United Utilities engineers say their investigation into the condition of newly relined water pipes in Carlisle is progressing well.
The work hit delays when quality control testing revealed that a section of the new pipe lining on Warwick Road had not fitted as well as was expected. Engineers have been assessing the extent of the problem to decide which parts of the lining may need to be replaced.
The turning from Warwick Road into Victoria Place was due to reopen in June but engineers now estimate that the road may need to stay closed for up to 11 more weeks.
A spokesperson for United Utilities explained: “We are still assessing how much of the lining will need to be replaced. We need to keep some excavations open while we carry out further testing on the pipework. We realise it’s frustrating when it doesn’t look as though any work is taking place, but this testing process can take around four weeks.
“Each pipe section is pressure tested for a duration of two to three days, using equipment fitted at each end of the pipe. The readings are taken automatically so there does not need to be anybody present once it has been set up.
“We then need to check the internal shape of the new lining using a CCTV camera. Finally we need to thoroughly disinfect the pipework which involves leaving it standing full of strongly chlorinated water for up to four days, and then flushing this out over a further two days.”
Engineers expect to have completed all the testing by the second week of September and they will then know whether the new lining can remain in position or if it will have to be replaced. If the pipework does have to be replaced it will take a further eight weeks.
If this is the case, United Utilities will be working extended hours on Warwick Road in a bid to complete roadworks as quickly as possible. The water company has been given permission by Cumbria County Council to work seven days a week and during daylight hours.
United Utilities will have a public information point for residents to ask any questions at Tesco on Warwick Road at the following times:
- Wednesday 28 August: 10am – 3pm
- Thursday 29 August: 10am – 3pm
The turning into Greystone Road will remain closed for the duration of the work in Victoria Place. The spokesperson added: “Our temporary traffic lights on Warwick Road are very close to the three-way lights at the Greystone Road junction. For safety reasons the council has decided to keep Greystone Road closed so that the traffic lights can be taken out of service.
“We have someone manning the temporary lights between 7am and 7pm Monday to Friday to help prioritise traffic entering and leaving the city during peak times. We are also manning the lights on weekends when Carlisle United are playing at home.
“We will continue to liaise closely with the council as our work progresses to do all we can to ease the impact on traffic. We know it’s inconvenient and we thank people for bearing with us.”