A285 closure - Works could take 'up to three months' to complete

Works to repair a collapsed road in Duncton could take months to complete, the county council has warned.

A short section of the road, just south of Seaford College, has been closed since Saturday, October 2 for safety reasons.

A diver has assisted extensive investigations, following a slippage of earth over a culvert that spans beneath the carriageway.

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The movement, believed to have been caused by exceptional rainfall, led to the carriageway subsiding. Signed diversions are in place while investigations continue and businesses have been able to remain open.

Joy Dennis, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We understand the impact that this closure is having for residents, businesses and other road users, and continue to work with our contractors and specialist teams to find a lasting solution so the section of road can be reopened as soon as possible.

“However, this is not a straightforward road repair situation: issues include road subsidence and the challenge of a damaged carriageway which has culverts spanning beneath it, carrying water from the adjacent, large pond.”

The county council said it currently estimates that works could take 'up to three months' to complete.

This is subject to any 'adverse weather or unexpected issues', which can affect any construction project.

A285 at Duncton is closed over concerns about the safety of the road. Pic S Robards SR2110044 SUS-210410-174052001

"However, we will, of course, do all that we can to open the road sooner if possible and safe to do so," a spokesperson added.

"We apologise again for any inconvenience."

Several specialist teams have been on site, including a diver, which has assessed the underwater conditions and trial pit.

CCTV investigations are also being carried out and vegetation cleared.

The council has pulled together specialist teams and contractors, including geotechnical engineers, topographical experts and a diver for surveying beneath water level. Photo: West Sussex Highways

Future works are likely to include:

- Improving/diverting the existing drainage system to try to minimise future erosion

- Strengthening of the embankment

- Obtaining all necessary consent / approvals from landowners and statutory bodies

- Undertaking repairs to the culverts

- Protecting utilities, including a fresh water mains supply

- Reconstruction of the carriageway

- Installation of safety barriers on both sides of the carriageway

Ms Dennis added: “Businesses in Duncton have been able to open as usual throughout and will continue to do so.

"We hope that now, more than ever, people will try to support local traders as much as possible.”