Ongoing traffic disruptions between Wellington and the Kāpiti Coast are hurting local businesses, the Chamber of Commerce says.
On Tuesday morning, Waka Kotahi NZTA warned commuters there would be delays on State Highway 1 (SH1) between Raumati South and Mackays Crossing.
A transport agency spokesperson said the congestion was due to ongoing work at Transmission Gully, causing traffic to be switched onto a new alignment.
The transport agency later said the congestion had eased at 12.25pm, more than five hours after their initial warning.
One driver said it had taken two and a half hours to travel 66km between Waikanae and Karori on Wednesday morning.
Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce chair Jacinda Thorn said the region had seen a long run of traffic disruptions.
"We have had 10 years of delays with the roads," she said.
"Constant disruption really concerns business because you cannot rely to get to and from Wellington, or for Wellingtonians to come here, you cannot rely that it's going to be a smooth trip."
Although Covid had given people more flexibility to work from home, she said people still needed a smooth trip in and out of the capital.
"People still need to get in and out of Wellington and to have our major route just choc-a-bloc day after day after day is just really hard going."
She understood it was difficult to perfectly time work on a state highway but hoped people making the decisions would take into account traffic flow, especially in the busy holiday period.
"I do think the timing could be better on these things, especially as we are heading into that last two weeks before Christmas," Thorn said.
"You often wonder why not do it overnight on a weekend and make sure everything is working perfectly for when you hit Monday to minimise disruption."
"We have patience but no one wants to sit in traffic for two-and-a-half hours to get to work."
The delays were due to the construction of the four-lane Transmission Gully motorway that will run from Mackays Crossing to Linden.
NZTA said last month the motorway was 85 per cent complete and they were confident it would open next September.
Thorn said Transmission Gully would be a great development for the region when completed, but for now was a headache for businesses and commuters.
"It is going to be amazing when it's open but it's caused so much pain to get there and we've also had it pushed out by a year.
"The Chamber is definitely hoping it will open in 2021 because I don't think businesses can take much more of this.
"After Covid, when we're trying to recover as a region, you kind of need all the individual parts to be working really well."