A GAS main that has kept thousands of homes warm for over 110 years is set to be ‘retired’.

The cast iron pipe, located directly under the surface of Halliwell Road, has transported gas for heat and power since 1907, but has started to show deterioration with age.

Starting on Wednesday January 2, engineers from Cadent – which manages the North West gas network – will arrive to begin work that is expected to cause disruption near the site.

Project planners say they have worked closely with Bolton Council’s Highways Department to minimise the impact on the area, although it will take 16 weeks to fully complete the pipe replacement.

Craig Horrocks, who heads Cadent’s gas mains replacement programme in the North West, said he was impressed that the pipe had lasted for such a long period of time.

“This pipe is remarkable engineering, ensuring gas has arrived safely and reliably to this area of Bolton for many, many generations,” he said.

“But all things need replacing eventually. We’ll be putting in a new main that will be modern and very durable, reducing the frequency of maintenance visits.

“We know our work will cause some local disruption, but also hope everyone understands that this is essential work to ensure safe and reliable distribution of gas that they rely on, for central heating, hot water, and cooking meals.”

Work will begin near to the junction with Gladstone Street and head in 100 metre stretches towards Eskrick Street.

Vehicles can continue to travel along Halliwell Road, but lights will manage the traffic flow around the work area. These will be manned at peak times.

Side roads that join Halliwell Road will be closed briefly, in periods of around 2-3 weeks, to allow work to cross them.

Service pipes – the smaller pipes which take gas from the main to individual properties – will also be replaced along this stretch of Halliwell Road.

Cadent says advance notification will be given to affected properties, as gas supply will need to be stopped temporarily but should be back turned back on later on the same day.

Bus stops and pedestrian crossings will be suspended, with temporary facilities arranged. Some parking bays will also not be available. Letters are being distributed to all affected properties and Cadent’s customer teams will knock door-to-door to explain the work.

For more information on the gas mains upgrade programme, visit www.bettergaspipes.co.uk.