Works to repair a pipe under Osney Bridge won’t be completed until the end of August, Thames Water said.

The works, which have seen the water company partly close Botley Road, have resulted in lengthy queues in both directions.

This weekend, one local worker who commuted down the affected road daily described the ‘chaos’ of the traffic delays. Another resident called for better communication from those carrying out the construction works.

The pipe running beneath the bridge, which supplies 22,000 properties with water, was damaged when it was struck by a boat earlier in the year.

Work to fix the damaged main began in May, with engineers currently digging deep holes either side of the bridge in order to connect a new pipe to the network. That construction work is expected to take three weeks. Thames Water will then instal valves to control the flow of the water and make concrete restraints to hold a new pipe in place.

Regional water networks manager at Thames Water Tom Hutchinson said it was a ‘complex repair’: “The work we’re carrying out is taking longer than normal but we must make sure customers don’t lose their water supply during the repair. We know this is a busy route into Oxford and we’re sorry for the disruption our work is causing.”

He acknowledged that the partial road closure ‘can be frustrating’ and promised: “We’ll re-open the lane on Osney Bridge as soon as possible.”

This weekend, an Abbey Road resident, a 59-year-old woman who did not want to give her name, said she wanted ‘more communication’ from Thames Water about what was happening.

“That is the most important thing. It would be really nice to know when they’re doing things and an explanation as to why it’s taken so long. It’s hard to appreciate why it’s taken quite as long as it has.”

She claimed she’d heard the works going on late into the evening and said the traffic delays had meant friends were effectively unable to visit them.

Asked how the works had affected him, Sebastian Vasquez, 30, of Botley Road, said: “I guess the noise mostly. Especially with the weather. It’s made it difficult to keep the windows open.”

Neighbour Victoria Fernandez, 18, said the noise affected her housemates more, as they slept at the front of the house. In a nod to a stream of running water that flowed down the road a few weeks ago, she said: “The flood that was there, that was a bit concerning.”

A 25-year-old Farmoor man who commutes to the city centre on his scooter described the works as causing traffic ‘chaos’.

Cllr Tim Bearder, Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways management, said council officers were working closely with Thames Water to ensure that the works are completed as quickly and safely as possible ‘whilst keeping an arterial route into the city open to all road users’.

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