Short term pain for long term gain – that’s the message from Anglian Water about a flood alleviation scheme in the town this week.
Key route Coventry Road,in Market Harborough, was closed on Monday – and likely will remain closed for the next 12 weeks.
Motorists have reported delays and inconvenience but so far it appears to have bad rather than chaotic.
But Ciaran Nelson, a spokesman for Anglian Water, said: “This is a hugely important scheme, and we’re really sorry it’s proving to be so disruptive.
“We did everything we could to notify people of the closure in advance, but the reality is this is a short-term inconvenience for significant long-term benefit.”
Flooding has been a problem in Coventry Road for many years.
One shop manager on the road said she recalled her shop flooding 13 times in the 18 years she had been there.
Mr Nelson said: “This project is to fix that problem.
“But unfortunately it requires a degree of inconvenience as we have to shut the road while we install a new surface water sewer.”
The Coventry Road sewer will link to another new sewer under The Square.
It is part of a £1.5 million flood alleviation project, capable of discharging 500 litres of water into the River Welland, during a rainstorm.
Mr Nelson added: “We’ve done everything we can to minimise the disruption, and we’ve been working with Harborough Council, the highways authority and business representatives in the town to plan the work.
“Unfortunately, a degree of inconvenience is an inevitable consequence of an engineering project on this scale.
“We hope people will appreciate that it’s a small price to pay to minimise the risk of flooding to people’s homes and businesses in the future.
“We’re working as quickly as we safely can, and I’d like to thank motorists for their patience.”
Though the road is closed to traffic, the pavements remain open to pedestrians and all shops are accessible.