Teams fixing a leaking gas main under the A54 Chester Road near Middlewich have come up against engineering challenges which mean they will not be off-site by rush-hour tonight (16 January) as planned.
Motorists will still be able to travel both ways along this busy road but will encounter traffic lights to safely move around the work area that’s now in the Middlewich-bound carriageway, near the River Wheelock.
Cadent, which manages the North West’s gas mains, moved in after rush-hour this morning to investigate and repair the cause of a gas leak.
Nick Jerman, the manager of Cadent’s repair teams in this area of Cheshire, said: “This ‘medium pressure’ pipe carries gas used by thousands of homes in local towns and villages for central heating systems. While the leak is not big, and not at levels to pose a risk to anyone’s safety in the immediate vicinity, it needs fixing to stop it getting any worse.
“The gas main is much deeper underground than we’d expected and is buried beneath both thick layers of tarmac and a concrete sub-base. It means the original plan to have been off in time for rush-hour tonight is now unachievable, sadly. Work will now continue late into tonight and into tomorrow. We know this is not ideal and will be disruptive to motorists. We hope people understand though that it is essential work to keep everyone safely and reliably on gas.”
The teams are working on a ‘live’ gas main, which continues to carry gas to the local area. There should be no disruption to local gas supplies.
Cadent is a gas network, the UK's biggest, responsible for maintaining more than 80,000 miles of gas mains that run under half of the country. In the North West of England, it looks after more than 21,000 miles of gas mains - placed end to end, that amount would stretch from Cheshire to Sydney, Australia, and back again.