Improvements worth a total of £1.5m have been made to West Sussex pavements so far this year.
West Sussex County Council says most of 2018’s pavement reconstruction programme is now complete - on budget and ahead of schedule - with a small fund remaining for areas needing urgent attention before the end of March, 2019.
Bob Lanzer, Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said: “We fully appreciate residents care deeply about the condition of pavements, which is why they feature so highly on our priority list.
“The success of the Footway Improvement Programme is testament to the hard work of staff from West Sussex Highways and the teams from our contractor, Balfour Beatty Living Places.”
Steve Philips, Contract Director at Balfour Beatty Living Places, added: “We are delighted to have undertaken a comprehensive programme of improvements to pavements and public spaces in West Sussex this year, making a positive difference to people’s day-to-day lives.
“Balfour Beatty Living Places will continue to work with the council to enhance the built environment and make the county as pedestrian-friendly as possible.”
The programme incorporates five main elements: reconstruction, surface treatment, town centre enhancements, dropped crossings for pedestrians and small-scale repairs.
The dropped crossings, small-scale repairs and town centre enhancements are still in progress, with projects planned to continue steadily throughout the rest of the year.
Large areas of reconstruction, covering a total area of just under 26,000 square metres, were completed in 10 sites in the Crawley, Lancing and Worthing areas. This mainly involved removing damaged slabs and replacing them with Tarmac.
Small-scale repairs are currently in progress for a batch of 10 sites around Arun, Mid Sussex and Crawley districts. A second batch of 20 sites is currently being designed, with work planned to start as soon as the first batch is complete. Examples include replacing steps with a ramp to help wheelchair access, removing areas of uneven slabs and repairing damage caused by vehicles encroaching on the pavement.
Surface treatment, technically called microasphalt, provides a new walking surface on top of an existing footway. This treatment is generally applied as a preventative measure, to maintain the existing surface in good condition before significant deterioration occurs. This is achieved by filling in dips and bumps, sealing cracks and waterproofing the surface. Twenty-one schemes were included across the county, many in more rural areas such as in Petworth, Fittleworth and Crawley Down, as well as a number in Crawley and along the coastal strip between Aldwick and Southwick. A total of just under 35,000 square metres were covered using this treatment.
Town/city centre enhancement:
Works have been completed, or are in progress, in Chichester, Petworth and Crawley, with more sites currently being identified. The work is intended to address concerns within town centres, typically within pedestrianised areas with high footfall and often needing specialist materials.
Dropped crossings for pedestrians:
A first batch of 14 crossings has been completed in the Burgess Hill and Worthing areas. Work on a second batch of 18 crossings is currently in progress, including sites in the Chichester, Mid Sussex and Crawley districts. Dropped crossing sites are generally identified by residents, as well as West Sussex Highways officers. The aim is to help pedestrians, particularly those with mobility or visual impairments, get around safely by providing sensible and usable crossing points.