Taff Viaduct


Carries the A4232 Butetown Link Road  across Cardiff Bay

Grid Ref ST 183 738                                    Date of Construction 1991 - 1992

The 600 m long Taff Viaduct is constructed in post tensioned concrete using the segmental box form.

Piers are on bored  piled foundations. The viaduct was constructed before the Cardiff Bay Barrage so access to the piers was possible across the tidal mud flats of the bay. Cardiff experiences one of the highest tidal ranges in the UK of 14 metres, so that for 14 hours each day the mud  was exposed leaving a deep channel for the River Taff.

I lead a team of engineers tasked with carrying out the Independent Category 3 Check of the viaduct design. Our starting point was the set of drawings which were  being produced by the South Glamorgan county Council engineers as their design approached they ‘for construction’ stage.  All the site investigation results were made available so that we could assess the foundation design in addition to the prestressing details for the concrete deck boxes during the progressive construction sequence.

We built up a close working relationship with the South Glamorgan engineers, in particular with Mal Thomas, whom I am informed is now sadly deceased.

I recall a memorable trip to Cardiff, one day when we were given a guided tour around the site by the bridge engineers, taking in both the Taff Viaduct and the nearby Butetown tunnel. It was the first time that I had visited Cardiff. Perhaps one day soon Judith and I will make a return visit.

Since the Taff Viaduct was built the Cardiff Bay Barrage has been constructed enclosing the area previously occupied by mudflats at low tide with a  fresh water lake of area 2 square kilometres.

Photographs of the Taff Viaduct  can be found on the Geograph site.

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Location Plan                Taff Viaduct

Taff Viaduct

from a Waterbus

© Copyright Pauline Eccles and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence