Christchurch City Council hopes to have all roads damaged in the 4 September earthquake fixed within 18 months.
About 100 kilometres of road need permanent repairs, but until broken sewer lines are replaced, contractors can only patch the damage.
Temporary repairs using loose gravel are creating lots of dust, which workers are trying to reduce by spraying the roads with water.
The council's transport manager, Alan Beuzenberg, is asking residents to bear with the council and contractors.
He says it will cost at least $50 million to repair the roads, though estimates are changing all the time.