Short-term misery... but long-term gains in pipeline
There might be some short-term misery for Wexford commuters as a result of the major project to lay the natural gas network around the town, but according to Gas Networks Ireland, it will be worth it in the end with huge savings in energy costs for those getting connected.
The first phase of the project involves the construction of a new gas distribution network for Wexford Town as well as the replacement of old water mains in the town, and is being delivered jointly by Gas Networks Ireland and Irish Water on behalf of Ervia, and is due to be completed by the middle of the year.
Since work began the project has been updated to include supplying gas to the new divisional garda headquarters on Mulgannon Road and the replacement of the water mains on Lower John Street.
A four km section of gas mains is due to be commissioned over the coming weeks and investigative works are under way to assist with the design of the second phase of the project.
Phase 1 involves the construction of 10 km of new gas mains and the replacement of 1 km of old water mains. When the four km section is completed, businesses and residents along the route of the pipeline on the Newline Road, Whitemill Industrial Estate/Clonard Road and Beechlawn areas to connect to the supply.
Investigative works to assist with the design of Phase 2 of the project are continuing in parallel with the current Phase 1 pipe laying works.
The investigative works include the excavation of small trial holes at various locations around the town, in order to confirm ground conditions and identify the location of existing utility services, so that the route of the new gas and water mains can be designed.
Andrew Doyle, Project Manager, Gas Networks Ireland, said he was delighted at how the project is progressing in the town. 'In undertaking the works to date, we have adopted a flexible approach to how and where we work, in order to facilitate the needs of local residents and businesses, as well as to minimise the disruption to passing traffic. 'Whilst this can be challenging at times, Ervia and its contracting partner BBCLG are committed to maintaining this proactive approach and are very grateful to the support and understanding received from the public to date.' Mr Doyle said Phase 1 of the project is expected to be completed by mid-2017.
Phase 2 will include the construction of a further 11km of gas mains in the town, as well as the replacement of approximately 11.5 km of old water mains and 1,050 shared and backyard water service connections.
Construction work for Phase 2 is due to commence in the second half of 2017 and is due to take 12 months to complete.