Welsh Water will start work on 12 May 2013 to re-route and upgrade a key drainage pipe which is used to take surface water away from roads and pavements. The team will be working extended hours and over weekends to complete the diversion as swiftly as possible, with activity reduced from an initial eleven week period to an expected four weeks.
The eastbound carriageway of Newmarket Street from the roundabout to the junction of Widemarsh Street will be temporarily closed to allow the works to be undertaken safely and quickly, and diversionary routes will be in place. Old Market’s developers, their contractors at Sir Robert McAlpine, Herefordshire Council and Welsh Water have been liaising closely for some months to assess all options to ensure disruption to the city is kept to a minimum, and have visited many businesses in the area to assess their needs so that any disruption can be minimised.
The upgrade works are necessary to improve the utility supplies and divert pipework to allow development to continue at Old Market, where construction is continuing at pace with steelwork due to go up imminently. The project is on track to be the only new retail-led scheme opening in the UK in 2014. It will see £90m of private sector money invested in the city and will provide Hereford with more than 300,000 sq ft of new modern retail and leisure space in keeping with the city’s distinctive character.
Welsh Water project manager, Imogen Brown said: “We are very aware of the disruption that work on the highway can cause. This work has been arranged after liaising with Old Market’s developers, contractors and Herefordshire Council to ensure that we can complete it as quickly as possible. This includes working extended hours and over weekends in order to reduce the time that the road closure will be in place. We have liaised closely with the highways authority and the development team, but also with city businesses to find the best time to complete these works and thank residents and businesses in advance for their patience and support during the completion of these works.”
Clive Hall, head of highways and community services for Herefordshire Council, commented: “As the traffic authority we are advising motorists to note the diversions and plan ahead for their journeys, using alternative routes and modes of transport where possible.”
George Ray, project manager at Sir Robert McAlpine comments: “Welsh Water’s works are an essential component in allowing us to continue toward opening Old Market in Spring 2014. The development is progressing well and, like Welsh Water, we continue to do all we can to minimise disruption during the construction period.”
Newsletters outlining all diversionary routes were being circulated to 5,000 addresses from yesterday. Road closure and diversion information will also be available via Herefordshire Council’s website.