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10 August 2010, 10:41
Part of Mill Road in Cambridge is to remain closed to traffic for another nine weeks, because emergency sewer repairs are taking much longer than expected.
The stretch of the street, between Perne Road and Coleridge Road, was supposed to re-open next Monday.
Anglian Water engineers have been working to fix a collapsed sewer, which is eight and a half metres underground, at the junction with Hobart Road.
They've been carrying out the repairs since the start of July.
However, once engineers dug down to the sewer, the discovered that it was 60% full of material that shouldn't be inside it - like rubble, nappies, wet wipes and congealed fats.
After all of this was removed from the sewer, a further collapse was found 30 metres away from where engineers were working.
Part of Mill Road will now remain closed for another nine weeks while engineers work to fix the second collapse.
Ciaran Nelson, a spokesperson for Anglian Water, said: "We’ve tried several methods to prevent us having to dig another hole in Mill Road, but unfortunately the sewer is so badly damaged that we have no option but to dig down to it.
We’ve looked at relining it, but the severity of the damage means this isn’t going to be possible.
This additional excavation is a last resort.
We have doubled the number of people working on the repair so that we can get it done as quickly as possible.
We will be running two repair gangs side by side to speed the process."
A diversion is in place around the part of Mill Road affected, which runs along Perne Road, Cherry Hinton Road, Coleridge Road and back to Mill Road.
Ciaran added: "We’re writing to all the residents and businesses in the area again, to update them about the situation.
We are genuinely sorry that this inconvenience is ongoing, but we have to repair this sewer.
The consequences of not doing so would be holes appearing in the road and sewage backing up into people’s homes, and that’s simply unthinkable."