CIHT Wales was formed in 2015, with the merging of the North Wales and South Wales Branches.
From modest beginnings in 1956, the South Wales Branch continued to grow and in 2014 had over 450 members. The Branch extended from Powys and Ceredigion to the south coast and included the industrial valleys which, at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution, once supplied the world with coal and iron. Getting the coal and iron to the south coast ports led to the development of an extensive transport infrastructure - canals, railways and new roads.
Competition and the change in the economic climate led to the collapse of the mining and steel industries. New industries took their place and a new transport infrastructure was needed. Over the last thirty years or so, a new highway system has transformed the face of South Wales. The M4 and M48 motorways connect South Wales with the rest of the United Kingdom, crossing the River Severn on two major bridges. The A48 runs into West Wales, where the countryside and the coast are major tourist attractions. The A449 links South Wales with the Midlands whilst the A470 provides the crucial north-south road link.
The Branch Committee was made up of a cross section of members who played a vital role in the planning, design, construction and maintenance of these major highway works.
This branch covered the northern part of Wales, famous for its spectacular mountainous scenery and beautiful coastline. The branch celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011 but was one of the smallest in the Institution with a membership of around 150.
The Branch held monthly meetings throughout the winter months as well as the usual seminars and field visits. Their Annual Dinner was renowned as “the best” and they continued to work hard to set higher standards year after year. Perhaps the most famous highways through the region are (1) the A5 Llandegai to Chirk built by Thomas Telford and designated the first historic route in the UK, and (2) the A55 North Wales Coast Road, a modern expressway that connects Chester and the international ferry terminal at Holyhead.