New bridge will improve accessibility to lagoon and Lancing beach

Long-term benefits include improving accessibility for people to experience this wildlife haven and the beach

A view from the existing bridge: its replacement will be far more accessible for people with disabilities

Release date: 6 October 2020

A project starts soon to replace the footbridge at Widewater Lagoon, making the coastal nature reserve and Lancing’s beach more accessible for people with disabilities.

The existing timber bridge has degraded beyond repair. It will be replaced with one made from a special fibreglass material and with a slope that makes it more suitable for people with disabilities, including wheelchair users.

The new bridge will be made from Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP). FRP is lighter than alternative building materials, which means the new bridge can be constructed off-site and a small crane used to lift it into position. Ongoing costs are far cheaper, too, as there is no need for re-painting and the material does not rot.

The works are schedule to start on 12 October and last about eight weeks, during which there will be no bridge access to the lagoon.

A county council spokesperson said: “We apologise for any inconvenience during these essential works but the long-term benefits include improving accessibility for people to experience this wildlife haven and the beach.”

Widewater Lagoon is an area of brackish water, landlocked by a man-made shingle bank. It is home to herons, swans, geese and many other wildfowl.

The project is estimated to cost about £300,000 and will be funded through developer contributions (Section 106 funds), with Adur District Council providing £103,000 of the Section 106 funds. The contractor for the scheme will be Landbuild Ltd.

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