Lizard-friendly stone walls built along bypass route27th May 2011

TRADITIONAL stone walls running alongside parts of the new £35m Porthmadog bypass will provide a safe haven for reptiles and a visual treat for motorists.

Lizard habitats have been created within the distinctive walls by installing lengths of specialist tubing.

It is one of a series of measures taken by engineers building the long-awaited new road to protect indigenous species and wildlife.

Other steps include the creation of temporary bat flight paths across the road and an artificial badger sett away from the route.

The 5.3km Porthmadog, Minffordd and Tremadog bypass is being built for the Welsh Government by a joint venture partnership of Balfour Beatty and Jones Bros Civil Engineering UK.

Hefin Lloyd Davies, deputy project manager for the bypass scheme, said: “We are always keen to minimise the impact of work on the local environment and wildlife.

“The stone walling is a stunning aspect of the scheme. Many members of the public have already commented on how fantastic it looks.”

The new section of the A487 carriageway will improve journey times, ease congestion and significantly improve environmental conditions by enabling current through traffic to bypass Porthmadog and the two villages.

G H James Cyf, a family-run firm based in Trawsfynydd, is responsible for the masonry work at the bypass site.

Specialist stonemasons have built the walling and cladding, and also supplied recycled Welsh slate for the work.

The company has recently carried out similar work on trunk road schemes in Blaenau Ffestiniog and Clynnog, as well as Cumbria.

Up to 25 operatives have been working on the walling at any one time, and it is now 80 per cent complete. In total there will be more than a mile of stone walling along the bypass route.
Work on the new road is progressing well and the joint venture partnership is confident of completing construction work by the end of the year.