A major route into and out of Burnley town centre is set to be closed for four weeks as work begins to replace a 100-year-old gas pipe.
Cadent, which manages the North West’s gas mains, is about to remove a steel pipe that crosses the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, off Manchester Road.
The work, which starts on Monday February 18th, is expected to take four weeks.
Until three years ago, the pipe was a crucial component of the town’s energy system, carrying gas day and night to heat homes across the South West of the town.
After a review of the local network, Cadent assessed the ageing structure was no longer required and the company ceased distributing gas through it in 2016.
Now the steel pipe – 18 inches in diameter, so about the width of a car tyre – is going to be fully decommissioned and removed.
With its teams operating in the road, with heavy machinery, including a crane, Cadent needs to close a section of Manchester Road to vehicles – between the junctions with Trafalgar Street (the roundabout) and Hammerton Street.
Pedestrian access will be maintained.
In consultation with the Canal and Rivers Trust, the canal itself will need to be closed for 30 minutes (date and time to be confirmed) as the steel pipe is finally lifted away from the bridge.
“This is major engineering, with heavy machinery, along a normally very busy road. We just can’t complete this safely if we didn’t close it to traffic,” said Craig Horrocks, who heads the Cadent team delivering a major programme to decommission and upgrade the North West’s older gas mains.
“We know this is not ideal but we have scheduled the work to start during the school half-term holiday, when traffic is usually quieter, and we have worked with Lancashire County Council to agree a suitable diversion route, which will be clearly signposted.
“We are sorry for any disruption this causes.”
Letters have been sent to properties within the work area, explaining the work. The customer team will also make visits before work starts and can be reached on 0161 703 1000.
Burnley was one of the pioneer North West towns for gas, having first decided to have a public supply in 1823. Today, more than 85% of the town’s 37,550 homes are heated by gas.
Cadent is the UK’s biggest gas distribution network.
It manages a network of more than 80,000 miles of pipes – most of them underground – which transport gas to 11 million customers across the UK.