£14m Carlisle water mains re-hab reaches final phase

The biggest ever revamp of Carlisle’s water mains has moved into its final phase around the north of the city centre.

The work, which started on January 4, is expected to last three months and will bring to a conclusion a huge five year £14m scheme by United Utilities to clean and re-furbish more than 30km of the city’s largest water pipes.

This last phase of work will involve re-furbishing the 18 inch diameter water pipes which run from Victoria Place, through Strand Road, Duke’s Road and Hardwicke Circus and onto West Tower and Annetwell Street, finishing at Bridge Street.

United Utilities’ third party co-ordinator, Paul Wheadon, said: “Detailed traffic and working arrangements have been agreed with highways officials to try to keep the impact of this vital work to the absolute minimum and we will be pulling out all the stops to do it as quickly and safely as we can.

“We really appreciate the patience of people in Carlisle while this essential work has been under way. A project of this scale of work is never without complications but the benefits will be long lasting. Many of the huge pipes we’re working on have served the city well for decades but were responsible for some occasional discolouration in the drinking water supply for some people. That’s what we want to stop.

“To speed things along as much as possible, we’ll be using a technique called slip-lining which vastly reduces the amount of digging we need to do. This involves pulling a strong new plastic lining inside the existing pipe. We’ll also work at weekends where we can.”

The work will move from Victoria Place to Bridge Street in phases, as follows:

• Victoria Place/ St Aiden’s Road
From Monday 4 January until the end of March there will be a one-way system for traffic heading east from the city centre onto Warwick Road. The diversion route via Lowther Street will be clearly signed. For safety St Aiden’s Road will be temporarily closed at the Junction of Victoria Place for the duration of this of work.

• Chatsworth Square/ Hartington Street/ Strand Road
From Monday 25 January until the end of February the junction of Chatsworth Square at Victoria Place will be closed for safety reasons and there will be temporary two-way traffic lights in place on Strand Road outside Carlisle College.

• Dukes Road/ Harwicke Circus
From Monday 11 January until the end of March there will be give-and-take traffic control in place at Dukes Road.
From Monday 22 February a lane will be closed at Hardwicke Circus for approximately two weeks.

• West Tower Street
From Monday 25 January the entry slip road from Castleway onto West Tower Street will be closed for 2 weeks. The diversion route will be clearly signed and bus services will continue. Once the entry slip road has been reopened, work will transfer to the exit slip road, which will be closed for the following 2 weeks.

• Annetwell Street/ Bridge Street/ Milbourne Street
From Monday 8 February until mid March temporary two-way traffic lights will be in place on Annetwell Street and the footpath from Annetwell Street over the railway bridge to the Shaddongate junction will be closed. Pedestrian access will still be available on the opposite side of the road.
From Monday 15 February until the end of March the junction of Milbourne Street and Bridge Street will be closed and access to Milbourne Court will be via Charlotte Street.

• Paddy’s Market Carpark
Paddy’s Market will be temporarily closed to members of the public for a short period towards the middle of February. Permit holders will still be able to use the car park and should contact Cumbria City Council with any questions.

Also in 2021, United Utilities will also be re-instating the landscape in other areas like Rickerby Park, where previous phases of the project have already be completed, but this will not have any impact on traffic

People can keep up-to-date on traffic restrictions and progress at www.unitedutilities.com/carlisle