programme of upgrades to the Heads of the Valleys Road.

Section 2 stretches from the road’s junction with the A4077 at Glanbaiden Roundabout, Gilwern, to its junction with the Section 3 works between Brynmawr and Tredegar, which Carillion will be working on under a recently won £75m deal.

The A465 project is made up of six sections. Section 1 is currently being built by Bam Nuttall, while Section 4 was completed by a joint venture of Hochtief and Alun Griffiths in 2004. Sections 5 and 6 are yet to be tendered.