Drivers in Dieppe are encountering major traffic delays since Acadie Avenue has been closed to replace a sewer pipe. (Enterprise Greater Moncton)

Drivers in Dieppe are being asked to be patient after work on one of the main thoroughfares was delayed because of unexpected problems installing a new sanitary storm sewer.

Crews had hoped to complete the work on Acadie Avenue on the Chartersville Marsh over the long weekend, but Jacques LeBlanc, the director of engineering and public works, said the crews ran into several challenges.

"It started with the rain, then because of the depth of the pipe the soil conditions in that area started giving us some issues, and then we uncovered some pipes nearby that were perforated and basically the storm sewer from the street washed into the trench where we were supposed to install the pipe," he said.

LeBlanc said he is hoping the work will be completed by the end of Wednesday but he isn't making any promises.

"We have another critical section that we need to do today and that's crossing underneath that same sewer that we found perforated earlier on the weekend and also a large gas main that we have to cross under," he said.

LeBlanc said it is technical work that can't be rushed.

"If it goes well then the pipelaying could be done today," he said.

"If we run into problems like they're forecasting rain and because of the poor soil conditions, well it just could make things worse and make the work longer than we had hoped."

Drivers warned to expect traffic delays

While Acadie Avenue is closed, traffic is being re-routed to the surrounding streets.

LeBlanc said 25,000 vehicles use the main road everyday, so it's adding a significant amount of traffic to Chartersville Road, Thomas Street, Pascal Avenue, Bourque Road and Gauvin Road.

"Those streets normally have a fair bit of traffic themselves, so by adding all this traffic on them obviously it's making things quite congested. So those are the streets where we're detouring the traffic," he said.

In an effort to move the traffic more quickly, flag people have been stationed at six intersections to direct drivers and changes have been made to the traffic lights at Pascal Avenue and Champlain Street.

LeBlanc said until Acadie Avenue re-opens people are being encouraged to leave early.

Trevor Robson, the Codiac Transpo supervisor, said the closure has caused big problems for commuters, and buses.

"Yesterday morning some people were 40, 45 minutes late getting to work," Robson said.

"For example ... the bus went past six homes and it took him 15 minutes. So he missed a whole trip yesterday morning because it was just unbelievable the traffic."