A sinkhole thought to be 40ft deep on Manchester’s Mancunian Way will take at least 10 days to repair, as engineers work to tackle the huge crater.
The fissure opened up on Friday and has been blamed on the extreme wet weather that battered the north-western city last week.
People were urged to remain well clear of the hole after eyewitnesses reported it expanding as the pavement eroded away.
Parts of the A-road remain closed, with traffic being diverted away from the collapsed section of highway.
Water company United Utilities said the cave-in was ‘not caused by any aspect’ of its operations and is now working with council staff to assess the damage.
A Manchester City Council spokesperson said: ‘A repair plan is now in place to stabilise the hole and make the cavity watertight to allow engineers to restore the damage.
‘This initial phase of work could take up to 10 days, but until we are completely satisfied that the area is safe, the section of The Mancunian Way will remain closed in both directions.
‘The diversions put in place last week will remain and signing will be re-enforced, including the use of variable message signs, but motorists using the route are asked to allow more time for their journey, which may take longer than normal.’