Loughor Viaduct Replacement

CEEQUAL Excellent (87.2%) – Whole Project Award
Version 4, Mar 2014 | Loughor, Wales, UK

Shortlisted – CEEQUAL Outstanding Achievement Awards 2016

Client: Network Rail
Designer: Tony Gee & Partners Ltd
Contractor: Carillion Rail

Assessor: Jo Wall (TACP)
Verifier: Colin Cartwright (Atkins)

Project summary

The project involved replacement of Loughor Viaduct. This was required by Network Rail to upgrade the line and allow for provision of additional track allowing trains to run more smoothly without having to wait for trains to pass. This was to have a beneficial impact on air quality and noise to nearby receptors. The project involved the removal of the existing timber bridge and replacing it on the same line as the original but did not include the laying of the tracks.

Challenges and achievements

Ecology & Biodiversity

The existing viaduct is situated within or adjacent to several sites of European importance for nature conservation. These include the Carmarthen Bay and Estuaries Special Area of Conservation(SAC) which were designated in 2004 due to the presence of important habitats(tidal rivers, mud flats, sand flats, salt marsh and shingle), otter and 2 fish species(Twaite shad and sea lamprey). The area is designated as a Special Protection Area(Burry Inlet SPA), as it is an important wildfowl and waders over-wintering site, regularly supporting more than 20,000 water birds. The Loughor estuary is also a Ramsar Wetland.

The Historic Environment

There are many archaeological assets within a mile of the construction area, particularly associated with a Roman Fort and post- medieval industrial activity which could result in the works impacting on unknown archaeological remains, however this was anticipated to be a low risk due to the fact that the adjacent road bridge which was built in 1983 may have already impacted in this area.

People & Communities

With residential areas located within 200m of the site, noise created by the works was assessed as a possible risk however mitigation measures were adopted and agreed with the Environmental Health Depts. of both Carmarthen City Council and The City and Council of Swansea rendered the overall effects as slight.

Close liaison was maintained throughout with relevant statutory bodies. The Site Waste Management Plan, pollution control plan and environmental management plan were all maintained on site to ensure compliance and best practice. A complaints log was held on site and a community engagement plan was developed and implemented.