FRUSTRATED motorists could face a week of delays as repairs to a manhole on a busy dual carriageway are due to take longer than expected.
Traffic on the A689 leading in and out of town has been hugely affected by hold-ups caused by a contraflow system that has seen traffic travelling south being diverted onto the northbound lane.
Engineers from BT are working on repairing a potentially dangerous manhole, in Truro Drive, Hartlepool, which has already caused delays back on to the A689.
A spokesperson for BT told the Mail the work was expected to be completed yesterday, but experts found the job to be more complicated than originally thought.
Work is now expected to carry on until later in the week, meaning drivers could find themselves stuck in similar hold-ups.
One frustrated driver stuck in the traffic yesterday, who did not want to be named, said: “It was really quite bad, we didn’t know what was going on.
“It just didn’t seem to be moving anywhere.
“At one point we saw an ambulance go past so we thought there must have been an accident. But then we found out it was all caused by the repairs that were taking place.
“We ended up having to go off the A689 and in to Hartlepool through the Dalton back road.”
Amy Abela, BT relations manager, said: “We applied for emergency permission from the local authority to make repairs to a potentially dangerous manhole.
“The work started on Monday morning and was expected to be completed by the end of the day.
“Unfortunately the job isn’t as straight forward as originally thought and engineers may not complete the work until the middle or back end of the week.
“This does sometimes happen with manholes where engineers start the work inside and find the damage to be more extensive than originally thought.
“I would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to road users while these vital repairs are carried out.”