COMMUTERS face months of disruptions and diversions at Haymarket as work begins next month to replace a Victorian sewer.
The £2.5 million project on Haymarket Terrace by Scottish Water to reduce the risk of businesses flooding could take nine months.
Traders warned of the impact on shops while the work means both the East and West Ends will be hit by delays – with Leith Street closed for the St James revamp.
“Obviously, we’re worried about trade – we haven’t forgotten the tram works,” said owner of Pippin Gifts, Erica Stahl, 32.
“They’re trying to minimise disruption and we understand it needs to be done as many shops have started to get flooding.
“They’ve said they’ll clear away for the Christmas rush but it starts early for us in November.
“But we’re also busy on Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day – we’re here and we’re open for business.”
The new sewer forms part of a £29.5m water and
wastewater infrastructure renewal programme across the Capital, with city council backing.
Scottish Water’s alliance partner Amey Black and Veatch (aBV) will start work on September 4 to upgrade the original egg-shaped brick Victorian sewer.
The project comprises of four main phases to install a new 1.2m diameter storm storage sewer pipe, starting on Haymarket Terrace at the junction with Magdala Crescent and moving east towards Haymarket Station.
Three lanes on Haymarket Terrace will be closed, while diversions and a one-way system are also expected to cause delays.
James Weir, aBV project manager, said: “The works have been planned and discussed in detail with the City of Edinburgh Council. This is essential work which will build capacity into Edinburgh’s sewer network and ensure the city’s waste water cycle is fit for the demands and future development of a 21st century capital.”
Work will stop for a Christmas embargo in December, restarting in January 2018 with completion expected by early summer.
Scott Fraser, Scottish Water’s corporate affairs regional manager, said: “Scottish Water is absolutely focused on providing our customers with excellent waste water services which meet their needs and which have the capacity to deal with demand on the network.
“The Victorian-era sewer network needs to be upgraded to meet the needs of a modern capital city which is constantly growing and developing. We have been liaising closely with aBV, and the city council to minimise the disruption to residents, businesses and commuters as far as possible.
“We will regularly visit all affected businesses to discuss concerns and ensure we are capturing their needs.”