Seafront works will cause more than two years of lane closures

The £11 million scheme is necessary to save the A259 from collapsing.

Friday, 4th September 2015, 12:36 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 2:16 pm

Urgent work to rebuild the seafront arches at the bottom of West Street could see lane closures on Kings Road for two-and-a-half years.

The £11 million scheme is necessary to save the A259 from collapsing, according to the council.

Brighton and Hove City Council unveiled its plans for the seafront yesterday (Thursday), and said the scheme will rebuild the historic Shelter Hall 'to become a flagship commercial location for the 21st century'.

The work will see the Shelter Hall rebuilt, and the creation of a new walkway on the beach, a larger upper prom area, and new public toilets on the seafront.

But because of the complexity of the work, one lane of the westbound carriageway of the A259 will be shut for a distance of about 50 metres either side of the bottom of West Street.

The closure is expected to be in place from 2016 for two-and-a-half years.

Brighton's Shelter Hall is part of the historic Kings Road Arches, and in 2013 the building was found to have serious structural weaknesses.

An internal 'propping up' system was installed to prevent the structure from collapse, but this is currently costing the council around £110,000 a year.

For the latest scheme, the city council secured £9 million from the government's Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund to undertake the work, which it said will 'save the seafront road from collapse and protect it for the future'.

A further £1.7 million for the scheme will come from the council.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the city's environment and transport committee, said:  'We have a once in a generation opportunity to do this work and we are fortunate to have secured funding to completely rebuild a section of the seafront highway, provide a new sea wall and reconstruct an historic building.

'This is the first stage of our investment into the seafront's infrastructure which is urgently in need of restoration and regeneration. The project is not only essential for the seafront, but will protect the A259 for the next 150 years. If we don't do it now we risk the road becoming unusable and being closed entirely.

'This autumn we will bring forward more solutions to save our seafront as we put together a practical programme to regenerate the city's jewel in the crown.'

The Shelter Hall, at 150-154 Kings Road Arches, was built in the 1880s supporting the upper promenade and the highway. This is now the main coastal route through the city and engineers will be rebuilding it underneath the road. Preparatory work has begun and construction is planned to start in October.

The city council said traffic disruption will be kept to a minimum, and the partial lane closure will be linked to an overall plan to ensure traffic management is co-ordinated with other major schemes in the city.

During the work to rebuild the Shelter Hall, shared pedestrian and cycle access along the upper prom will be maintained, along with access to the lower prom. The West Street junction will also be kept open including access to Churchill Square and car parks.