- Over half of repairs needed now complete but problems with flooding have also caused delays and work is now expected to be completed in June 2017
- Work will be put on hold to enable next month’s Vaisakhi procession to go ahead
- Park Avenue will be closed between the junctions with Avenue Road and South Road
Unforeseen difficulties with essential gas mains repairs in Southall have led to the estimated completion date for the work being revised.
The work is currently being carried out on a high pressure steel gas pipeline in Park Avenue, Southall and over half of the required repairs have now been completed.
However water leaks in the area have led to work excavations being flooded and unsafe to work in. All the water has had to be pumped out and the excavations re-secured before work could resume. Though the leaks have been fixed water remains in the ground and continues to pose engineering challenges.
The work will also be suspended at the beginning of April to enable the local Sikh community to hold a planned Vaisakhi procession on Sunday 9 April. To enable preparations to be made for the event work will need to be suspended, the site cleared and excavations filled in the weekend before. It’s then planned to restart work on Tuesday 18 April 2017.
Work was previously put on hold to enable the Nagar Kirtan procession to go ahead last autumn and then to avoid disruption during the busy Christmas period.
Because of the gas pipe’s size, location and the repairs required, engineers must use specialist kit and dig large scale excavations, some as deep as 16.4 feet (five metres) in Park Avenue. This means that Park Avenue has to be closed for safety reasons between the junctions with Avenue Road and South Road while the excavations are in place. A signed diversion will be in place via Uxbridge Road and South Road and vice versa, with access maintained for residents, businesses and local facilities. Gas supplies should also remain uninterrupted by the work.
National Grid Gas Distribution Network Engineer Brent Tattam said: “Repairing this gas pipe is important as it plays a vital part in supplying gas for cooking and heating to the local area.
“This repair involves us having to dig a lot deeper than we usually do and we have faced the additional problem of flooding in the excavations.
He added: We always try to deliver our work as considerately as possible which is why we’ve suspended the project several times to enable local events to continue unaffected by the project.
“This means we have to fill in our excavations and clear the site and then re-excavate and set the site up again when we return which takes time.”
Engineers now estimate that the work will be completed in early June 2017.
Mr Tattam said: “We’ve faced some big challenges on this job and we’re doing all we can to complete the project as soon as possible.
“We’re sorry for any inconvenience this project is causing and are grateful to the local community for their continued patience and understanding.”
For more information about the work call 0800 096 5678, information can also be found at www.bettergaspipes.co.uk