Traffic congestion is expecting in Kirkstall for the next eight months after work started on replacing a large sewer pipe that runs under Abbey Road.
Yorkshire Water, which is carrying out the work, has said delays in the area are inevitable and has already apologised for any inconvenience the work will cause.
A spokesperson for Yorkshire Water said the work was essential:
“The existing pipe is ageing and in need of replacement, having burst nine times in the past five years.
“When it bursts there is a risk of pollution and the bursts cause major traffic disruption, so we need to carry out this work to significantly reduce the risk of that happening again in the future.”
Workers will start laying the new pipe near N J Metals and work towards Kirkstall Abbey, working in 100 metre sections of road at a time.
The spokesperson added:
“In order to reduce disruption, we will keep traffic running two ways for most of the scheme. This means the bus lane will be temporarily closed so the new pipe can be laid under it.
“Unfortunately there will be a time when two-way traffic lights will be in place on Abbey Road, when we are working between the Vesper Gate pub and the junction with Vesper Lane, as the road is not wide enough to keep two-way traffic running at this point. The traffic lights will be manned at peak times and we’re hoping to start this section of work during the school summer holidays.
“In order to reduce delays on Abbey Road and avoid further work under traffic lights, there needs to be some short duration closures at the junctions of Abbey Dale Way, Vesper Gate Drive, Vesper Walk, Abbey Walk and Vesper Lane. Signed diversion routes will be in place during these closures and local residents will be kept updated with dates. Access to properties and drives will be maintained.”
Access from Morris Lane through the Abbey grounds to Abbey Road will be suspended, as this will be a construction site.
Work will take part in and around the historic Abbey.
“We have consulted with English Heritage and when we have to work in the grounds of the Abbey, there will be an archaeologist on site with us, ” said Yorkshire Water.