THE turning of the A465 into a dual carriageway has been praised by a visiting Welsh government minister for its effect on the local economy.

Finance minister Jane Hutt, who visited the Brynmawr to Tredegar section yesterday, praised the development as an example of how local businesses and people can benefit from major public sector infrastructure investments.

Construction work began in late 2012 and is expected to be completed by 2015.

The scheme is expected to reduce congestion, improve visibility and the lack of overtaking opportunities as well as alleviating accident hotspots on the A465.

The project has received £84 m illion from the Welsh Government and £82 million of European funding, with 94 per cent of the money spent on section three of the A465 going to Welsh-based businesses and £2.6 million going to Welsh residents through income.

Ms Hutt said: “The dualling of the A465 is an ambitious project which the Welsh Government is fully committed to. Transport has a critical role to play in improving Wales’ economic competitiveness and it is vital that we get the most out of the construction phase of these projects.

“The section of the A465 between Brynmawr and Tredegar has received £84 million from the Welsh Government and £82 million of European funding.

“Thanks to this funding not only are local transport links being improved but the economic benefits for local businesses and people during the construction phase is clear to see.

“This is exactly what we want to see from public sector construction projects and Carillion should really be congratulated on the work they have done to ensure local businesses and people are benefiting from the project.

“Since we published the Wales Infrastructure Investment Plan in May 2012, £2 billion of additional investment has been steered into the Welsh economy and public services through our Invest for Wales programme of innovative finance and capital reserves.

“I want as much of this spending as possible to benefit Welsh businesses and people so we can continue to grow a strong Welsh economy.”