5 Facts about the A487 Caernarfon and Bontnewydd Bypass

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The £135m Caernarfon and Bontnewydd bypass is one of the Welsh Government’s largest infrastructure projects in North Wales.

When completed it will deliver benefits for local communities and the travelling public. Here are some facts about the scheme.

1. Over 90 per cent of the workforce are Welsh or live in Wales. The contractors, Jones Bros (Ruthin) and Balfour Beatty Construction,  engaged 18 local companies to carry out subcontracted work to the value of £480,000, and currently have orders placed with 26 local suppliers.

2. To date, 14 apprentices are on site and the project contractors have employed 13 new starters since the start of construction.  Four summer graduates were also employed to gain valuable experience, assisting the site team in engineering, administration and health and safety roles.

3. A Bronze Age canoe was unearthed by archaeologists on the site. The dug-out canoe, made from a hollowed oak tree, was found underneath a burnt mound dating back 3,500 years.  It was the first discovery of its kind in North Wales.  A large section of Roman road has also been excavated.

4. Around 300 school children have been involved with this project to date. Groups of under-16 school pupils have been on a tour and attended a site taster day as part of their career planning.

5. Thirty ecologists spent around 1,500 hours carrying out extensive checks and searches to identify and protect wildlife during the operation. The removal of a number of trees along the route has been necessary. However, the contractors have planted more vegetation than they removed. This includes 13 hectares of new woodland; 23 km of new hedgerows and 30 hectares of species-rich grassland.

Significant measures to protect the habitat of otters, bats, water voles and fish will be implemented, including installation of culverts and pipes together with the realignment of water courses.

Contractors also mounted bat boxes on trees to help protect the bats’ natural habitat.