The Costain Vinci Joint Venture, which has been contracted by the Welsh Government to progress the much awaited M4 Corridor around Newport, supported by RPS who are the lead environmental consultant, has successfully completed Key Stage 3 of the project with the publication of the draft Statutory Orders.
The project is the largest highway scheme to be commissioned by the Welsh Government since devolution in 1998 and involves the proposed construction of a new 23km section of three-lane motorway to the south of Newport, between Magor and Castleton.
The proposed new section of motorway will cross the northern part of the Gwent levels, Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), pass over the Newport Docks and the southern boundaries of the Docks Way landfill site and the former Llanwern Steelworks site. In addition, an elevated section would cross the River Usk with a new 440m span cable-stayed bridge.
This month (March) staged publication of the draft Statutory Orders by the Welsh Government will commence and precede three weeks of public exhibitions at five locations from Magor (J23) to Castleton (J29) on the outskirts of Cardiff.
The publication of draft Statutory Orders includes the Environmental Statement, Statement to inform an Appropriate Assessment and other associated reporting with documents made available to the public exhibitions and on-line on the Welsh Government website www.gov.wales/M4Newport The documents will also be available at five deposit points across the area.
The project has been on the drawing board since the early 1990’s and a Public Local Inquiry is anticipated in the autumn under an independent Inspector, prior to any decision by the Welsh Government whether the project moves to the construction phase.
Barry Woodman, Project Director for Costain Vinci said: “There has been a concerted effort by the integrated team to deliver the draft statutory orders and environmental statement within really tight time constraints. We now look forward to the exhibitions and providing the public and key stakeholders with as much information, support and general understanding of the project as we can.”
Martin Bates, Project Director for the Welsh Government said: “The process for procuring, designing and delivering a project of this size and complexity is extremely demanding and I am really pleased that we have achieved this significant milestone. There are a number of hurdles still to negotiate but the proposals are progressing in line with our challenging programme and I am extremely grateful to the team for the outstanding effort.”