Published: Monday, 17th Dec 2018

Bolton residents have been warned to expect some traffic disruption in the new year as a 110 year-old gas pipe is finally “retired”.

The impressive 15in cast iron engineering has transported gas for heat and power since 1907, but largely unnoticed, as it sits directly under the surface of Halliwell Road.
Now the gas network which maintains it, Cadent, has decided it’s time for replacement, to ensure it can continue to provide safe and reliable gas supplies to the area long into the future.

Starting on January 2, mains replacement engineers will arrive with some local disruption expected.

Project planners have worked closely with the council’s highways team to minimise the impact on the area while the pipe is replaced over 16 weeks.

The work is part of a UK-wide programme to upgrade gas mains. In the North West area alone, hundreds of miles of gas pipes are upgraded each year, through multi-million pound investment.

Craig Horrocks, head of Cadent’s gas mains replacement programme in the North West, said: “This pipe is remarkable engineering, ensuring gas has arrived safely and reliably to this area of Bolton for many, many generations. But all things need replacing eventually. We’ll be putting in a new main that will be modern and very durable, reducing the frequency of maintenance visits.

“We know our work will cause some local disruption, but also hope everyone understands that this is essential work to ensure safe and reliable distribution of gas that they rely on, for central heating, hot water, and cooking meals.”

Work will begin near to the junction with Gladstone Street and head – in 100 metre stretches – towards Eskrick Street. Vehicles can continue to travel along Halliwell Road, but lights will manage the traffic flow around the work area. These will be manned at peak times.

Side roads that join Halliwell Road will be closed briefly, to allow work to cross them. The schedule for closures at present (this may change, depending on work progress), is:

  • From Jan 2: no access to Halliwell Road from Gladstone Street and Back Ewart Street
  • From Jan 26: no access from Hargreaves Street, Wynne Street and Weymouth Street
  • From Feb 15: no access from Hobart Street, Horace Street and Bride Street
  • From March 8: no access from Darwin Street, Grove Street and Bertha Street
  • From March 23: no access from Carl Street, Eskrick Street and Raglan Street
  • On April 13: no access from Gladstone Street (when the existing main is abandoned)

Service pipes – the smaller pipes which take gas from the main to individual properties – will also be replaced along this stretch of Halliwell Road. Advance notification will be given to affected properties, as gas supply will need to be stopped temporarily. It should be back on the same day.

Bus stops and pedestrian crossings will be suspended, with temporary facilities arranged. Some parking bays will also not be available. Letters are being distributed to all affected properties and customer teams will knock door-to-door to explain the work and understand any local issues.