Preliminary work to construct a new footbridge near Portfield Roundabout could start as early as May 14.
A statutory notice specifying ‘enabling works’ between the Oving Crossroads and Portfield Roundabout has been published in the Observer by Highways England, which has confirmed the bridge will be one of two relating to the Shopwhyke Lakes development.
A speed limit restriction is set to be in place on the northbound carriageway for around six weeks, but Highways England has refused to give additional details as to what the works will involve.
Around 500 homes are planned for the Shopwhyke Lakes area, including a hard-fought condition to close the Oving Crossroads.
According to plans drafted in 2011, one footbridge was to be constructed near to the crossroads connecting Oving to Westhampnett, with another bridge across the A27 just south of Portfield into Glenmore Business Park.
A CALA spokesperson said no disturbance was expected ‘in the short term’ for the footbridge projects.
A CALA spokesperson said: “CALA Homes are responsible for the design and construction of the western footbridge. The design requires approval from Highways England, as the Highway Authority, and Chichester District Council.
“The designs for the pedestrian and cycle bridge have been submitted to Highways England.
“Until we have their approval, we cannot confirm a start date, but would estimate construction will not be for at least 12-18 months.
“This timeframe is subject to the approvals and reliant on the booking of road space from Highways England and Chichester District Council.
“We do not anticipate any disturbance from the construction of the bridge in the short term.”
Oving Parish Council chairman Sjoerd Schuyleman has said the Oving footbridge will not replace pedestrian and cycling crossing at the Oving traffic lights.
A spokesman for Highways England said he wasn’t sure that designs had been submitted for the bridge and he could not give a timetable, description or any other information relating to the preliminary works that can start as early as May 14.
He said: “We can confirm that there are no changes proposed at this time to the plans submitted for approval in 2011.
“Proposals for two footbridges include one to the north east of the development, to the south of Portfield Roundabout.
“The existing signalised pedestrian crossing point at Oving Crossroads has already been upgraded.
“Any further improvements, and timescales on the A27 are dependent on the construction, sale and subsequent occupation of dwellings on the site, and we are working with the applicants consultants to reach an agreed design for both footbridges and timetable for the project.”