Underground robot upgrades Western Road gas main as part of £525,000 project
20 April 2017
Gas distribution company SGN will shortly be starting work to upgrade the local gas supply network in Western Road, Brighton.
As part of a £525,000 project to ensure a continued safe and reliable gas supply to the local community, we’re using an innovative robotic system called CISBOT to upgrade our gas main in Western Road.
The innovative robot will work underground to seal the joints in the pipe. CISBOT can travel approximately 170 metres in each direction from a single excavation, so we don’t require long trenches in the road to access our pipes. This means we’re able to upgrade the section of our network between Crown Street and North Street from just one excavation, reducing the impact of our essential work on the city’s residents and road users.
Following discussions with Brighton and Hove City Council, our Western Road project will begin on Monday 24 April and last approximately six weeks. We’ll set up our site in the westbound bus stop outside Churchill Square Shopping Centre. We’ll need to temporarily suspend the two bus stops closest to our work area on either side of the road. Details of alternative bus stops will be advertised on the affected stops by the bus company.
We’ll also need to install temporary traffic lights in Western Road at its junction with Regent Hill to ensure everyone’s safety around our work area. We’ll be manually controlling these lights at peak times.
SGN Engineering Manager Casey Everitt said: “By using our innovative CISBOT robot to seal the joints along the inside of our gas main, we’re able to minimise disruption for road users and residents while we upgrade our network.
"The robot works underground and upgrades the gas main from the inside, which means we don’t require long trenches along the road to access the pipe. Instead, we can upgrade a large section of our network from just one excavation. Less digging means we can complete this essential work more quickly. What’s more, the robot works inside the live gas pipe, so there’s no need to interrupt gas supplies as we work."
Councillor Gill Mitchell, Chair of the Transport Committee at Brighton and Hove City Council, said: "Reducing the impact of roadworks is a priority for us. So our traffic team have been liaising closely with SGN. The robot looks like a smart way of working in our busiest streets. This is extra important this year as Southern Water will also be relaying the surface of North Street next autumn so we must make every effort to keep transport systems moving during these essential works."
CISBOT in action