Uncompleted work which caused the Silk Road to be closed for ten days in vain will now not be finished out until 2019.
National Grid bosses had warned that the key town centre route would have to shut again after problems meant that pylon repair work scheduled during the initial closure in August could not be carried out.
Drivers said the closure of the road in August had contributed to traffic chaos across the town with a number of other work programmes scheduled for the same time.
One driver claimed that a journey which usually takes five minutes from Tytherington to Macclesfield train station had taken 40 minutes, while another claimed it had taken him 50 minutes to get from AstraZeneca to the Moss estate.
Work to paint and repair electricity pylons in the summer had to be abandoned when an underground cable which power had been diverted to in the Stockport area was damaged meaning the pylons had to be switched back on. The utilities giant said that it had originally planned to reattempt the work this autumn but that the complexity of the repair to the underground cable combined with the extra demand for power in the winter months has resulted in the work being pushed back until the year after next.
Contractor Balfour Beatty will now start to demobilise from site over the next six weeks with the planned painting programme being completed during this time. National Grid has now announced that the refurbishment of the 18km long overhead line that runs from Macclesfield substation to Bredbury has been re-scheduled for 2019.
Ryan Hatcher, project manager, said: “We have carried out assessments on the condition of the line to ensure that we are able to safely reschedule the work for a later date.
“In rescheduling the work, we will work closely with Cheshire East Council to minimise disruption where we can. We are sorry we have had to change our plans and thank local residents and businesses for bearing with us.”
He added that the contractor that damaged the underground cable was not employed by National Grid. Drivers had reacted angrily to news that the road would have to closed again following the ten day closure.
At the time of the announcement, Anna Pacheco, a regional sales manager from Macclesfield, said: “To find out that all that pain and delay was for nothing is awful.”