Worthing, A24 and Sompting Avenue

Starting on Monday 8 January, our contractors DJ Utilities will begin work to replace the gas main along the A24 and Sompting Avenue in Worthing.

This work will involve the replacement of old metal gas pipes with new plastic pipes to ensure we can continue to provide the local community with a safe and efficient gas supply.

The section of gas main being replaced has a history of gas leaks that have resulted in disruptive emergency works. Replacing this pipe we will minimise the risk of future leaks.

Due to the location of the gas main in the A24, for everyone’s safety, we'll need to use a variety of traffic management measures during our work.

 

Phase one – A24 lane closures

From Monday 8 January 2024 for approximately six weeks.

Engineers will be working along the A24 in the centre two lanes from the junction of Queen Street to opposite Bohunt School.

For everyone's safety, we'll need to close one lane southbound and one lane northbound. 

We will also need to close Queen Street and Georgia Avenue at their junction with the A24. This will mean no access in or out of these roads onto the A24.

 

Phase two – A24 lane closures

From Monday 19 February for approximately six weeks.

We will continue to work on the A24 in the centre two lanes from the junction of the Bohunt School entrance to the junction of Sompting Avenue and Carnegie Road.

For everyone's safety, we will need to close one lane southbound and one lane northbound. 

During this phase, Sompting Avenue will be made one-way eastbound only between the junctions of A24 and Beaumont Road. Traffic from Carnegie Road will only be able to turn left onto the A24.

 

Phase three – Sompting Avenue

From approximately Tuesday 2 April for approximately ten weeks.

We will be working on Sompting Avenue from the junctions of the A24 to Beaumont Road.

Sompting Avenue will remain one-way eastbound only between the junctions of the A24 and Beaumont Road.

 

We appreciate our work will be disruptive for road users and the local community and we're sorry for the inconvenience these essential works may cause. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

MAR
1

Friday 1 March: week seven update

Work is still on schedule for phase two of these works.

Resurfacing work has been completed up to Bohunt School, and Georgia Avenue and Queen Street have fully reopened to enter and exit from all directions.

Further work is taking place this week on connection holes heading northbound and the team will be excavating to renew supplies for 106 to 114 Broadwater Road, ready to transfer onto the new main.

From Monday 4 March, Sompting Avenue will be closed westbound to traffic with a diversion in place. There will also be no right turn into Sompting Avenue for traffic travelling northbound on Broadwater Road. A signed diversion will be in place and traffic exiting Carnegie Road will only be able to turn left.

FEB
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Friday 23 February: week six update

Queen Street and Georgia Avenue were reopened with restrictions ahead of schedule.

We hoped we would have these junctions fully reopened by Monday 26 February. However, the gas main being replaced is larger than expected, so we have needed to order different seals from a specialist supplier.

Reinstatement of the road cannot take place until these seals have been fitted. They are expected to arrive next week, with up to three days needed for reinstatement and moving our work along the road.

The team will be working on Saturday 24 February and next week will see them further excavating between their current position at Bohunt School and Northbrook College, which will be a significant move along the road.

FEB
16

Friday 16 February: week five update

We've completed replacing a 21m section of our gas main and connected properties in Georgia Avenue and Queen Street as planned. Following this work, we've been able to carry out a good amount of reinstatement on the road.

This work has allowed us to reopen both roads. However, traffic can only turn left into and out of both roads and cannot cross the A27.

Gas services to four properties have been renewed as planned and preparation work is being carried out this week to replace 88m of gas main up to the connection with Bohunt School, which is expected to take place on Tuesday 20 February. The school's gas supplies will not be affected.

We're hopeful reinstatement will be completed and our works will move long the road by Monday 26 February at the latest.

Our contractor DJ Utilities has notified residents in Sompting Avenue that the lane closure can be postponed for two weeks without affecting the duration of the works.

FEB
9

Friday 9 February: week four update

We've started to abandon and replace the 21m section of metallic gas main and the remaining connections for Queen Street and Georgia Avenue. This is a complex operation and we're expecting it to be completed by the weekend.

Our contractor DJ Utilities is providing additional labour to complete our work in time. Reinstatement of the road will follow but will take a few days due to the construction of the carriageway. 

This weekend, our team will begin renewing supplies to four properties in Broadwater Road and will excavate further up on the A24 outside Bohunt School.

Our repair team have internally sealed 13 joints over 50m heading southbound on the section of the gas main not being replaced on this project. This will hopefully futureproof the existing gas network, reducing the chances of joints leaking in the future.  

FEB
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Friday 2 February: week three update

We've continued to prepare the main A24 Broadwater Road, with the temporary lane closures in each direction still in place.

A large section of road has been excavated in preparation for an operation on Tuesday 6 February to abandon and replace 21m of metal mains in Broadwater Road and the last remaining 16m metal mains feeding both Georgia Avenue and Queen Street.

On Tuesday 30 January, Georgia Avenue was cleared and reopened for traffic turning left into and out of it.

Additional signs requested by West Sussex County Council have been put in place on the diversion route.

