Work on a water pipe that restricted access on Te Mata Rd for commuters during rush-hour traffic yesterday morning has frustrated residents.

A Havelock North resident, who did not wish to be named, said they "had to take a tiki tour around trying alternate routes".

"What annoyed me even more was that Traffic Management showed signs saying you couldn't perform a u-turn, but people ignored this sign and did so anyway into on-coming traffic."

Road works on Te Mata Road in Havelock North prevented people from turning right. Photo / Paul Taylor
Road works on Te Mata Road in Havelock North prevented people from turning right. Photo / Paul Taylor

"There was heaps of traffic and at that time of the morning, school buses were starting to come in. It was crazy."

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She left at 7.48am and only arrived at work at 8.15am - 15 minutes after she was due to start for the day.

"What's most annoying is that there was no warning yesterday to alert us and to say to adjust route. If there was a warning, we would have planned better."

She said it wasn't "drastic, but certainly time consuming".

A council spokesperson said the pipe work that is restricting the right hand turns should be laid in the ground, and therefore out of the way, by end of the day."

"The water pipe that is being drawn underground is sitting in the middle of the road in preparation for laying. It was rolled there last night at about 10.30pm. Lengths were welded on site yesterday morning between 6am and 7am."

They said "there were restrictions on people turning right into Te Mata Rd" in that area.

"Those wanting to turn right need to turn left and travel left to the nearest roundabout, go around it, and then head back.

"This is unfortunate, however the size of the job - which is critical infrastructure that adds capacity and flexibility to our water supply - means we cannot install the pipe without some disruption. Council and the contractors are working as efficiently as possible to keep disruptions to the absolute minimum possible."

They were unable to comment on why people were not informed beforehand.

Another resident said it was "terrible", especially given that they "knew nothing about it".

Te Mata Primary and Havelock North Intermediate schools said they had heard no reports of it impacting students arrival to school.

Once completed the project will enable more water to be pumped around the district, making the water supply system more resilient and flexible.

In Hastings the new pipe is replacing a smaller 70-year-old main, while the main in Havelock North is a completely new pipe.

Havelock North High School Assistant Principal Jamie Kitchin said it wasn't a great inconvenience for the school, given that up to 600 students are currently on exam leave.

"What has impressed me over the three-and-a-half-months is the traffic management and the number of staff on the road."

Construction engineering company, Monadelphous, that has undertaken the job, was unable to be reached for comment.