Work has started on a major project to upgrade gas infrastructure essential for heating thousands of homes in St Helens.
Gas network Cadent says the ageing metal pipe under Knowsley Road must be replaced to reduce the risks of leaks and deliver a safe, reliable supply.
Work began on May 9 and over four months 260 metres of metal gas main will be replaced with a new plastic pipe. This is expected to last until at least the end of the century.
With excavations and heavy machinery in a busy area, the work has been planned closely with local authority highways officers to ensure a safe area.
Traffic lights are managing the flow of vehicles around the work site and motorists are advised to set aside extra time to complete their journeys.
Access is being maintained to all businesses but some residents may have to find alternative parking areas.
Work started at the junction of Windsor Road and, in short stretches, will gradually move along Knowsley Road to the end point close to Douglas Street.
“This is one of our bigger sizes of mains pipe, so it’s a considerable engineering challenge,” said Steve Murray, who heads Cadent’s gas mains replacement project in the North West.
“We’re replacing a metal pipe that’s reached the natural end of its working life with a durable plastic pipe that will last for at least 80 years. It is essential work to ensure customers can be safe and warm in their homes for many years to come.
“We work hard to minimise disruption, but our priority will always be to ensure the safety of the public and our workers.”
Letters are being sent to every property directly affected and customer teams are going door-to-door to discuss the work with residents and business owners.
The customer team can be contacted on 0161 703 1110.