- Gas network Cadent confirms massive upgrade of more than 4,000 metres of underground gas mains along major A-road (A59) is nearing early completion
- £2m investment and major engineering work has required careful co-ordination with local authorities to keep everyone safe and traffic flowing
- One of biggest gas main upgrade projects (in terms of distance) in North West England in recent years, with busy A59 remaining OPEN throughout
A huge project to upgrade a four-kilometre stretch of an old gas main essential to keeping thousands of local homes warm is entering its final phases.
Gas network Cadent has invested £2million to ensure the pipe beside and underneath the A59 (Ormskirk-Maghull) is fit to carry gas well into the future.
The old pipe, installed just after the Second World War, was showing signs of its age – with 25 leaks needing to be fixed in a recent 12-month period alone.
With people, vehicles, homes and businesses all in close proximity to heavy engineering work, Cadent has worked with local authority highways planners to agree safe work areas, involving lane closures along the A59 (northbound).
The diameter of a car tyre, the old pipe has been decommissioned in steady phases, with a new plastic pipe then inserted into the old metallic main. The new pipe will last for at least 80 years, with little or no disruptive maintenance.
Engineers have worked hard to keep supplies on throughout, for residents and local businesses, navigated big roundabouts and – just last week – installed a new section in a narrow gap above a subway and below the road surface.
Having started close to Ormskirk in January, and moving south to Maghull in stages, the team now expects to be finished and off-site within weeks, ahead of schedule. The project had been planned to continue until September.
Craig Horrocks, who heads Cadent’s gas mains renewal programme in the North West, said: “We’re upgrading around 310 miles of our older gas mains every year in the North West, under a 30-year programme to ensure our infrastructure can continue to distribute gas safely and well into the future.
“Five in every six homes in the region use gas for central heating and hot water, so it’s an essential part of our everyday lives. We’ve nearing the end here – on the A59 – of a major engineering project that will keep this gas flowing safely, and therefore homes warm, for generations to come.
“This project is one of the biggest we’ve carried out in recent years in our North West network. It has needed a lot of support to get it planned in and completed – working closely, for example, with the highways teams at both Lancashire County Council and Sefton Council. We are grateful to everyone for that.”
Cadent is a gas distribution network, responsible for safely transporting gas to more than 11 million customers in North West England, the Midlands, East of England and North London, through more than 80,000 miles of pipes. It also provides the 24/7, year-round gas emergency service to the same regions.