One way system to be temporarily introduced on main road in Oulton Broad
- Credit: Archant
Motorists could face traffic chaos over the coming weeks as a temporary one way system is introduced on one of the main roads into a coastal town.
A major scheme to replace ageing gas mains in Oulton Broad is due to start on February 20 and is planned to finish by Easter.
With existing metal gas mains in Bridge Road 'nearing the end of their operational life,' according to National Grid, they must be replaced to ensure people have access to safe and reliable gas supplies.
The essential upgrade works will see the gas mains replaced between the Shell service station in Normanston Drive, passing by Oulton Broad North railway station, to Oulton Broad library in Bridge Road.
Graham Huggett, project engineer, said: 'We're working closely with the local authorities to make sure this project is delivered with as little inconvenience to people as possible.
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'By scheduling the work outside of the area's busy summer tourist season and the Christmas period we're hoping that disruption can be minimised.'
Where possible new gas pipes are inserted into the old gas mains to minimise digging and associated congestion. However the size and position of the existing gas mains in Bridge Road means that engineers will need to dig trenches to lay most of the new pipes, with the only exception being the rail crossing, where pipes will be inserted.
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The Oulton Broad North railway station level crossing has caused congestion for many years, but improvements made last year has seen waiting times for motorists at the crossing reduced.
The signal was moved 50m down the platform, meaning the barriers do not need to be lowered until the train is ready to leave the station.
However with the regular build-up of traffic at the level crossing, combined with the gasworks, delays are likely to affect motorists.
To enable the work to be carried out safely and efficiently, Bridge Road will become a temporary one way system. Eastbound traffic – heading into Lowestoft – will be diverted via a pre-planned diversion route. Westbound traffic – heading out of Lowestoft – will remain on Bridge Road, on the opposite side of the road.
Some parking bays in the area will be temporarily suspended.
As part of the project, old iron gas mains in Commodore Road will be 'replaced with more durable plastic pipes,' while gas service pipes to properties in Holly Road and some additional properties in Harbour Road and Mizpah Cottages will also need to be replaced.
Work also needs to take place across the junction from Harbour Road, and to minimise disruption, this work has been arranged for weekends.
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