Police were forced to close the eastbound carriageway of the A27 near Falmer shortly before 11.30am on Friday (July 18) when a beer lorry overturned.
The lorry initially blocked both lanes, but East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service crews attended and were able to shift the vehicle so that lane two could be opened.
The incident nevertheless caused considerable delays as traffic was diverted around the scene via Coldean Lane.
Some drivers who had to wait reversed to travel the wrong way up a nearby slip road, but this was not sanctioned by police.
The lorry’s load was removed and a recovery truck was brought in to clear the obstruction.
Inspector Phil Nicholas, of Sussex Police’s road policing unit, said: “Full closure of the eastbound carriageway lasted some 45 minutes at most.
“Thanks to the fire and rescue service one lane was re-opened as quickly as possible to get traffic moving. All diversions were taken off by 1pm, and the eastbound carriageway re-opened shortly afterwards. “
Insp Nicholas added: “Just as we advise drivers to take warm clothing and hot drinks with them during the winter, it is sensible to ensure you have water and the means to keep cool when the weather is hot.
“We regret the delays caused by this incident, but thank motorists who showed patience while everything was being done to get traffic flowing again.”
The cause of the incident is being investigated and anyone who saw what happened is asked to phone Sussex Police on 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, quoting serial 543 of 18/7.