Gas engineers have finalised a plan to fix a problem with a gas main that sits at least 2.5 metres underneath one of Oldham’s busiest roads.
Cadent, which manages the town’s gas network, has identified that a joint on the 16-inch diameter steel main under Chadderton Way is actively corroding.
After liaising with Oldham Council, the gas network has confirmed it will start the essential work to fix it on Monday 20 July. This is expected to take four weeks.
Phil Berry, Head of Operate and Maintain, North West Network, Cadent, said: “While carrying out surveys we’ve recently found that a joint on this steel main is corroding. This isn’t causing a problem right now but, in time, gas would escape from it. We need to fix it.
“We’ve worked closely with Oldham Council to agree how we’ll do this in way that results in as little disruption as possible. We won’t need to interrupt gas supply and we can keep one lane of Chadderton Way open throughout – all being well, both lanes at weekends.”
Teams will dig a large excavation in the slip road leading from Featherstone Road North onto Chadderton Way, so they can expose and work on the pipe.
This slip road, as well as one lane of Chadderton Way, must be closed to ensure safety of everyone working there and motorists too. Traffic will filter from two lanes to one.
Where safe to do so, and particularly at weekends, this lane closure on Chadderton Way will be lifted, but the Featherstone Road North slip road closure remains in place throughout.
Pedestrian access around the work area will be maintained at all times.
Cadent manages the 21,000 miles of gas mains that run under North West England. These carry gas safely to 2.7 million properties. That amount of pipes, if placed end to end, would run from Manchester to Sydney, Australia, and back again.
Working from 14 depots, including Hollinwood in Oldham, Cadent also provides the North West’s 24/7, 365-day gas emergency service.
More than 80 per cent of the Oldham’s households are heated by gas, as well as schools, hospitals and other buildings.
Many heat-intensive industrial processes depend on gas and it is also the fuel of choice for many HGV fleets. Europe's biggest bio-CNG HGV fuel station is in Warrington, fed from Cadent's network.