Motorists will face an extensive diversion and buses will be rerouted when Bridge Road is shut from October 12 for an estimated three weeks to allow the replacement to take place.
With related work to follow in Colinton Road and Redford Road, spilling into December and January, shopkeepers are worried about the effect on their businesses.
Postmaster Robert Carcary at Olive Post & Deli said: “I accept the work needs to be done but I would appreciate it if there consideration in terms of the commercial impact it has on the parade of shops on Bridge Road.
“Closing the road to vehicles will have a massive impact on footfall to the shops. If it’s a prolonged period, have they considered when is the best time to do it? For me, as a retailer, January/February would be the time to do it, not the run-up to Christmas.
“In this parade there are shops that have opened and closed in the past. We need our local customers and passing trade.”
David Bewsey , secretary of Colinton Community Council, echoed the concerns of the shops and also pointed to potential traffic problems for the village since motorists often choose it as an alternative to the City Bypass. “If there is a problem on the bypass, say goodbye to moving in the west of Edinburgh,” he said.
Gas infrastructure company SGN has said work will take place 7am-7pm and at weekends in a bid to get the road open again as soon as possible.
Colinton/Fairmilehead Labour councillor Scott Arthur said: “These roadworks by SGN may be essential but they have the potential to be hugely disruptive to Colinton village and the wider area.
“I have been pushing the council and SGN to ensure disruption to buses, pedestrians, cyclists and other people passing through Colinton is minimised. I am also keen to work with the community council to ensure that SGN does all it can to support local businesses.”
The Bridge Road closure will affect bus routes in the village. Lothian Buses said the Nos 45 and 400 would not be able to serve the area during the roadworks, while the Nos 10 and 16 would see minor changes.
A council spokeswoman said: “We have met with SGN and Lothian to agree the least disruptive approach, and will continue to work with them to ensure the minimum impact to residents while these essential works are carried out.”