Contractor Auldyn has applied to extend the closure of Broadway until December, having originally planned to open it on September 8.

The Department of Infrastructure has updated residents on the plans, with the delay being put down to the complexity of replacing the gas main.

Due to its age and condition, the historic gas main had to be kept live to ensure an uninterrupted service to customers but this proved extremely problematic at times.

Establishing minor connections, including 10 side streets, and undertaking the safe decommissioning of the old gas main will be challenging.

A DoI spokesman said: ’As a precautionary measure the contractor, Auldyn Construction has applied to extend the closure on Broadway until the beginning of December. Early investigations have shown how fragile the pipe work is.’

The completion of the roundabout and pedestrian crossings on each approach to Broadway junction will be finalised once the gas mains is fully decommissioned.

Infrastructure Minister Tim Baker MHK, who is also Manx Utilities Chairman, said: ’This is an extremely challenging and complex utilities replacement scheme that, only when complete, allows the highway reconstruction to really get going in each section.

’All the utility companies are of course committed to keeping customers supplied at all times, and I applaud the hard work and innovative thinking which has got us to this stage.

’I would like to thank the Manx public, particularly businesses and residents directly affected by the promenade works, for their patience and understanding.

’We are entering a significant phase in this project following the completion of the mains and I hope, like me, people are looking forward to using the modern space and new road layout next spring.’

The Department has said it still plans to have this phase of the scheme completed by March 31 2021. Although the rest of the works will take place over the next two winters.

As previously reported by Isle of Man Newspapers, the strategic board responsible for the scheme has acknowledged it is again behind schedule with Mr Baker questioning Auldyn’s ability to finish the job on time.