Town centre roadworks will begin in January in preparation for the start of the £85 million extension to the Eastbourne Arndale Centre.
The new 170,000 square foot scheme, that includes the demolition of buildings west of the centre along Terminus Road, will bring an additional 22 new retail units, around 300 extra car parking spaces, seven restaurants and a nine-screen cinema to Eastbourne.
Before work can begin on the scheme, preparatory work must be carried out along part of Ashford Road to divert services and create access to and from the construction site.
The work will involve the stretch of road from the traffic lights at the junction of Terminus Road and Ashford Road to the zebra crossing just past the Junction Road turn off.
The first phase of work, from January 3 to 20, will be undertaken by East Sussex County Council to the existing train station loop entrance and exit for buses and taxis off Ashford Road to ensure that buses can continue to use the area while the diversion work is ongoing.
The alterations will mean the closure of a single lane along Ashford Road. The present entrance and exit will be swapped so vehicles will enter the loop area from the current exit and leave from the current entrance.
Once this is completed, Kier Construction will begin work to divert underground services away from the extension development site. This is expected to start on January 23 and will last for 16 weeks and will mean the closure of the right-hand lane along the same stretch of Ashford Road.
As work nears completion, the road will need to be closed at night only but dates and timings of the closure will be confirmed at a later date.
Once the service diversion works are finished, there will be a single lane closure until completion of the scheme, which is expected to be November 2018, allowing construction vehicles access to and from the development site.
To facilitate the single lane closure, the phasing of the traffic signals at the junction of Ashford Road and Terminus Road will be altered to ensure safe access to the single lane.
Neil Crawford, Head of Retail and Leisure Development for Legal & General Property, said, “Kier Construction will be working as quickly as possible on these essential works that have to be completed before we can start work on the new extension. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to motorists along this stretch of road, but we have purposely waited to carry out these works until after the busy Christmas period.
“This is a huge milestone for Eastbourne as it takes us one step nearer the delivery of the new extension.”