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York's upgraded electricity supply to be routed under River Ouse
ENGINEERS are preparing to drill under the River Ouse next month in the latest phase of a £7 million scheme to upgrade York’s power supplies.
Northern Powergrid, the electricity distributor for the North East and Yorkshire, is replacing approximately 6.5 kilometres of 33,000 volt underground cables between sub-stations in Melrosegate, Tang Hall, and Gale Lane, Acomb.
The work started earlier this month in Greendykes Lane, causing it to be closed to traffic.
The next stage will be a three-week project in September to lay new cable three metres under the bed of the river between Reginald Grove, South Bank, and Maple Grove, Fulford Road.
Dave Smith, the project manager, said the old cable was laid on the bed of the river but it was possible through new technology to send it under the bed, where it was less likely to be damaged.
He said the whole project was essential if York’s electricity supply was to be protected and enhanced for the future.
“We realise some disruption will take place as we progress through the project and we’ve worked extremely closely with the council to ensure disruption is kept to an absolute minimum,” he said.
“Please bear with us, because this project is about making sure York’s electricity supply is reliable and not prone to regular faults. Many of our underground cables were laid years ago, some in the 1950s, so the time has come to replace them before they begin causing us and our customers problems.”
He said the work, which was being carried out by Interserve Industrial Services, on behalf Northern Powergrid, would take place in phases until next May, affecting roads including Melrosegate, University Road, Hospital Fields Road, Reginald Grove, Campleshon Road, Pulleyn Park, Danesfort Avenue and Gale Lane. It will also lead to the temporary closure of the Route 66 Cycle Path through Imphal Barracks. The cable will also be laid across York Racecourse, Walmgate Stray and Hobmoor Stray.
“Discussions have taken place with York City Council to ensure best practices are followed throughout the project. The programme for carrying out work in specific areas has been discussed with York City Council, the University, Environment Agency and York Racecourse to minimise impact.”
Mr Smith said the crossing of the River Ouse would be by trenchless directional drilling, with a rig mobilised in Reginald Grove and an “exit pit” in the grassed area adjacent to Maple Grove.
Fishergate Green councillor Andy D'Agorne said it was disappointing that the cable work would lead at a later stage to the temporary closure of the cycle track through the barracks, which was well used.
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