Summer of traffic chaos as 10-week gas main work starts

PUBLISHED: 15:55 09 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:25 06 May 2010

TRAFFIC chaos is set to blight the main roads on the south-west side of St Albans this summer as a 10-week project to replace gas mains gets underway this weekend. National Grid will be replacing 800 metres of gas main in King Harry Lane, St Albans, betwe

TRAFFIC chaos is set to blight the main roads on the south-west side of St Albans this summer as a 10-week project to replace gas mains gets underway this weekend.

National Grid will be replacing 800 metres of gas main in King Harry Lane, St Albans, between the roundabout junction linking it with Watford Road and Bluehouse Hill and right up to Verulamium Park.

The majority of the work, being carried out by Morrison Utility Services, will take place during the school holidays and engineers will be working seven days a week to get it finished as swiftly as possible.

On weekdays during July and August, work will be carried out in King Harry Lane which will be narrowed to one lane with temporary traffic lights.

Work at the double roundabout King Harry junction will take place at the weekends, also under temporary traffic lights.

But Barrie Mort, chair of the Verulam Residents Association, was unaware of the work taking place until Tuesday.

He said: "Three or four days notice of a major event like this is simply not sufficient. The schedule for important work like this must have been many weeks, if not months, in advance."

He added: "There are now notices on the four approach roads to the King Harry junction but none on the two equally-important approach roads to the Bluehouse Hill junction."

Construction operations engineer Brian Canfield said: "This is essential work that will enable local people to continue to enjoy safe and reliable gas supplies for many years to come. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused by our works and assure people that we always endeavour to minimise any disruption to the local community."

The existing cast-iron main will be replaced with modern, durable, plastic pipes that have a lifespan of at least 80 years if left undisturbed in the ground.

The work will be carried out using a state-of-the-art insertion technique, which will involve inserting the new plastic piping within the existing cast-iron main.

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