A huge £7.8 million wastewater upgrade in the Meadow Lane area of Portadown is due to get underway shortly – with disruption expected over the two years it will take to complete.
However, NI Water says the scheme, which will centre on the wastewater infrastructure, will reduce the risk of out of sewer flooding, whilst supporting local development and delivering extensive environmental improvements in the area when complete.
The work will involve a major upgrade at Meadow Lane Wastewater Pumping Station (WwPS) located adjacent to Meadow Lane East car park; the provision of a sizeable new stormwater storage tank at the WwPS site and the laying of new large diameter sewers, mainly by means of underground tunnelling.
John Griffin, NI Water’s Head of Wastewater Capital Procurement (Infrastructure), said: “NI Water is delighted to announce this major £7.8 million investment for the local wastewater infrastructure, which will benefit our customers in the Portadown area, bringing key improvements, such as reducing the risk of out of sewer flooding and boosting economic growth and future development.
“This major investment will also bring about key environmental benefits, ensuring NI Water complies with Northern Ireland Environmental Agency standards to improve the water quality in local watercourses.”
The work will be undertaken in phases and is expected to take around two years to complete.
In agreement with ABC Council, to support the construction works at the existing WwPS site, the contractor, BSG Civil Engineering, will begin setting up their site compound on the grass area adjacent to ‘Pleasure Gardens Play Area’ towards the end of March 2023.
The existing access road to the play area, bowling green and adjacent car park will be closed to facilitate the construction work and a new temporary access road to these areas will be constructed from the council-owned Meadow Lane East car park.
Signs will be erected to provide directions for the public during this time.
As part of the work to create this temporary access, the old wall at the back of Meadow Lane East car park will be replaced with new fencing. This will allow a number of car parking spaces, currently fenced off, to be brought back into use.
The existing WwPS at Meadow Lane will remain operational while works are ongoing.
As part of the upgrade, the old buildings on the site will be demolished and a new kiosk installed.
Once the upgrade has been completed, the original access road and footpath will be realigned before being reopened in 2025. The temporary access will then be removed.
As part of this major environmental improvement project, tunnelling works will be required at three strategic locations in private lands off Meadow Lane.
Information regarding tunnelling works, other pipelaying works and any associated traffic management arrangements will be communicated well in advance of work getting underway.
NI Water have highlighted that construction sites are dangerous areas for unauthorised persons.
A spokespersonn said: “The working areas will have warning signs in place to protect the public from any hazards. The public are advised to stay away from these working areas for their own safety.
“NI Water and the project team from McAdam and BSG will keep stakeholders informed as the different phases of the project are programmed to get underway.
“We appreciate the cooperation of all our stakeholders, including local businesses, residents, and the council as we progress this important project.
“This £7.8 million investment is an excellent example of what can be done when the necessary funding is in place.
“NI Water looks forward to the necessary funding being put in place across the full six-year period of our PC21 business plan to 2027.
“Over the past 15 years, we have steadily improved the efficiency with which we operate while at the same time improving the quality of drinking water, levels of environmental compliance and the services we provide to our customers.”