THE resurfacing of Shaftesbury’s High Street was due to be completed at the weekend, but pipework damages have halted the process.

Following a series of pipes bursting while works were carried out in the area last week, Wessex Water has told the Journal it will now be replacing the main pipe running through the street before the resurfacing is complete.

This means that the newly laid road, conducted by Dorset Council, will need to be ripped up for pipe installation.

According to the utility company, the pipe replacement started on Monday, February 1, and will be completed by February 12, after which the road can be resurfaced.

A Wessex Water spokesperson said: “We could not have foreseen third-party damage to our pipework, but this is an opportunity to work in partnership with the council by replacing the main while the road is closed and avoid having to dig it up once it is newly resurfaced.

"This work will improve customers’ water quality and ensure a more reliable supply in the future.”

As well as the pipework damage being an obstacle last week, Dorset Council switched the road works from daytime to night time, as “there had been far too many pedestrians stepping over the tape and walking in the works area – putting themselves and our workforce at risk of injury”.

Referring to the water leak on High Street, a spokesperson for Dorset Council said: "Wessex Water was notified and it was agreed that our highways work would stop and Wessex Water would take over the site to repair their water main, which was at the end of its useful life.

"It made sense to pull our workforce off site as the water main potentially could have burst from the vibrations of the roller during resurfacing.

"The company has been given permission for extended 24 hour working to ensure the repairs are finished by February 12, when our highways gang will return to resurface High Street overnight."

The authority added that surfacing works elsewhere in Shaftesbury, on Salisbury Street and Coppice Street, had finished.