CONTRACTORS have become a familiar sight on The Kingsway, but pedestrians may feel that progress on the paved area near the top of Princess Way appears a little slower than one might expect.
A group of contractors has been laying down new paving slabs for weeks as part of a new park area, which will eventually include benches and plants.
This will be a feature of the £12 million overhaul of The Kingsway and surrounding streets.
It appeared that a total of 27 slabs were laid on one day this week by the team, although existing slabs were removed nearby and a few heavy showers trundled in from the west.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and the Panama Canal didn’t appear overnight – and Swansea Council chiefs said they hoped The Kingsway part of the wider road scheme would be completed by mid-November in time for the Christmas parade.
The project has been severely hindered by the demise of principal contractor Dawnus in March, prompting the council to make special efforts to keep some work progressing while a new contract is sorted out.
But Sketty resident Alan Thomas said he felt the paving work could be quicker.
“Definitely – what’s happening here?” he said. “When they had the other firm (Dawnus), they were traveling.”
Workers from Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd are doing the paving work, and a spokesman for the firm said there were many factors which affected the job, such as the presence of underground ducts and the weather.
He stressed it was not in the company’s interest to prolong the work, and that everyone was working to the mid-November deadline.
A council spokesman said: “Given the difficult circumstances the council was left in with the unexpected departure of Dawnus, work to redevelop The Kingsway is progressing well while we finalise the awarding of the new contract.”
He said the work schedule was being reviewed, but that the main elements would be completed before the Christmas lights switch-on.
He added: “We are confident that this major investment into The Kingsway and adjoining streets will provide a huge impact towards our ongoing regeneration of the city centre.”
The paving slabs being removed were laid by Dawnus a decade or so ago to accommodate the now-departed bendy bus.
The council said these slabs would be used elsewhere on The Kingsway project.
Once completed, The Kingsway will revert to being two-way with one lane in each direction. This layout will be replicated on Orchard Street and also Alexandra Road, which runs parallel to The Kingsway.
If all goes to plan, a new office block aimed at tech business will then take shape at the Oceana nightclub site.
Speaking in June this year, Swansea Council Leader Rob Stewart said he anticipated The Kingsway project would remain within the original budget, around a quarter of which is coming from the Welsh European Funding Office.
Thanking businesses and residents for their patience, he said: “They can be sure that The Kingsway of the future – and its neighbouring streets – will be a tremendous asset to Swansea.”