City centre road reopened after water main bursts causing traffic chaos in Norwich
- Credit: copyright ARCHANT 2017
A busy Norwich road has reopened after a burst water main brought traffic in the city centre to a standstill.
Water burst through the tarmac in Exchange Street on Tuesday, August 29, which led to the street and Gaol Hill closing.
This caused long tailbacks as traffic was directed from St Giles Street back up Bethel Street.
This then backed up onto the inner ring road causing further delays as far back as Ketts Hill, two miles down the road on the opposite side of the city.
On the city's buses, First Group tweeted that services were running with at least a 40 minute delay.
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Staff at Thorns DIY watched the leak as it developed and began to flood the street before they phoned the police.
They feared that the surface was coming loose and, as the store's basement goes under the road, a sinkhole could have emerged.
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Customer assistant Glen Gates described how the 'road surface seemed to be moving around like a water bed' and that: 'If it happened while deliveries were going on, all it would have taken was the wrong vehicle in the wrong place and they could have fallen through.
'We had vehicles coming down the road this morning and mounting the pavement to get around it.
'It's crazy how one little road affects the whole city.'
Elsewhere in the street though, businesses were welcoming the reduced movement of cars.
Florence Orme, manager of Woolf and Bird, said: 'If anything we have been busier. I originally thought it would be a lot worse as the police had come down but it wasn't.
'We had a phone call from our delivery saying they would be late but that wasn't a problem.'
A spokesman for Anglian Water said: 'Repair to the leak was completed overnight, with our engineers working until around 4am on Wednesday.'
The spokesman added: 'Anglian Water apologises for any inconvenience caused by the works.'