After a small defect turned into a bigger hole, the Department of Infrastructure carried out emergency repairs over the weekend to the Mountain Road.

The repairs included replacing a culvert and relaying the road.

Originally a small surface defect developed in centre of the carriageway just above Guthrie’s Memorial on the Mountain Mile on the A18 Mountain Road, and temporary surface repairs were immediately undertaken, but on Friday it worsened.

A DoI statement said: ‘One of our engineers examined the site and found that a small sink hole was developing. The road was immediately closed to traffic on safety grounds and to allow the road to be excavated and the site investigated.

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The road reopened at 2.30pm on Sunday following the installation of a replacement drainage system

‘It was found that the old combined stone culvert/clay pipe drainage system that takes water from the high side of the road to the low side had completely collapsed across the centre line of the carriageway.

‘On the Mountain Mile there are more than 130 lateral culverts, each located every 10 to 20 metres.

‘While over the years some of these have been replaced by modern drainage pipes as part of road reconstruction, or specific drainage works , many are still of the old stone built variety. It had been originally hoped that a repair would suffice and the road reopened late on Friday evening.’

The road re-opened at 2.30pm on Sunday.