THE latest phase of plans to dual the Heads of the Valleys road will begin at the end of this year, with a £150 million scheme in Blaenau Gwent.

Ministers gave the go-ahead to the plan earlier this year and work is likely to go on until 2015.

It is the third phase of improvements and will see 7.8 kilometres of the route dualled from the north of the A465 roundabout at Brynmawr to near the Nant-y-Bwch junction in Tredegar.

The eventual aim is to dual all six sections of the road from Abergavenny to Hirwaun by 2020- sections from Abergavenny to Gilwern and Tredegar to Dowlais have already been completed, with proposals on the table for the stretch from Gilwern to Brynmawr.

As part of the current £150 scheme, thethree-lane stretch between Brynmawr to Nant-y-Bwch will be made into a dual carriageway, a three kilometre surfaced cycleway will be created as well as a rest area at Garnyldan, with extended parking, tourist information and viewpoints towards the Brecon Beacons National Park.

Transport minister Carl Sargeant called the A465 a "crucial artery of our transport network", adding: "An improved Heads of the Valleys route will also play a role in tackling poverty for the region by improving links to key sites within education, health centres and jobs".

Carilion were appointed contractor for the project and when the work starts the site office will have its own visitor centre where the public will be able to get updates on the proposals as well as progress on site.

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