Major gas pipeline diverted for work on £178.5m Norwich Northern Distributor Road

The diverted gas pipeline which had to be installed ahead of the construction of the Norwich Norther

The diverted gas pipeline which had to be installed ahead of the construction of the Norwich Northern Distributor Road. Pic: Norfolk County Council. - Credit: Archant

A crucial pipeline, which supplies gas all over the country, had to be diverted because of construction work on the £178.5m Norwich Northern Distributor Road.

Nearly half a kilometre of the 900 millimetre steel pipeline, which transports North Sea gas from Bacton all over the country, had to be diverted to prevent gas services to millions of homes being disrupted while a new section was installed.

Project managers for the NDR, which will stretch from the A47 at Postwick to the A1067 Fakenham Road, said the work, three years in the planning, had been done ahead of schedule and on budget.

The pipeline crossed the line of the NDR towards its western end, between Fir Covert Road and the A1067 Fakenham Road. But it was designed for operation in open countryside and needed to be upgraded to a thicker gauge before the road can go over the top.

Ian Taylor, project manager for Norfolk County Council, said success depended upon close working between National Grid Gas, Fastflow Energy Services, Norfolk County Council and Balfour Beatty – the NDR main contractor.

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He said: 'Having this considerable obstruction out of the way so early in our scheme's programme is a huge stride forward for us. This is a prime example of what can be achieved with careful planning when teams work together.'

Andy Bathie, who managed the project for National Grid, said: 'We were very conscious that a major development depended on the timely diversion of our pipeline.

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'We were determined to help deliver this project on time and keep costs down for the council.

'This pipeline is one of a number of key feeder pipelines that supply gas to the country.

'Careful planning and close liaison between everyone involved meant the project was completed safely and promptly, while maintaining gas to homes and businesses across the nation.'

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