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The sinkhole on the main road causes traffic chaos in Nelson.

Traffic was restored on Richmond and State Highway 6 after a sinkhole opened on Main Road Stoke.

Equipment

Traffic was restored on Richmond and State Highway 6 after a sinkhole opened on Main Road Stoke.

A sinkhole on Main Road Stoke that has caused traffic chaos in Richmond and Nelson will close the road overnight.

Alec Lourdes, group manager for Nelson City Council for Infrastructure, said the hole opened after a fall around 10:10 a.m. Wednesday.

“The old bridge has fallen into the river, which needs to be taken care of before the road can be fully reopened. The culvert is to be replaced as part of Phase 4 of the Sexton Creek Upgrade Project.

He said the council had made arrangements to close the road from 7pm on Wednesday to 6am on Thursday to allow the remedial work.

Contractors are working to replace the collapsed plot that sank.  Traffic has been reduced to one lane to allow for roadside work, where traffic was originally diverted.

Provided

Contractors are working to replace the collapsed plot that sank. Traffic has been reduced to one lane to allow for roadside work, where traffic was originally diverted.

“While repairs are underway, Main Road Stoke will be limited to one Northbow Lane for the rest of the day until the road is fully reopened tomorrow morning.”

Equipment The hole is thought to have been discovered because traffic, which had been diverted to the other side of the road to allow work, broke off the road in the bicycle lane.

Sinkholes caused major traffic problems for most of the day. A staff reporter said it took 58 minutes to drive from Nelson CBD to Richmond Countdown Supermarket on Wednesday afternoon.

Lourdes said a request was made to open the gate at Sexton Field to allow drivers to pass through Velodom on the Champion RD, but it was turned down due to safety concerns.

“This route is not considered safe for the built-in packing volume of traffic, as it is an amusement reserve with many children and other vulnerable users,” he said.

“The road section at the end of Tasman District Council is in poor condition and not suitable for high traffic volume.”

“When people tried to pass through the Sexton Reserve, the gate was closed and there was no way to the south,” he said. Additional signals have been put in place to make this clear, he said.

The sink hole appeared relatively small when it was first discovered, but was much larger below the surface.

Provided by / Nelson City Council.

The sink hole appeared relatively small when it was first discovered, but was much larger below the surface.

“We apologize for the inconvenience caused by this emergency road repair. We are working as soon as possible, and we ask for your patience.”

A woman who lives nearby but did not want to be named said the traffic started around 11 a.m. and has been jammed ever since.

The sinkhole, he said, “started out as a small hole, and it’s just gotten bigger.”

He said traffic would be “evil” during peak hours.

Both Waka Kotahi and Nelson City Council are urging passengers to avoid the area if possible, especially travel times.

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