AFTER a delayed start, work on Littlehampton’s £14.5million flood defences has been quickly gaining momentum.
Following the wettest winter on record, the Environment Agency (EA) has been making quick progress on its flood defences along the east bank of the River Arun in Pier Road.
Good weather in spring has allowed work to progress quickly in creating the 450 metre-long tidal river wall.
This phase of the project is now due to be completed in May.
Environment Agency flood and coastal risk operations manager David Robinson said: “I am very pleased that work on this major project to protect thousands of Littlehampton residents from tidal flooding is moving forward quickly, particularly after such challenging weather conditions over the winter. Following the wettest winter on record it was very frustrating for the whole project team that adverse weather conditions unavoidably led to slower progress on the project than expected. These extreme weather events reinforce the critical importance of protecting the people of Littlehampton from flooding.”
The defences are designed to deal with predicted sea level rises.
Once complete, the scheme will protect more than 2,000 residential properties and businesses, the EA said.
The multi-million pound scheme, created in partnership with Arun District Council, Littlehampton Harbour Board and West Sussex County Council, will also include improvements to the walkway along the riverside, creating a pedestrian route between the town and the beach.
The promenade will also be raised to enhance views of the River Arun.
These enhancements, together with works to realign the flood embankments north of the A259 road bridge, are scheduled to be completed this autumn as work will continue throughout the summer.
Arun’s cabinet member for environmental services Paul Dendle said: “I look forward to the successful completion of this important scheme and to the benefits that this will bring to Littlehampton, both in terms of flood protection and the exciting enhancements to the street scene.”
There is free parking for the customers of Pier Road shops, restaurants and Harbour Park at the West Green car park during the flood defence works.
A visitors’ centre at the oyster pond on Arun Parade is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 12pm to 5pm and contains information about the project.
Notice boards have been set up on site documenting the scheme’s progress.
For more information, visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk/littlehamptoneastbank, phone 08708 506 506 or email firstname.lastname@example.org