Easter sewer work misery for St Albans streets

PUBLISHED: 06:22 04 April 2013

Sewage works on Bedford Road

Sewage works on Bedford Road

Archant

EASTER peace and quiet was shattered for residents of two St Albans roads where sewer upgrading work has already overrun.

The work in Inkerman Road and Bedford Road began at 8am on Good Friday and Easter Saturday and the vibration was so intense that there were reports of houses shaking as a result.

Residents of the two narrow roads, where nearly all the houses are terraced and open straight onto the pavement, have suffered roadworks since January and the project was due to be completed by the end of February.

But the existing water main in Bedford Road was found to be in such a poor state of repair that it has had to be renewed, pushing the work into April.

Last week the residents were told that to expedite the completion of the project, work would have to be carried out on Good Friday and Easter Saturday.

One resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “The letter came through the door on Thursday evening to say they would be working on Good Friday and Saturday.

“When it started the whole house shook and it went on all day Good Friday and until about 2.30pm on Saturday. It started again on Tuesday and it is a distinct possibility that it has caused damage to the house.”

To compound the situation, National Grid was called out on Easter Monday after a resident smelt gas.

Residents contacted local county councillor Chris White who visited the site on Saturday, shortly after work had stopped for the day.

He had previously had distressed calls from local residents about the condition of the two roads and neighbouring Alexandra Road and the delay in completing the project.

He said this week that notifying residents last Thursday evening that work would be going on over Easter did not give them enough time to change their plans to avoid the noise and disruption.

He went on: “People don’t have much time off and I think that most people like, whether they are religious or not, to have Good Friday as a quiet day. To have this noise by your house when it is not an emergency is completely unacceptable.”

Cllr White said communication he had received about the progress of the work had been patchy. “The big question mark now is what is going to happen next. No doubt they will wait until the next bank holiday to resurface the roads.”

He has reported the situation to the county council which can challenge what has been happening. He added: “This is part of a long-running debate about whether there should be more powers for local authorities and local communities.”

The work is being carried out as part of the London Road Project which is developing the former Evershed’s site in London Road into a major new housing scheme.

Cllr White commented: “They aren’t very sympathetic to these people who shouldn’t have to pay for someone else’s benefit.”

The sewer upgrade works are being carried out by P C Cooney on behalf of the London Road Project developers Spen Hill. No-one from P C Cooney was available for comment yesterday.

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