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WORKS to repair a blocked sewer under a town centre road are set to continue for at least another two weeks.

United Utilities (UU) say the work, in Bolton Street - close to the East Lancashire Railway station entrance - is to prevent future flooding, and has been more complicated than first anticipated.

The blockage was situated where two sewers meet, at a depth of eight metres, and is centred beneath the railway bridge which takes Bolton Street over the railway.

To prevent risking damage to the structure of the bridge, UU had to tunnel underneath the sewer.

They dug an eight metre shaft a short distance way in Bolton Street, and — in an unusual procedure — had to tunnel horizontally to start removing the blockage by hand, which consists of a mixture of cement, debris and solidified fat.

Polly Rourke, of UU, said: “We're really sorry for the disruption we've been causing.

“We’ll probably be there for at least another two weeks, as while we're there we’re also tackling other issues with the pipe, which is old and has not been performing very well.

"We’ve already installed a new 13-metre sewer pipe and over the next three weeks we'll be re-building a manhole chamber in Bolton Street so that engineers can return later in the year to seal the remaining problem pipe without anywhere near as much disruption.”