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Radio series sticks to plain 'engineering'

ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROVERSY will be ignored in a new Radio 4 series on major UK civil engineering projects, in favour of a 'straightforward look at the design and engineering' of four very different projects.

Ground Control goes out at 9pm tonight (Thursday) and will be 'more Tomorrow's World than Panorama', its producer confirmed. Tonight's programme will focus on the Cardiff Bay Barrage, with presenter Angela Lamont interviewing engineers from project manager Bechtel, main JV contractor Costain Balfour Beatty and the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation.

'It will also include a contribution from Hydraulic Research at Wallingford,' said programme producer Ian Gilvear. 'But it won't revisit the debate over the need for the barrage in the first place or the environmental arguments - they've been well documented already.'

There will be discussion of the potential problem with rising water tables around Cardiff Bay and the mitigation measures taken, Gilvear went on. 'But the main focus will be on the sheer scale of the project and the technology involved.'

A similar approach will be adopted for the other three programmes in the series, which will feature Manchester Airport, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, and the Eden Project in Cornwall. 'We'll only be considering environmental issues as such when they impact on the design or construction of the project,' Gilvear said.

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