While we have the excavation open, our repair team have proposed internally sealing joints on the metal main heading south towards Worthing town centre. There is a joint every 13 feet with the potential to leak and sealing the joints at this point would reduce the risk of more leaks in the future on the section of main not due to be replaced on this project.

JAN
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Friday 26 January: week two update

We're continuing to make good progress during our project. The outside lanes of the A24, both northbound and southbound, have now been temporarily closed to allow for our work on the A24 Broadwater Road.

A 70m section of our main was replaced in Georgia Avenue and services were transferred to the new plastic main. The road has since been reinstated and most of the barriers on this section have been cleared. The temporary road closures for both Georgia Avenue and Queen Street need to remain in place for the time being.

We have progressed with excavations on Broadwater Road. The gas main is deep at the point of our excavations and is a larger pipe than expected. It is a complex engineering task but we still expect to complete this section as expected.

At the request of West Sussex County Council, we are placing additional signage on the diversion route.

We'd like to thank the local community for their continued patience and understanding.

JAN
15

Monday 15 January: week one update

We’ve made a good start during our first week on site. Our engineers have mainly been working within the junction of Queens Street. This is a particularly challenging junction with multiple critical utilities and major gas connection joints under the road.

Trial holes have been excavated to allow investigations and camera surveys to be carried out, and the focus this week is on carrying out important preparation work.

Week commencing Monday 15 January

A24 northbound

Engineers will be working on the outside lane next to Queen Street, with a temporary lane closure in place around our work area for everyone's safety. Road users will be filtered into one lane around our work location.  

A24 southbound

Engineers will be working on connection points located at the junction of Georgia Avenue. Road users will be filtered around our work area.

We’re sorry for the inconvenience these essential works are causing and thank you for your patience and understanding.

Frequently asked questions

The sections of gas main being replaced are old metal pipes that have had multiple repairs. Replacing them with new plastic pipes will provide a permanent solution to address ongoing disruption caused by leaks. These gas pipelines not only service properties in the immediate area but provide a critical supply of gas to a large area of Worthing.

The work involves keeping the gas live and this is a complex engineering task. Temporary bypass gas mains need to be installed to make sure there is enough gas supply to continue supplying a large area of Worthing.

We’ll also be upgrading all service pipes connected to these sections which involves accessing and relaying new plastic pipes to each of these properties.

Critical utility infrastructure such as underground electric cables also require careful excavation to make sure works are completed safely.

We’re committed to working as quickly and safely as possible to complete these works. Here are some examples of what we’re doing to make this happen:

  • Working hours – our engineers will be working extended hours from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, and Saturdays where required. We'll also be working on Sundays as required, between the hours of 10am and 3pm. These are permitted hours agreed with West Sussex County Council.
  • Resurfacing works will take place at weekends where possible. There may be times at the weekends where the site is unmanned to allow for reinstatement to cure. 
  • Costly lane rentals – the roads we’re working on have costly daily lane rental rates applied and it is therefore in our interests to complete these works as quickly. 
  • Phased programme – we’ve planned and phased these works to minimise disruption and speed up progress.
  • Service connections – we’re carrying out service connections as we progress rather than returning once the main has been installed, which would have meant further disruption.
  • Reduce lane closures – where it’s possible and safe to do so, we will reduce our working area down to one lane closure.

There are many reasons why we are not able to work at night on infrastructure of this size. 

  • Safety is our priority – our engineers are working with live gas flowing at a significant pressure. 
  • Risk mitigation – other critical infrastructure is located underground, which presents an increased risk of loss of supplies when working in night-time conditions and with less visibility. During the day, response teams are on hand if needed.
  • Service connections – to speed up progress, we’re carrying out service connections to properties as we install new sections. This requires access to homes, which wouldn’t be suitable at night.

There are many reasons why engineers may not be visible on site. 

  • Local pressure testing – during the installation process, we need to maintain local pressures in the gas network. This needs engineers to be off site at multiple governor locations across Worthing to monitor/adjust local pressures within the network. This is essential to maintain local gas supplies. 
  • Resurfacing – we may also not be present on weekends when resurfacing is carried out and curing of road surfaces are required.
  • Collection of materials – we may need to leave site to collect parts and materials for the following day, which cannot be stored on site. 
  • Completed work – when further engineering works are not possible until the following day, continuing to work would take our team over their permitted working hours. This would go against safety restrictions of night-time working and mandatory fatigue restrictions enforced by the government.

To maintain network supply, we are required to work in shorter sections and extra engineers will not speed up operations.  

This is not possible due to us working on a live gas supply. We can only work on short sections at a time and are unable to isolate the gas main in multiple locations as this would result in a failure to the flow of gas through our network – these mains feed a critical supply of gas to a large area of Worthing.

Our gas mains are in the centre of the road. Due to the size of the gas main, plant and machinery requirements and size of our excavations, we must close both middle lanes either side of the work. We are working in compliance with the New Roads and Street Works Act and keeping our engineers, road users and members of public safe around our work area.

These closures are to maintain traffic flow and to reduce the pressure of vehicles accessing the A24, which would cause further delays. Local signed diversion routes will be in place.