Gisborne drivers experienced big city frustration in major traffic jams on Wainui and Rutene roads this morning.
The jams were caused by the closure of the Rutene Road-Harris Street intersection for essential service upgrades between today and Friday.
Traffic banked up along Wainui Road from Reads Quay to Sponge Bay Road, and right along Rutene Road past the de Lautour Road roundabout, with some having to wait up to an hour to get through.
One motorist described it as “chaos”.
The works are part of the council's $2.6 million stormwater upgrade. It is installing a new pipe along Rutene Road to reduce flooding and wastewater discharges into rivers during wet weather.
Detours were in place and traffic management personnel were on site.
The removal of a detour, which allowed vehicles to move along Rutene Road and past the works got traffic flowing again.
Among the time casualties was today's meeting of the Gisborne District Council's finance and performance committee, which was delayed by 30 minutes. Several councillors were caught up in the traffic jam.
GDC 4 Waters infrastructure manager Neville West said contractors were reporting back to the council on why the traffic management plan was not effective.
“We are also looking at options to allow some traffic through the work site during the peak morning traffic if possible.
“The contractor has three excavations through to Friday that will close both lanes for a period of time. This is to lower a section of water main, lower a fibre optic cable and install a new manhole.
“We apologise for the level of disruption but hope the community bears with us while we undertake this critical work.”