NATIONAL Grid is to start the second phase of a £20m programme of works to upgrade and modernise Chester’s gas supply network.
Replacement of more than 44km of iron gas pipe – much laid in the early part of the last century - with polyethylene gas main is part of a national programme driven by the Health and Safety Executive.
The scheme has been planned withŠCheshire West and Chester Council and police to minimise disruption to traffic and local businesses.ŠŠ
Additionally National Grid has planned its works around the highway maintenance programme of works.
Cllr Neil Ritchie, executive member for environment, said: "Council engineers will notify all utilities that they must complete planned works prior to the National Grid’s operations to enable the one year moratorium to work for Chester’s residents and businesses.”Š
John Edwards of the North West Gas Alliance – a National Grid - Balfour Beatty partnership responsible for the bulk of the region’s renewal work, said: “The gas pipes which run beneath the streets of Chester have served the city well - but the time has now come to replace them.
He added: “We know people will be concerned about the potential disruption but we are appealing for them to have patience with us during these essential works.”
The second stage of a five year project will involve the renewal of 5km of old mains in roads in the city centre and 39km in Saughall and Blacon. Work will cost £5.1m and will take a year to complete.
In the city centre, engineers started work on Tuesday.
Nicholas Street MewsŠwill be closed at the junction with Watergate Street except for access to all the car parks on Nicholas St Mews. Grey Friars will also be closed at the junction of Nicholas Street but the bollards at the junction of Grey Friars and Nuns Road will be removed to maintain access.
Engineers will also be excavating in the car park outside the courts on St Nicholas Street for a period of four weeks before closing Black Friars at the junction of Nicholas Street to allow a new main to be connected into the existing gas su pply system. This phase of the work will also require land on Nicholas Street to be closed for two weeks but engineers will work 12 hours a day, seven days a week to enable the lane to be re-opened quickly.