A59 (near Ormskirk): upgrade of gas main starts early in 2019
- Major upgrade of gas main on A59 begins 2 January
- Work planned to minimise disruption – this busy road will remain OPEN
- Part of UK-wide, multi-million pound investment to future-proof our gas mains
Major engineering work to upgrade an ageing gas main beside the A59 – a pipe which delivers gas to keep thousands of local homes warm – gets under way early in 2019.
Cadent, the North West’s gas distribution network, which maintains this pipe, has assessed the big metallic underground main has reached the natural end of its working life.
Starting on 2 January, mains replacement engineers will need to close one of the two northbound lanes of the A59, south of Ormskirk, as teams will be working in the carriageway.
Planners have worked closely with Lancashire County Council’s highways officers to minimise disruption during the 17-weeks of work (to the end of April).
The A59 will be OPEN throughout and gas supplies should not be interrupted.
However, vehicles will not be able to access the A59 from Winifred Lane, or come off the A59 onto Winifred Lane, from 16 January to 1 March. A signed diversion will be in place.
This work is part of a UK-wide multi-million pound investment to upgrade gas pipes, to ensure safe and reliable supplies of gas – for heating, hot water and cooking – well into the future.
At 18 inches in diameter, the pipe alongside and under the A59 is as wide a car tyre. It was installed in the 1950s and it is now time for it to be replaced.
Engineers will work towards inserting a new, durable plastic pipe into the old cast iron main. This will be from near Winifred Lane to Back Lane, Aughton – a distance of 1.8km.
The team planning this job are also in discussions with neighbouring Sefton Council to consider the feasibility of extending the work into a section of the A59 in this council’s area.
Craig Horrocks, who heads Cadent’s gas mains replacement programme in the North West, said: “This is essential engineering to ensure we can keep a safe and reliable supply of gas to thousands of homes, for use in central heating systems, having hot water and for cooking meals. Once the new pipe is in place, it will keep energy flowing to the local area for at least 80 years.”
Cadent is the UK’s biggest gas network, maintaining more than 80,000 miles of pipes from Cumbria to London, and East Anglia to the Welsh borders. There are more than 21,000 miles of pipes in its North West network – placed end-to-end, that amount would stretch from Lancashire to Sydney, Australia, and back again. Every year Cadent invests millions of pounds to upgrade this network.