A narrowed SH4 in Whanganui's Anzac Pde is a danger to traffic and pedestrians and an annoyance, residents and businesses say.

Parts of the Whanganui riverbank dropped away in June and July 2015, during and after Whanganui's biggest recorded flood. The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) was unable to begin repairs until late last year - needing consent and an end to fish spawning times.

Since repairs began a section of road is narrowed, with cars driving in a lane once used for parking. The work is likely to go on for 18 months.

Neighbours know the repair needs to be done. Meanwhile, they endure noise, dust, water splashing on to the footpath and difficulty getting out of side roads and driveways into intense traffic.

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Worst is the potential for accidents, as cars and trucks disregard the 30km/h speed limit.

"At least every two days there's a near car accident," Red Lion Inn manager Tessa Hunt said.

Resident Frances Coulton agrees.

"I'm surprised nothing has happened so far. It's been very scary."

Problems happen when people try to get on and off Anzac Pde at busy times. While they wait to turn right from Anzac Pde into Taylor St, traffic piles up behind them. When they exit Taylor St to turn left they can't swing wide and have to mount the kerb.

Ms Coulton's garage exits on to the highway, and her husband gets up just after 6am to move his car into Taylor St so that he can get out more easily in the morning. The traffic is intense from 8am until after 9am.

"We have to actually plan our exits."

People walking the bridges brave that Anzac Pde footpath with big trucks moving quickly close by.

For Ms Coulton and neighbour Steve Shotter at Riverside Motors and Machinery there's also an issue with water. Rain ponds in what used to be a gutter but is now roadway, and passing cars splash it on to the footpath.

Ms Coulton has had litres of water and grit splashed under her front door, and her husband has rung NZTA to complain about it. Her house vibrates every time a big boulder is dropped into the river.

Reduced parking, noise and dust are more minor irritants.

"The tables are always dirty out the front [of the Red Lion Inn]. We are dusting everything all the time," Ms Hunt said.

Christina Bing, who lives farther along, has to close her windows to keep out dust on windy days.

Her biggest gripe is the length of time the repair is going to take, and the long wait for it to begin.