THE LARGEST Welsh Private Finance Initiative project to date, which will link the centre of Cardiff with the new waterfront created by the Cardiff Bay Barrage, was given the go ahead last week.
Heads of Terms were signed by Welsh Secretary Ron Davies, representatives of the Cardiff
Bay Development Corporation and the Citylink Consortium - which includes Norwest Holst as main contractor and Mott MacDonald as engineer - for the £120M scheme.
Under the agreement Citylink will construct a 1km long 'continental style boulevard'. Lined with offices and private housing it will run south from Cardiff's existing centre towards the site of the proposed Welsh Assembly on the shores of the Bay. At the city end of the boulevard - dubbed Bute Avenue - a new business quarter is proposed at Bute Square.
Work could start on site within two months, with completion of the first phases scheduled for completion in time for the Rugby World Cup in 1999.
Original plans included the closure of a branch railway across the new road and the removal of the embankment on which it now runs. But a Citylink spokeswoman said on Tuesday that an alternative planning proposal had been submitted which left the embankment in place until a later phase. The result of this application was expected on Wednesday this week.