Upper Street fully reopens after major Thames Water upgrade

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Upper Street fully reopens after major Thames Water upgrade

Thames Water has completed one of its major network upgrades in London.

Engineers have left Upper Street, Islington, after replacing a 530-metre stretch of cast iron Victorian mains, which burst last December, with a new plastic pipe.

Teams cleared the road at midnight on October 31, meaning it is now fully reopen.

Tim McMahon, head of water networks at Thames Water, said: “We’re really pleased we’ve finished the upgrade at Upper Street on schedule.

“We know the burst and the repair work has caused significant disruption and delays, but it’s been crucial to protect water supplies, reduce leakage and reduce the likelihood of further bursts, both now and for future generations.”

Engineers had been working three metres underground to install the new pipe, working seven days a week from 7.30am until 10.30pm Monday to Saturday, and 9.30am until 2.30pm on Sundays.

Thames Water worked closely with TfL to communicate bus diversions and road closures to commuters, and with Islington Borough Council to facilitate the work.

Two lanes of Upper Street were closed for the duration of the work, which was completed in two phases to ease disruption, and has seen the new plastic pipe inserted into the old Victorian main using a process called slip-lining.

Neil Doherty, programme lead for mains replacement, said: “Slip-lining is quicker and less disruptive. It means we insert the new pipe at one end of the old main and pull it through at the other end, removing the need to dig up the entire road.”

Sound barriers, to reduce noise, and new signage were installed as part of the project to keep residents updated.

Thames Water invested £70m on relining and replacing trunk mains – water pipes bigger than 12-inches in diameter – between 2005 and 2010. The company had originally committed £145m for the 2015 to 2020 period, but that has since been increased by a further £97m during the next two-and-a-half years.

You can watch our video from the site by clicking on the image below.

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