THE first stage of a year-long project to replace gas mains in Bury St Edmunds town centre started on Monday.
National Grid is replacing 3.4 kilometres of old metal gas mains with a long-lasting plastic pipe.
Work has started in Ipswich Court, Ipswich Street and St John’s Street and should be finished by mid May, while work in Cannon Street, Cannonfields and Petch Close is scheduled for completion by June 30.
Wherever possible, National Grid is trying to keep disruption to a minimum by inserting the new pipe through the old one, reducing the need for digging and speeding up the work.
It will, however, lead to some disruption and traffic diversions. Ipswich Street will become one way for vehicles travelling northbound towards the roundabout, while drivers wishing to turn into Ipswich Street will have to follow a diversion via Tayfen Road. Peckham Street residents will be able to turn left into Ipswich Street.
There will be a lane closure in Cannon Street between the Orchard Street and Wells Street junction to the junction with Garland Street. Further traffic lights and lane closures may be required as the work progresses.
Gas supplies should only be affected for one day when the supply is being transferred from the old gas pipe to the new one and homes and businesses will be notified in advance.
Engineers may need to access homes but will always carry official identification which can be verified on 0845 2461285
“We will do everything we can to keep traffic moving while we are working and also to make sure local businesses can continue to operate as normal but we apologise for any inconvenience caused,” said project manager Chris Naylor.