[T]he main road through Alston will re-open by the end of this week, say water engineers installing the town’s new water mains.
United Utilities will finish laying its upgraded pipe in Front Street and are planning to re-instate the roadway by Friday evening (May 25).
The new road surface will only be a temporary one, constructed of tarmac instead of the original cobbles. The cobbles will eventually be re-laid in their original position by Cumbria County Council following a re-generation scheme which the council is consulting local people about at the moment.
The work in Front Street is part of a large project to replace around 2.1km of Alston’s water mains, some of which date back around 100 years. It is due to be completely finished on schedule by the end of June.
The next phase will start on Tuesday May 29, when engineers start work on pipes in the side street known as Kings Arms Lane. Kings Arms Lane will be closed for up to two weeks, but access for residents will be maintained at all times.
After that, all the remaining work in the town will be completed using traffic lights.
Customer liaison officer Danny Eastham thanked businesses and residents for their patience: “We have been trying to keep people informed about the progress of our work, but we realise it’s been very inconvenient. Alston is a beautiful old town but for safety reasons, we’ve had no choice but to close its narrow main street while we work in it.
“Once we’re finished we will leave homes and businesses with a much better and more resilient water supply which will last for years to come. We’d like to thank people for bearing with us,” he said.