Ripon could face major disruption as two roads around the city centre are closed for nine weeks to make way for upgrades to the area’s water supplies.
Yorkshire Water is set to move in to replace 650 metres of some of the city’s oldest water pipes – some of which date back to the early 1920s – along Allhallowgate and Princess Road.
Work will start on Princess Road and Allhallowgate on Tuesday, January 3, and is expected to take around nine weeks to complete. Both roads will be closed, and local diversions will be in place.
Engineering specialists Morrisons Utilities will carry out the work for Yorkshire Water. Works on Princess Road are due to take six weeks, while work on Allhallowgate will take nine weeks.
Work on both sites has to be completed in time for North Yorkshire County Council to carry out resurfacing work before the Easter holidays begin in late-March so the two roads have to be closed at the same time, a Yorkshire Water spokesman said.
The improvements will not affect water quality in the area but should boost the security of water supplies by putting in new pipes less likely to burst in harsh weather, he added.
Tom Keighley, Yorkshire Water’s project manager, said: “This project highlights our commitment to reducing bursts and leakage in North Yorkshire where we know we have some of the oldest pipes in the region, and improving the reliability of water supplies to our customers in the area.
“Of course, we recognise that work of this kind will cause some inconvenience; however, we’ve worked with local highways to try minimise disruption as much as possible and ensure appropriate diversions are in place. We’ve also delayed the work till after Christmas to help local businesses.”
After the Princess Road and Allhallowgate jobs, further work in the project is planned for the outskirts of Ripon and the surrounding villages, a Yorkshire Water spokesman said.
The project, is part of a wider £4 million programme of work to maintain the water supply in Ripon, Harrogate and Knaresborough.
More than 10km of pipe will be replaced and 6km relined in Harrogate and Knaresborough, whilst in Ripon approximately 9km will be replaced, with all the work being completed by March 2012.
The company is lowering the average age of the water pipe network in Ripon and Harrogate, and installing technology along its underground network which sends frequent information to the control centre detailing what is happening inside the pipes, rapidly alerting the company to any changes in pressure that might result from a burst. It has also increased the number of employees out searching for and repairing bursts on its pipes and is speeding up the process through the introduction of GPS technology.
The company has confirmed that at no stage will it need access to customers’ properties with the message reiterated for local residents to be on their guard for bogus callers.
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