Wellington commuters are being warned to expect significant delays during tomorrow morning's rush hour following the appearance of sinkhole on Jervois Quay.
ervois Quay will be down to one southbound lane near the Queens Wharf and the Hunter St intersection, a Wellington City Council spokesman said.
"Repair crews have started work today to fix a broken stormwater main, about two metres below the road, however it will take some time to excavate the necessary hole and work will continue tomorrow."
Motorists are being urged to avoid heading southbound on the waterfront quays tomorrow and instead take alternative routes if they don't want to face delays.
"We're investigating a sinkhole on Jervois Quay, Wellington," Wellington Water said in a statement on social media this afternoon.
Traffic management has closed the left and centre lane on Jervois Quay, as well as the turning lane from Hunter St."
Traffic management is currently on site.
A Wellington City Council spokesman said it appeared the situation was the result of a broken stormwater main.
He described the situation as "serious" because there was a 1.5m wide hole in the road that was 2-3m deep.
He asked that motorists avoid the area, but authorities were working to open another southbound lane for rush-hour traffic.
At 5.40pm Wellington Water said ongoing investigation work was continuing.
Traffic management reducing the flow to one lane along Jervois Quay would still be in place during tomorrow morning's peak-hour traffic, the update said.
It's understood Wellington Water intends to start digging and then fixing the fault tonight, but safety procedures have to first be put in place as there are gas mains under the road.
In an unrelated incident this afternoon, a gas main was damaged in the area of Evans Bay which was originally reported as an explosion, and then as a leak.
The incident happened during investigative construction work in preparation for the refurbishment of the Evans Bay retaining wall.
The reports of the sinkhole emerge after weeks of water woes for the capital city.
Wellington has been plagued with burst pipes and water mains, with staff left scrambling to stop wastewater spilling into the harbour.
Last week a cast iron pipe built in the early 1900s burst at the intersection of Victoria and Mercer streets.
The pipe was due for renewal or replacement in two or three years.
The hole or split was a relatively modest size in terms of the actual defect, but was problematic because the area was pressurised, Wellington Water chief executive Colin Crampton said at the time.
"Wastewater comes from businesses and residents and it flows down to the harbour edge, where it's contained in tanks and is pumped back up to the main tunnel that goes to the wastewater treatment plant.
"So, because it's under pressure, it means it gets forced out of that defect and is obviously much more tricky than if it was just a gravity flowing main."
The burst pipe prompted council to request CBD residents to only flush the toilet when essential and minimise the use of inside drains.
Just a couple of days later sandbags had to be brought in to protect properties in Aro Valley when a water main burst on Aro St.
In footage posted on social media, police could be seen assisting traffic while water gushed up into the air and across the road.
Rocks could be seen sprayed across the road and a digger had to be brought on site to help with the clean-up.
Water reached halfway up the wheels of some parked cars and the footpath was so flooded it was difficult to walk through without gumboots.
In November a blocked pipe near Queens Wharf sent about 20,000 litres of wastewater flowing into the harbour, and in December central city residents were left without water for hours after a water main burst.
More to come.