Roadworks misery for Marshalswick

STREETS in a St Albans estate have been left disfigured and inconvenienced by unsightly roadworks for a weeks – and a concerned councillor has likened the situation to the abandoned ship, the Mary Celeste.

Cllr Tom Clegg, who lives in Furze Avenue, one of the affected roads, said that roadworks had begun in roads off The Ridgeway in Marshalswick and then appeared to have been abandoned with no-one returning to finish them off.

He said: “The work started weeks ago and it has been like the Mary Celeste since.”

Cllr Clegg explained that he understood that contractors for water company Affinity – formerly Veolia – were replacing some of the water services into homes but open trenches had been left, surrounded by barriers, which had meant residents could not park on verges near their properties.

He went on: “We were told weeks ago that the water was going to be turned off and that was it but some of the residents have not able to get into their own driveways.

“I know that work has to be done but I can’t understand why they aren’t finishing one area and reinstating it before moving on.

“I sympathise with residents but what can they do. I just wish that some of these companies would take more responsibilities for their actions.”

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A spokesperson for Affinity apologised for the inconvenience caused during work on replacing water pipes in Marshalswick area.

She explained: “Some of the existing water mains were laid more than 60 years ago and have given many years of good service, but have now reached the end of their useful lives.

“The majority of these pipes are cast iron, which have begun to weaken and this has made them vulnerable to leaks and bursts.

“By replacing targeted sections of the water mains network, we will be able to continue supplying water to the local community for many years to come.”

She stressed that Affinity tried to minimise disruption to customers as much as possible by using a technique called pipe bursting where a plastic pipe was pulled through the existing iron water main, breaking the original pipe as it moved along.

She added: “This method means we can position the new water main exactly where the old one was and do not have to dig a trench.

“However, we did have to dig a number of excavations to check if this is practical and, unfortunately have had to implement other methods of pipe replacement.

“We will be closely monitoring progress in future to ensure that exploratory excavations are kept to a minimum.”

All the work is expected to be completed by April next year.