Investment in new utility infrastructures as part of the Enniskillen Public Realm scheme will total in excess of £8 million, it has been revealed this week.
SGN Natural Gas confirmed it is investing almost £2 million to install infrastructure in Enniskillen town centre for the scheduled arrival of natural gas during the coming year, while NIE Networks has confirmed it will be upgrading the electricity network to the value of £1 million.
The utilities have been brought forward in advance of the Enniskillen Public Realm Scheme – a £5.2 million project with investment from the Department for Communities and Fermanagh & Omagh District Council which will see improvements to footpaths, street lighting, landscaping and street furniture.
SGN Natural Gas is the first of the utility companies scheduled to commence essential work on its new network on 7th January 2019. The new gas infrastructure work is scheduled to be carried out in Anne Street, Darling Street, Church Street, High Street, The Diamond, Town Hall Street and East Bridge Street.
NIE Networks will commence its upgrade work on 1st February starting on Anne Street and working towards Forthill Road. The work will replace the existing low voltage cable network within the Public Realm Scheme area. Approximately 7km of mains cable will be laid with most of the underground cables located in the public footway and where required, existing older services to individual premises will be replaced.
NIE Networks and SGN Natural Gas have been engaging with residents and businesses directly and there will be ongoing community engagement from both providers in relation to the work which is scheduled to last for up to eight months.
David Butler, Head of Engineering with SGN Natural Gas, said they were excited to be commencing the distribution work phase in Enniskillen, following the recent suspension of roadworks in town centres to facilitate the busy Christmas trading period.
Reminding the public that traffic management will be in place while the work is ongoing, to ensure the safety of the public and contractors alike, Mr. Butler continued: “We have agreed with Transport NI to operate a number of traffic management plans that may involve road closures, lane closures and traffic lights being implemented.
“Any closures that may be required will be dictated by ground conditions when the work actually starts and, they will be carried out on a phased basis to minimise disruption. Any lane closures agreed in advance will have signage in place to direct traffic.”
Gary Morton, Project Manager for NIE Networks, said: “Our upcoming work in Enniskillen is a very important project in our plans to upgrade the electricity infrastructure throughout Northern Ireland. Reliability issues can occur with older electricity cables and parts of the network in the area are approximately 80 years old. Our £1 million investment will modernise the network and ensure we are delivering the highest level of service to our customers in Enniskillen.
“Our work will be carried out in six phases with work completed at each phase before moving to the next to help minimise disruption to businesses, traffic flow and members of the public.”
More information on SGN Natural Gas roadworks is available on the ‘Help and advice’ section here.
Further information about NIE Networks and the Enniskillen project can be found at nienetworks.co.uk