IF all goes to plan this week, a main Poole road could be partially re-opened to traffic by Sunday night.

With all the pipe diversions now in place, Wessex Water hopes to be able to dig down another half-metre under Blandford Road and fully expose the burst sewer.

“There is some optimism that by Sunday night we may be in a position to have one lane open,” said Andy Gale, project manager.

“There are a lot of caveats but we are optimistic.”

This is the third week that a 40-metre section of the main road has been closed between the Turlin Moor junction and Allens Lane, after sewage began bubbling up through the tarmac.

The 600mm pressurised rising main is around 4.5m under the road, amid ground conditions described as “soup” caused by the amount of groundwater, taking sewage from Hamworthy, Upton and Turlin Moor to the treatment station at Poole.

However before work can begin on replacing the leaking section, a major operation has had to be carried out to re-route pipes from the Turlin Moor pumping station to avoid the damaged pipe.

A 10-inch water main that feeds most of Poole had had to be moved as well as a gas main, which ran across the sewage pipe.

Southern Gas Networks diverted their yellow plastic pipe in three days, having to get specialists from London to do it without cutting off the supply.

“The actual repair is easy,” said Andy.

“It’s actually getting down on to the pipe and dealing with the weather and groundwater and health and safety.

“In terms of people flushing their toilets they can still flush and forget and not worry about it,” he added, and thanked residents for their patience.

Even when the section of 15-year-old pipe is replaced, it will take about another week to 10-days to re-route the other pipes and replace the road surface before the road can be fully re-opened.

Steve Tite, Borough of Poole traffic manager said: “We would like to apologise for the inconvenience and reassure residents we will get the road open as soon as we possibly can.”