Heads of the Valley

A465 Heads of the Valley

A465 Heads of the Valley

Location: Wales, UK

The A465 Heads of the Valleys upgrade is the biggest road project in Wales and one of the biggest in the UK.

Planning began in 1990; the project was given the go-ahead by the Welsh Government in 1999 and work on the first of five phases began three years later.


Case picture

A465 Heads of the Valley


As of December 2018, three sections have been completed, Abergavenny to Gilwern, Brynmawr to Tredegar and Tredegar to Dowlais.

The final two phases, Dawlais to A470 and the A470 junction to Hirwaun have commenced, with completion of the whole £223 m scheme scheduled for 2020.


Minova supported CAN Geotechnical Ltd with supplying over 11,000 soil nails  installed across the 8 km site, with a large quantity of R32S self-drilling nails with 76 mm and 110 mm tungsten carbide drill bits.

Most of the drilling has been done with hydraulic drilling attachments mounted on an excavator boom. The excavator works downwards from the top of the slope as the roadside is progressively cut back.

Where access for drilling is more difficult, rope access techniques and bespoke A-frame cradles secured from above are utilised.

On rocky embankments, where the risk is less from landslip and more likely from loose rock falling onto the road below, steel mesh debris netting has been installed. Here, anchors are driven into the rockface at intervals (typically 1 m-2 m centres) before the steel mesh is unrolled from the top of the slope.


Our steel products continue to provide a pivotal role in ensuring safety to the site and future success of the largest road scheme in Welsh history.

A465 Heads of the Valley