School children build their own bridges with Walters-Sisk JV

Joint venture contractor Walters-Sisk for the Mountain Ash Cross Valley Link scheme teamed up with the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Wales to carry out ‘Bridge to Schools’ sessions with pupils from Miskin Primary School and Pengeulan Primary School. The sessions include hands-on activities for the children who helped construct a 15-metre long cable-stayed bridge in the comfort of their schools.

Having built their bridges the pupils then tested their structure – by walking across it! Over the course of the week, this activity was run with 81 pupils from Miskin Primary School and 86 pupils from Pengeulan Primary School. They were all aged between 5 and 11 years old.

The pupils learned about construction using simple methods, along with important health and safety information. They also developed team-building skills and confidence as the sessions also brought together a number of Curriculum subjects – including Maths, Design & Technology and Science.

The Cross Valley Link has long been an aspiration for the Mountain Ash community and the Council. It will see a 60-metre bridge built over the railway line and river, creating a new link between Miskin Road and Cwm Cynon Industrial Estate. The scheme, set for completion in Winter 2019 will improve traffic flow in Mountain Ash and the wider A4059 corridor in the Cynon Valley.

The project has now reached its main construction phase, after significant road improvements were delivered at Cardiff Road and the A4059/Cwm Cynon Industrial Estate junction. More than £12.2m has been allocated to the project, including £4.894m from the Welsh Government.

Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways, said: “It was great to see so many enthusiastic pupils working as a team to build the model structures and taking part in the sessions with smiles on their faces. I’d like to thank our joint venture contractor Walters-Sisk for carrying out the Bridge to Schools sessions, along with staff and pupils at Miskin Primary and Pengeulan Primary for hosting the sessions and taking part so well.”