Drivers can expect months of disruption and traffic jams until next January as the gas distribution company SGN seals gas main joints along the Brighton and Hove seafront.
Roadworks will disrupt the A259 coast road west of the Palace Pier, along King’s Road and Kingsway to St Aubyns, opposite the King Alfred, from next Monday (12 June).
SGN, which manages and maintains the gas pipe network, is spending £1.45 million on the work to try to ensure a continued safe and reliable supply of gas for years to come.
Stakeholder engagement support manager Dan Edwards said: “So that we can minimise disruption, we have carefully consulted and planned our works in partnership with Brighton and Hove City Council.
“We’ll be working in the A259, Kingsway and King’s Road, from Monday 12 June until approximately the end of January 2018. We will shut down our work over the Christmas period and for any major events. Our working hours will be Monday to Friday between 7am and 7pm and Saturdays when required.
“We’re using a robotic system called Cisbot to seal the joints in our gas main along the A259. The robot works underground inside the live gas pipe, so there’s no need to interrupt gas supplies during our project.
“Cisbot can travel approximately 170 metres in each direction from a single excavation, so we don’t require long trenches in the road to access our pipe.
“This means we’re able to upgrade a section of our network on the A259 between the junction of St Aubyns and the Grand hotel from fewer excavations.”
Mr Edwards said that temporary lane closures would be in place but traffic would continue to be able to flow in both directions.
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SGN, formerly known as Southern Gas Networks, recently completed a £525,000 upgrade in Western Road, Brighton, using the same technology.
Councillor Gill Mitchell, who chairs the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee, said that reducing the impact of roadworks was a priority.
She said that it was good news that the Western Road work finished early – and with much less digging and disruption thanks to the robot.
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