TRAFFIC will be disrupted on Brighton and Hove's seafront for eight weeks after a section of the road collapsed into a pub.
Structural engineers have been assessing the A259 Kings Road after a section crumbled into the Fortune of War pub in the Kings Road Arches below on Friday.
A contraflow system has been in place around the busy road between Middle Street and West Street since Friday in an effort to keep traffic moving.
Officials say the disruption at the busy road and promenade below – the city’s biggest tourist attraction – will last for May and most of June.
The city council’s executive director Geoff Raw said: “Based on current information we estimate it may take up to eight weeks before the road and promenade can be fully reopened, but we will do our best to reduce that if possible.”
The council’s Labour group leader Warren Morgan said it was a “huge worry”.
Coun Morgan added: “It is very bad news that the seafront is going to be disrupted during the Festival and early summer season.
“It’s bad news for tourism, jobs and the economy.
“A large chunk of the seafront needs massive investment, tens of millions of pounds of repairs, but the council has decided to spend money on Lewes Road, Seven Dials, Valley Gardens and 20mph limits instead.”
Adam Chinnery, of Brighton Seafront Traders Association, said he hoped the repair works would not deter tourists and called for the council to consider imposing a weight restriction on the road in future.
Mr Chinnery, owner of Brighton Watersports, in the Kings Road Arches, said: “I can’t see it having too bad an effect on the tourist side.
“We hope to be able to carry on regardless. It’s unfortunate that it’s going to take eight weeks, but it’s not the council’s fault.
“My office is right under the road and you can really feel it when lorries go over the top.
“When the road was built it wasn’t designed for anything like that.
“We have been talking to the council and it would be good if a weight restriction could be brought in.”
Multi-million-pound structural work to strengthen parts of the crumbling 120-year-old Kings Road Arches between Alfrescos restaurant and the West Pier began in November 2012 in preparation for the i360 development.
The current section which has collapsed is slightly further east, opposite the bottom of West Street.