‘Disruptive’ gas works set to end before town’s Christmas light switch-on
PUBLISHED: 13:34 17 October 2018 | UPDATED: 13:45 17 October 2018
The final phase of “extremely disruptive” gas works in Bury St Edmunds are expected to be completed ahead of the town’s Christmas light switch-on event next month.
Cadent began major work in Bury’s town centre in June to replace ageing gas mains in St Andrew’s Street South and ensure “safe and reliable” supplies.
Work from Woolhall Street to Robert Boby Way was completed on Monday, but the road is now closed between Robert Boby Way and Parkway.
Cadent says its engineers have encountered “assorted challenges” in delivering the latest phase of work, but the company hopes to finish the project by Wednesday, November 14 – before the Christmas light switch-on event the following day.
Mark Cordell, chief executive of Our Bury St Edmunds, said the scheme has made life difficult for businesses in the area.
“These gas works have been extremely disruptive to businesses in and around St Andrew’s Street South for the past five months,” he said.
“It is appreciated that staff on-site have tried to alleviate this whenever possible but nonetheless, it has not been an easy experience for our businesses.
“In their defence, the company removed the works prior to our food and drink festival and if they are to conclude before the switch-on and Christmas fayre then that is to be welcomed.”
Cadent said to avoid the risk of damaging nearby electricity cables and sewerage pipes, old style trenches have had to be dug rather than using the faster and more modern technique of inserting the new pipes into the old ones. The dry and hot summer also made digging take longer.
Vince Doggett, Cadent authorising engineer, said: “Our team has encountered some engineering challenges on the latest phase of the project but we’re successfully working through these.
“We’re doing all we can to complete this essential work as soon as possible so we can be out of the way before the Christmas light switch-on event and busy festive season period.
“When we complete our work, this part of Bury St Edmunds will have a renewed gas mains network which will help ensure the local community keeps on enjoying safe and reliable gas supplies for many decades to come.”