Gas network Cadent has diverted the River Mersey away from a vital pipeline used to provide Manchester with energy.
The company’s £1 million engineering project to re-route the river at Didsbury, near Stockport, has been made necessary by the watercourse eroding ground close to one of the main high-pressure gas feeds into the city, which is needed to supply around 250,000 homes and businesses.
Engineers have nearly completed moving a 400-metre stretch of the river 40 metres back to its original channel – they have also straightened and widened the channel, as well as grading back the banks to provide a more effective flood plain and calmer water flow.
Matthew Goode, Project Supervisor at Cadent, said: “Our job is to keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses across the North West and when this gas pipe was laid in the 1960s, it was well away from the river.
“However, over the last 50 years, through a natural process of erosion, the river’s course has changed. If we didn’t take action, the river would erode the soil under the pipe and leave it unsupported, potentially damaging the pipe and jeopardising gas supplies.”