WORK to improve a Newport traffic bottleneck should begin in 2016, a Welsh Government minister has said.

Edwina Hart, transport minister, said that the Welsh Government is on the hunt for contractors for works to improve junction 28 on the M4 at Tredegar House.

The works are part of a number of measures the Welsh Government is taking to improve the motorway - and could see a Coldra-style link from the M4 eastbound to the A48.

In a letter Ms Hart told Labour Newport West AM Rosemary Butler said: “An employers agent has been appointed and topographic surveys have recently been completed, using laser technology to avoid lane closures and traffic disruption.

“We are now in the process of identifying potential design and build contractors.

“Invitations to tender will follow further planning and design works, in liaison with Newport City Council.

“Subject to obtaining the appropriate powers, works are programmed to begin in 2016.”

The Argus reported last summer that junction 28 was due to be upgraded as part of a series of road improvements.

According to the Construction Inquirer website, tender documents show the new junction will be made longer with a central link from the M4 eastbound to the A48.

It will involve the demolition of the westbound on-slip to the M4 underbridge over the A48, the website reported.

The details suggest that if the design goes ahead as planned, the new junction may be similar in operation to the Coldra, where a central link road through the roundabout takes motorists from the A449 straight to the M4 westbound.

Chris Evans, Rogerstone Labour councillor, said work has already now began on a series of road improvements in Rogerstone to help ease congestion.

He said Rogerstone councillors have been lobbying for improvements to junction 28 since their election.

“These improvements will undoubtedly ease residents’ morning and afternoon drive times thanks to Rosemary Butler and the minister for listening and acting,” he added.

Ms Butler said she welcomed the information provided in the letter.