A set of problematic traffic lights in central Rotorua should soon be operating normally.

The lights at the intersection of Amohau and Fenton Sts have been out of service while much needed work to replace cabling and wiring was undertaken.

In recent months the lights have proved a nightmare for motorists and have been out of order on a number of occasions.

Rotorua District Council Highway and Transport Planning manager Kevin Thompson said the problems were caused by Rotorua's harsh and corrosive geothermal environment.

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He said repair work started on Sunday night and continued throughout yesterday and last night.

A temporary roundabout, made of traffic cones, was placed there in the meantime.

He said the work was being managed by Rotorua District Council for the New Zealand Transport Agency.

Mr Thompson hoped the lights would be repaired by this morning.

"If everything runs to expectations and if no unforeseen problems surface, then it is possible that the traffic signals will be operational again before today's peak morning traffic period," he said.

"We acknowledge the temporary traffic management arrangement can be frustrating as it is not as efficient as traffic signals and it does slow traffic down. However, the work needs to be done now and when the upgrade is complete the risk of future outages ... should be substantially reduced."

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The council appreciated the patience shown by most motorists, he said.