Traders hit by roadworks that are taking five months longer than expected to complete could be given compensation, it has emerged.
The Severn Trent project on Compton Bridge in Wolverhampton has caused misery for many motorists and business owners.
The water company has been carrying out emergency repair work on a leak on the A454 Bridgnorth Road, Compton, and initially set a completion date for April.
But delays have meant drivers and businesses have been frustrated by seemingly never-ending maintenance at the location.
Businesses say they have seen a drop in trade as their customers want to avoid the traffic blackspot. And they have also complained that the project ground to a halt for weeks despite temporary traffic lights still being in operation.
A replacement water pipe is now being installed and it is hoped the long-running scheme will finally be completed by the end of next month.
Last night Severn Trent officials met with traders and motorists at a meeting held at the nearby Oddfellows pub, organised by MP Paul Uppal.
Tony Loy, business claims and compensation manager at Severn Trent said: “We are not carrying out this work to be awkward. Had we ignored the situation, the problems would have been a lot worse. Our staff have been working 12 hours a day to get everything finished.
“Our company will pay compensation to businesses who make claims that show they have been affected by the work we have been carrying out. I would urge business owners to fill out claims forms and if they want to elaborate on those forms, they can call us and speak to us about their concerns.”
Terry Oakley has run Clare’s of Compton hair salon on Bridgnorth Road, for 25 years and said: “I have built up my salon over a long period of time but the roadworks have set me back at least five years,” he said.
“The last few months have been very difficult because people have been turning up late for appointments and struggling to get through the traffic.”
Mr Uppal said the meeting had helped to alleviate tensions between Severn Trent representatives and business owners.