Businesses and motorists face further disruption after a dramatic sewer collapse on a busy road.
A gaping hole appeared overnight on Watling Street Road, Ribbleton, just feet from repairs on another section of the pipework.
The hole, measuring about eight feet by five and more than four feet deep, opened up as United Utilities was preparing to move from the site.
A diversion on the road, which has been closed for the past 16 days, will now have to be extended for at least another six weeks.
Gareth Hargreaves, manager of the Spar store, which is adjacent to the hole, said he was preparing himself further financial losses.
He said: “I reckon we’ve lost thousands of pounds while this has been going on.
“I’ve complained to United Utilities and every other customer that comes in has a grumble but there isn’t really much that we can do.”
Mr Hargreaves said the worst aspect for him was the fact that the road closure would now have to be extended to Hornby Road, meaning the Spar car park would no longer be accessible to customers.
He said that one of United Utilities’ trailers had partly sunk into the hole and had to be towed out.
United Utilities said work on the sewer was originally begun after a blockage was discovered.
Spokeswoman Polly Rourke said: “During the course of the repairs we discovered that the ground conditions around the pipe were very poor so we knew we had to do more work.
“We then sent a camera along the sewer and found more faults. We were planning how to proceed when the collapse took place.”
She said that in total about 45m of sewer would have to be either replaced or strengthened, meaning that a larger section of road would have to be closed off between Hornby Avenue and Wharfedale Avenue.
An overground pipe would be put in place to ensure local residents were not inconvenienced.
She said: “We want to make people aware that they won’t see a great deal happening in the coming week while we complete the behind the scenes preparation and find a way of putting things right with the least possible disruption.”