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'Vital' new pipeline being laid across Arnside foreshore
11:41am Monday 9th July 2012 in News
ENGINEERS in Arnside are painstakingly removing sections of precious saltmarsh from along the foreshore at Arnside to make way for a vital new pipeline.
And when the work by United Utilities is completed, every piece needs to go back to the spot from where it was taken.
"It's like a huge jigsaw, but the pieces are all green,” said project manager Paul Romanko. “Our new pipe runs right along the foreshore, under the salt marsh, which is a habitat protected by law.
"Each metre square section is colour-coded and numbered before being taken to our special storage area to be tended by experts. The marsh is usually watered by the estuary's natural tidal movements so we're having to mimic that effect by bringing the estuary water to them in bowsers. It's quite a job."
United Utilities is replacing the old storm overflow pipe along the beach and laying a new 500mm diameter pipe along the foreshore, parallel to the Promenade and under the historic pier.
Mr Romanko said it is vital work to improve the Kent estuary by reducing the impact of storm overflows into the sea during heavy rains.
But it is also a race against the clock to get the work done before winter-nesting birds return for their seasonal visit.
"It's a big job and we're working with the local community and visitors so that they can keep enjoying this pretty seaside town while we're here,” said Mr Romanko. “In the long term the work will boost the estuary environment, help making Arnside an even better place for the people who live there and love to visit it."
Chairman of Arnside Parish Council, Coun David Willacy said: "Arnside is open for business as usual and with a bit of help from the weather we're hoping for a good summer. The work on the beach isn't stopping people enjoying themselves and it's even a bit of a talking point. We can't wait for it to be done," he said.
The pier will need to be closed for up to three weeks from July 23 while the pipe is laid underneath.
The whole project is expected to be finished by the end of October, although some salt marsh work may need to be completed in 2013.