WORK on constructing the new Shoreham Footbridge has been delayed, while its cost may well exceed the current budget.
It was expected to begin during spring 2012 and West Sussex County Council says it is working closely with main contractor Osborne to achieve the earliest possible start date.
Current estimates from the contractor suggest the cost of the new bridge will significantly exceed the project budget.
Given the potential cost, the county council will be taking further time, working with Osborne, to review the design and project figures.
The county council has stressed it remained fully committed to building the footbridge.
County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Pieter Montyn said: “The new footbridge will cost a significant sum of money to construct.
“The county council has a responsibility to ensure that we get value for money. Therefore it is important that sufficient time is taken to check and agree the contract price for the construction of the bridge.
“This is tax-payers money at the end of the day and it must be spent wisely.”
He added: “The footbridge will benefit pedestrians, cyclists and visitors to Shoreham enormously once it is finished.
“We have made huge progress on this project so far. We have a design that has been developed in consultation with the community. The proposals have secured planning approval and we continue to work with the Environment Agency and Adur District Council to secure improvements in Lower Beach Road and Adur Civic Car Park.”
Funding for the £5.8 million project has come from the county council and sustainable transport charity Sustrans, which received a £50 million grant from the Big Lottery Fund to extend the National Cycle Network into towns and cities across the UK.
Sustrans Regional Director for the South East, Simon Pratt, said: “Obviously it’s disappointing that project costs have increased. We’re keen to continue to work with all partners to find a way to make this project a reality and provide local people with more choice when making everyday local journeys.”