A SPECIALIST team of engineers is continuing the painstaking work of replacing a blocked sewer pipe in Urmston town centre.

The group of men has been flown over from Ireland to remove the sewer under Flixton Road, which is blocked with concrete, and replace it with new sections of pipe.

An unusual tunnelling technique is being used which involves using wooden supports to allow the engineers to dig beneath the maze of gas, electricity and water pipes laying above the sewer, which is seven metres underground.

Also, the project team has come across very wet ground conditions around parts of the sewer, which has added to the difficulty of the work.

Ian Fullalove, United Utilities wastewater manager, said: "This work is so different to our usual sewer replacement projects that we needed to bring in the team from Ireland to help us.

"They’re making great progress in difficult conditions and we are confident we will have the work completed by late April.”

Ian added: "We appreciate the patience being shown by the people and traders of Urmston. This is very disruptive for everyone, which is why we want to get the job completed and Flixton Road reopened as quickly as possible.”

Around 25 metres of pipe became blocked in February after someone poured concrete into the sewer.

United Utilities teams have been in Urmston town centre on a regular basis, speaking to people and traders.

Flixton Road is currently shut at its junctions with Station Road and Roseneath Road. A diversion is in place, directing motorists via Crofts Bank Road, Moorside Road and Bowfel Road.