Blakedown delivers recreational space

Contractor aims to deliver multiple benefits to community in Caerphilly by transforming 'dead space' underneath flyover

Viaduct: transformation work
Viaduct: transformation work

A derelict site under a motorway flyover in Newbridge, Caerphilly, is being transformed into a recreational space for the community.

Improvements to the area under the A472 Trecelyn Viaduct included construction of a cycle pump track, outdoor gym and seating area along with lighting upgrades.

The contract also included landscaping of the footpath leading from the town centre, new street furniture and soft landscaping including grass seeding and planting.

Caerphilly County Borough Council awarded the £560,000 contract to Blakedown Landscape Operations, which has constructed numerous skate parks, fitness trails and playgrounds and worked on many regeneration projects.

The development work forms part of phase three of the major Newbridge Regeneration Programme, which has received £16m investment, partly through the European Regional Development Fund. As part of the programme Blakedown has secured a second project at neighbouring Riverside Park and hopes to continue securing work in the area, having worked with the client group for 25 years.

The barren ground under the motorway was only good for growing Japanese knotweed so Blakedown embarked on a control programme in parallel with the other works.

Areas outside the bridge canopy were more amenable to planting, with the addition of trees and a wild flower meadow. Artworks chosen by local youngsters was installed on the pillars of the viaduct.

The site was awarded a certificate of compliance as part of the Considerate Constructors Scheme. Contracts manager Rik Mustoe was praised for embracing the scheme's code of practice and maintaining a clean and organised site. The report also noted Blakedown's efforts to support local businesses and suppliers.

Blakedown will maintain the site for the first year, after which maintenance will return to the local authority. User groups are expected to shoulder some responsibility for looking after the site.

Blakedown's view

"This project is a great example of a way to gain benefit from an otherwise dead space. It is also hoped that by developing this barren ground that the project will remove some of the antisocial and drug culture that is evident in this location, delivering multiple benefits to the local community."

Blakedown Landscape Operations spokesperson

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