Work to reopen popular West Sussex road starts next week: West Chiltington Road was closed before Christmas after collapse lead to flooding
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The council said the road was closed just before Christmas after a culvert collapsed under the carriageway, which led to ‘significant damage’ to the road surface, as well as flooding.
The council said investigation and remedial works had been planned for early January but persistent heavy rain meant the volume of water in the area was too high to start the works safely.
They added that drainage specialists said the volume of water was too much to pump and control too.
A West Sussex County Council spokesperson said: “Closing a road is always the last resort but was essential for public safety. The closure has meant an inspection and assessment of the area could take place to establish what remedial works are required and to plan how they will be carried out. Last weekend (27/28 January), which followed a period of drier weather, we were able to excavate a trench to divert water away from the affected culvert and works area.”
The council said work started at the failed area of carriageway on Monday, January 29, to find the cause of the issue. The spokesperson said: “Our contractors managed to expose the collapsed culvert and removed a large tree stump found within which had caused water to build up, weakening the culvert and washing out the road structure. The contractors also found that another, 2 to 3metre section of the culvert has failed and no longer offers any structural support.”
The council said the work needed from February 5 before the road reopens includes:
Using a dam to stop all water ingress to the works area, supported by an industrial pump, where required.
Excavating and removing the entire length of the failed culvert, with some of this work having to be done by hand due to the number and close proximity of utility services.
Replacing the culvert with a polymer pipe.
Localised repairs to an existing foul sewer that appears to have been historically damaged and temporarily repaired.
Re-grading the ditch and land on the western side of West Chiltington Road to ensure the water can flow away from the culvert and into the local ditch/stream network.
Clearing all gully and drainage assets in the area to ensure they are fully operational.
Reinstating all excavations with full-depth carriageway construction.
The county council spokesperson added: “We are unable to provide a completion date at this time but will keep key stakeholders informed as work progresses. We ask for people’s understanding and patience as we understand the inconvenience the road closure has caused and apologise for this. Please be assured the work will be completed as quickly as is safe to do so.”
People travelling in the area are advised to allow extra time because there is no access between Pulborough and West Chiltington via West Chiltington Road.
Diversion route signage is in place and the route is:
Harborough Hill to The Common to Mill Road (North).
The Hollow to Broadford Bridge Road to Adversane Lane (West).
Stane St A29 (South) to Lower Street A283 (East).
Mare Hill Road to West Chiltington Road.