On Friday 1st December, the Rhondda Tunnel Society along with Hammonds of Aberdare (Who represents Highways England) Balfour Beatty (Contracted Engineers of the RTS) Steve Jones (Retired RTS Engineer) Graeme Bickerdike (from the Queensbury Tunnel Project) and Mines Rescue (Dinas) entered the Rhondda Tunnel to gather information in preparation for the Detailed Examination early next year.
Teams entered through the inspection hatch at Blaencwm at around 9.30 am.
The first team to enter was Hammonds for Highways England who was tasked to walk the Tunnel and measure the air vent diameter so a new Cap can be designed to replace the old Concrete one. Whilst they did that the second team entered. This was Balfour Beatty, and the RTS. The RTS was tasked to escort The Engineer from Balfour Beatty (Richard Storey) through the Tunnel and supply him with information (If needed) regarding the Tunnel.
The third team entered when the first team ascended from the Tunnel as only two teams are allowed in the Tunnel at one time. They were the project Secretary Tony Moon and Graeme Bickerdike. After the work was done, the last team to be brought up from the depths of the Tunnel at around 4.14 pm.
The Project is now moving into a new phase with all concerned very excited indeed.
Michael Sheen who is a great supporter of the Project retweeted the RTS Picture and post which shows the interest is world wide.
As we move into the new year we hope that all our aspirations will be realised and the report will come back with a clean bill of health for the Rhondda Tunnel, which in turn will persuade the Welsh Government to take ownership from Highways England, which will allow the Society to apply for serious grants.