ENGINEERS are warning that a town centre road in Urmston could be closed for around six weeks, as work starts on removing concrete from a sewer.

United Utilities estimates that 25 metres of pipe is blocked after someone poured concrete into the sewer, which runs under Flixton Road.

Pictures taken using a remote controlled CCTV camera show the challenge faced by engineers to clear the 21-inch diameter pipe. In some sections, almost the entire pipe is blocked.

United Utilities’ Ian Fullalove, who is responsible for the wastewater network in Urmston, said: "This is one of the most difficult engineering challenges I’ve ever been involved in on the sewer network.”

The water company will use a mechanical cutter to break away the concrete from inside the pipe, before re-lining the inside of the sewer. This technique is estimated to take four weeks to complete, chipping away a metre a day.

However, if the mechanical cutter is not making the progress hoped during this week, engineers may need to revert back to the traditional method of digging long trenches and then replacing the whole of the pipe, which would take two weeks longer.

Also, the completion date could be put back further if there are any difficulties during the repair.

Ian said: "I would be really grateful if the people of Urmston would bear with us while we carry out this work. We didn’t create this problem, but it is now our responsibility to meet a very difficult engineering challenge and finish this work as quickly as possible, so the road can be re-opened and the town can continue as usual.”

A number of houses suffered cellar flooding when the sewer first became blocked, but United Utilities is now using two pumps to divert wastewater around the blocked section.

The company is still trying to discover who poured the concrete into the sewer.

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.