West Chiltington Road further update: water levels hamper work to reopen road at Panners Drive

"We would like to reassure all those affected that this work is a key priority for us"


Release date: 16 February 2024

Progress at the culverted area of West Chiltington Road has been limited following the consistent rainfall over the last week.

The road, at Panners Drive, has been closed since a culvert under the carriageway collapsed, causing significant damage to the road surface and flooding.

A West Sussex County Council spokesperson said: “We share the community’s frustration that the engineering solution needed to reopen the road is being hampered to this degree. We would like to reassure all those affected that this work is a key priority for us.

“We are monitoring the water level at the site daily and will restart work as soon as possible. The remaining work will take approximately one week but we need the current water levels to be lower.

“Please note: this estimated timescale is reliant on both lower water levels and having a week of no interruptions, whether that’s caused by the weather or unforeseen issues, such as exposing more utility services. The number of these services around the culvert is the source of further frustration as it means excavation must be done by hand, for everyone’s safety, and this further slows progress.”

Residents have suggested various options to reopen the road, including a metal road plate method. However, the spokesperson explained: “For this to be considered the exposed excavations at the site would need additional structural support including, in some cases, possible backfilling/reinforcing where some of the road construction has been washed out from the volume of water. This means the idea is, unfortunately, neither practical nor safe.”

Meanwhile, the county council continues to urge people to please use the official, signed diversion route. Signage has been put up at strategic points. 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.

The highways team will continue weekly checks on roads that are being used as cut throughs to ensure that any safety issues, such as potholes, are picked up.

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