DRIVERS are facing fresh road misery as workers start repairing a collapsed sewer beneath the A32.
Only one lane is open in Fareham Road, Gosport, near Vector Aerospace while Southern Water carries out emergency repairs for the next nine days.
Temporary traffic lights were put up at 10.30am yesterday and caused immediate queues in both directions.
Commuters are now bracing themselves for lengthy tailbacks during the morning and evening rush hours as Southern Water works around the clock to fix the sewer.
At one stage yesterday evening, queuing traffic from the A32 back along the sliproad and on to the M27, causing tailbacks to Farlington.
Janet Smith, 69, of nearby Fraser Road, said: ‘My daughter lives in Whiteley and she drives to work in Gosport every morning.
‘I will have to warn her because the traffic will be awful and a lot of us didn’t know what was going on.
‘I don’t drive but I get the bus and I expect that will be affected too.
‘People get very irate and frustrated about this sort of thing but it’s not like it can be helped and it’s better than not having a working sewer.’
By lunchtime yesterday, queues of traffic were all the way down to Rowner Road.
Driver James Harris, 29, was caught in the traffic as he drove from his home in Havant to work in Gosport.
He said: ‘I didn’t realise I was going to be caught in this and I should imagine it’s going to be pretty horrific for the next few days.
‘But I don’t have any other option and I expect it’s the same for most people.
‘If it can’t be helped then that’s fair enough but obviously it makes life a bit more difficult. I hope it’s not too noisy for the people living around here but it’s good that they are being quick about it.’
Southern Water has laid a temporary overland sewer so people can still use their toilets, sinks and showers.
Contractor Clancy Docwra will be working on the site 24 hours a day to get the road reopened and find out what caused the sewer’s collapse.
The southbound carriageway will be closed around the clock while workers dig down to reach the sewer.
Hampshire County Council says it is working with Southern Water to keep traffic disruption to a minimum.
The repairs are expected to be finished and the road reopened by next Wednesday.
Emergency repairs coincide with other works
LONG-SUFFERING motorists already have trouble getting in and out of Gosport due to several other schemes.
Work on the Quay Street roundabout in Fareham is nearing completion before the opening of the town’s new Tesco superstore on November 28.
And Wych Lane, off the A32, is still closed for the construction of a new junction for Hampshire County Council’s Bus Rapid Transit scheme.
Drivers have been diverted through Cunningham Drive for the 10 months of work on Wych Lane which could reopen early next year.