Controversial works to downgrade the Broadbridge Heath bypass are set to enter a new phase.
Part of the A281 has been permanently closed to traffic between the Tesco roundabout and the Newbridge roundabout as works continue on a £2m project aiming to ‘unite the old and new areas of Broadbridge Heath’.
West Sussex County Council has announced the ‘main construction phase’ is now underway which is set to bring about several major changes to the area.
One of the changes will be the re-routing of the Billingshurst Road.
Currently the Billingshurst Road connects with the Newbridge roundabout at the west of the village. However, the council says works will see access to the village cut off from the roundabout and the road will be extended further up the former A281 with a new entrance and exit created onto the road.
The main construction phase will also see the eastbound dual carriageway - between Tesco and the Farthings Hill roundabout - reduced to one lane. The removed lane will be transformed into a raised off-route for pedestrians and cyclists.
New toucan crossings are also set to be created on the A24 Farthings Hill roundabout. The crossings are set to help improve access for pedestrians and cyclists and a raised a bridge parapet will also be created on the roundabout.
The works will see new footways and crossings created on the Newbridge roundabout as well as a new off-road route for pedestrians and cyclists linking the roundabout with Tesco.
Changes will also be made to road markings in the area and several alteration will be made to the roundabouts.
Roger Elkins, cabinet member for highways and infrastructure, said: “We appreciate nobody likes extra time added to their journeys, and apologise for this inconvenience.
“We hope people will look at the end result of this project, which will improve connections between old and new parts of Broadbridge Heath, reduce through-traffic in the village and improve facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.”
The scheme has divided opinion in the area since it began on May 7 with some in support of the works whilst others have been left frustrated by the traffic chaos.
The county council said it was continuing to monitor traffic flows along with its contractor Jackson Civil Engineering - which is undertaking the works.
Construction is expected to finish in the autumn of 2019.