Kent County Council has welcomed news that Southern Gas Networks (SGN) has completed its work on Rye Road, Hawkhurst nearly three weeks ahead of schedule.
Engineers for the firm completed their programme of work developed with Kent County Council for gas supply to properties in Hawkhurst and beyond.
Work will now begin restoring the road surface and Rye Road will remain closed from Water Lane to just east of Conghurst Lane.
Two signed diversion routes are in place, one for smaller vehicles and another for larger vehicles including HGVs via A229 Highgate Hill/Moor Hill/The Moor, B2244 Hastings Road/Junction Road, B2089 Chitcombe Road, A28 Northiam Road/Main Street/Station Road/Rye Road, A268 Rye Road/Queen Street/Megrims Hill/Rye Road and vice versa.
SGN expect to complete reinstating the road and reopen Rye Road to motorists by Friday July 12.
KCC cabinet member for highways Mike Whiting said: “There was huge concern locally at the original plans to close the road for 11 weeks during the summer, which would have had a massive effect on local residents and businesses.
“We asked SGN to look again at their plans and the period was reduced to five weeks.
“I am delighted to hear that through the use of new ways of replacing the old pipes has further reduced that time and they will now complete its works well ahead of schedule.”