Repair work will start on a bridge after a year-long delay.

The work to make Broadwater Bridge in Worthing safe will begin at the start of next month after inspections revealed sections of the structure are starting to crumble.

The work will go on until late November and has raised fears it will cause traffic problems as it is a major route into the town.

The repairs were due to begin last September but had to be delayed due to emergency repairs of a gas leak.

The bridge, which crosses the West Coastway rail line, is over 40 years old and a West Sussex County Council spokesman said the bridge could be closed completely if work does not go ahead.

The bridge is a key route in and out of the town centre and traffic travelling north along the A24 will be prohibited from turning right into King Edward Avenue while work is carried out.

Councillor Pieter Montyn, cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Despite the unavoidable delay in commencing these essential works, we are confident that by starting the repairs in September we can minimise the length of time the work will cause disruption to the general public.

“We need to make the bridge safe – and doing it this way means we don’t have to close it off completely.

“We apologise for the inconvenience and politely ask motorists to find alternative routes while this work is taking place.”

County Council contractor Balfour Beatty will be responsible for the works.

The repairs start on September 1 and are expected to be finished by late November and will include some added enhancements.

Signs will be installed to help direct HGVs the correct way into the Ivy Arch Trading Estate in a bid to prevent lorries getting stuck in residential roads.

Plans to add a ‘gateway to Worthing’ feature are also being finalised.

Residents who want to find out more information about the project are invited to attend one of two public drop-in sessions.

The first session will be held at Morrisons Supermarket, Newlands Street, Worthing, tomorrow between 11.00am–1.00pm.

The second will take place at Worthing Boys Club, Ivy Arch Road, Worthing, on Tuesday, August 12 at 7.30pm. For more information visit the West Sussex Highways website.