Motorists will face months of delays as they travel through the north of Elgin, as a £500,000 scheme to upgrade the area’s gas network takes place.
Gas distribution company SGN will begin working along Lesmurdie Road, which leads to the A941 route to Lossiemouth, early next month.
The firm says that the programme could last for more than 20 weeks – meaning there will be disruption along the stretch for at least the rest of the year.
Although acknowledging that some motorists will be unhappy, SGN has stressed the work is “essential”.
A spokesman said: “We have worked closely with the local authority in planning this work, and we will be doing everything we can to minimise disruption during this essential project.”
The cost of the scheme is estimated at £490,000, and the work is intended to create a “safe and reliable gas supply” long into the future. Engineers will replace existing metal gas mains and services along the road with modern plastic piping.
Following discussions with Moray Council, the company has agreed to start work on the project on Monday, August 7.
The scheme will be split into two phases in an effort to minimise disruption “as much as possible”.
The first phase will begin in Lesmurdie Road in August, and will require the road to be closed in the northbound direction, between its junctions with Lossiemouth Road and Reis Street for approximately eight weeks.
A signed diversion route will be in place for motorists via the A96 and the A941 along North Street, though access for residents will be maintained at all times.
In phase two, temporary traffic lights will be in place in Lesmurdie Road between its junctions with Reid Street and Chandlers Rise for 12 weeks.
The scheme follows similar work along the A96 through Elgin last summer.
Elgin City South councillor, John Divers, said several residents had complained about the town’s already overburdened road network slowing to a standstill more regularly.
Councillor Divers said he had been stuck in some “very bad traffic jams” himself over the duration of the upgrades.
The new plastic piping being laid is expected to last for as long as 80 years.