Residents in a village street flooded with traffic after a major road was shut face another six months of misery.
A section of the A6106 Old Dalkeith Road, which links Dalkeith and Edinburgh, was closed after cracks appeared along a 100ft stretch last July, followed by fears of subsidence.
Drivers have been using Lugton Brae, Dalkeith, as a diversion – which could now last until the autumn.
Midlothian Council said work to repair the road – used by 10,000 motorists a day and more than two million over a six-month period – was set to get under way after the Easter break. Although a timescale for the repairs, to be carried out by Bonnyrigg contractor Crummock, has not be confirmed officially, it is understood the work will not be completed until October.
Some residents today claimed the number of diverted vehicles was making the street unsafe.
Kate Markus, 27, a stay-at-home mum who lives on Lugton Road, said: “It’s disappointing to hear this is going drag on for another six months.
“I’ve got two children and the traffic does get really busy. For me the worry is the volume of traffic rather than the speed.
“This was a very quiet street – now it’s more like a bypass. A mirror has been knocked off our car and we’ve had to find somewhere else to park.”
The council said Crummock has been on site since late January to determine how the work can be done as “efficiently, economically and quickly as possible”, although the cost remains unknown.
Dalkeith councillor Alex Bennett said: “The contractors have come up with two designs and have not yet decided what will be the best one to go forward. The work is not expected to be completed until towards the end of the year, perhaps October. It’s been a real pain for people using that route and it will be good when everything gets back to normal.”
An investigation into the cracks found extreme weather, potential mine workings and long-term ground movement may all have contributed to a deep underground slip.
Councillor Bob Constable, cabinet member with responsibility for roads, said: “We know there’s significant damage to parts of the underground drainage system and this has been a major factor in the road failing.
“It’s not great news but at least we know what we’re dealing with and we can take the necessary steps.”
A Midlothian Council spokesman added: “We are still carrying out investigations on site and until we know what the final solution will be, it isn’t possible to put a definite timescale on this work.”