A busy Melton town centre road has reopened this afternoon (Friday) after sewer repairs were finished much earlier than expected but it will close again on Tuesday for up to four days so rattling manhole covers can be repaired.
Market Place was closed to traffic a week ago with Severn Trent Water initially expecting to take up to three weeks to do their work.
Leicestershire County Council was planning to repair the noisy manholes on adjoining Leicester Street while the road was closed.
But their work teams can’t start the job until Tuesday so Market Place has reopened again to traffic today but will have to be closed again for the work on the covers, which have disturbed traders and residents since last year.
Traders are angry that the two jobs could not be done at the same time and avoided the disruption of having the road closed twice.
Nicola McKenzie is office manager at estate agents Richard Watkinson & Partners and she says staff have suffered the din from the manhole covers for most of the last year.
She said: “It’s absolute madness that three organisations can’t liaise with each other over these schemes.
“We were told six weeks ago that these manhole covers would be sorted at the same time as the other roadworks but they are now going to close it again.”
Nicola said everyone living and working on the street had been subjected to the tortuous rattling of the manhole covers for too long.
She said: “It’s like a machine gun going off.
“Particularly when two lorries go over them one over after the other - its six sets of wheels going ‘bang, bang, bang’ and then the next one makes the same noise straight after.
“It’s difficult trying to have a conversation which is a problem when you are constantly dealing with the public like we are.
“It’s not a pleasant experience at all - I work in an office, not on a building site.”
Photographer Sarah Browne, who works at Derek Whitehouse Photography on nearby Church Street, said: “They are going to have to shut the road again to do these drains now which is mad - I can’t believe they can’t co-ordinate these two schemes.
“We’ve all had enough of the noise from these drain covers every time a car goes over them.
“You can even hear them from the car park near the council offices and every time I make a phone call upstairs at work I have to close the window because of the noise.”
Leicestershire County Council confirmed Market Place and Leicester Street would close again on Tuesday for up to four days.
He said: “We are aware of the concerns of businesses and residents on Leicester Street and Market Place, Melton Mowbray, and the road will reopen temporarily, before we carry out the repairs to manhole covers next week.
“All works will be completed one week ahead of schedule.”
The alternative diversion route will remain as Burton Street, Sherrard Street, Thorpe End, Norman Way, Wilton Road, and vice versa.
A Severn Trent Water spokesperson said: “The original plan was to have the road closure for three weeks, taking us to July 27.
“We’ve nearly completed all of our work, a lot quicker than originally planned.”