Major upgrade of 19th century gas main in Oldham to begin

WORK to upgrade and future-proof an underground gas main, which has helped heat homes in Oldham for nearly 120 years, begins on Monday, September 23.

Cadent, which manages the North West’s gas mains, needs to replace a 200-metre section of the old metallic main under Huddersfield Road, Waterhead.

Records suggest the current 16-inch diameter main was installed in 1890. It has been identified for replacement as part of a 30-year UK-wide programme to upgrade ageing gas mains.

More than 85 per cent of the 89,703 households in Oldham use gas for central heating, with many also using it for cooking meals and hot water.

Work starts on Monday, September 23 and is expected to last six weeks, ending early in November.

It will be completed in two 100-metre phases. The first phase – between Stephenson Street to close to Heywood Street – will take three to four weeks. The team will then move on towards the A62 junction with Howard Street.

This big main is directly under the road and work will take place in the Oldham-bound carriageway. The road stays open but traffic lights will manage the flow of vehicles in both directions.

These lights will be manned from 7am to 7pm and controlled automatically at other times. Teams will work seven days a week.

During phase two, for safety reasons, there will be no access from or to Huddersfield Road from Cobden Street or Buckley Road. The same applies to Heywood Street and Brideoake Street for the last two weeks of the project.

Craig Horrocks, who heads Cadent’s mains replacement in the North West, said: “This is vital work, future-proofing our gas mains so customers can enjoy safe and reliable supplies.

“The work is the culmination of months of planning to agree the best time to carry out the work and how best to safely manage pedestrians and traffic passing our work area.

“Safety is always our top priority, and I really want to thank people for their patience and understanding as we complete this essential upgrade.”

Homeowners and businesses in the immediate vicinity will receive letters about the work. This explains that a customer team is available on 0161 703 1110. There should be no disruption to gas supplies.

If you smell gas, do not dismiss it as connected to this work. Report it immediately to 0800 111 999*.

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