The groundwork for improvements to the A259 in Angmering have been postponed, with West Sussex County Council saying it could be delayed for at least three weeks.
Single-carriageway sections of the busy A-road between Angmering and Littlehampton will be dualled, alongside other improvements as part of a £14.8million scheme to reduce severe congestion.
But before the bulk of the works could start on the 2km stretches of road, around four months of preparation were scheduled to begin on Monday, January 7.
A spokesman for West Sussex Highways said vegetation clearance could be delayed for 'a few weeks' but would begin 'as soon as possible', ahead of the construction works starting proper in mid to late 2019.
They said: “We hope the delay, due to the late arrival of key contract information, will be a matter of a few weeks and we will update residents and stakeholders as soon as possible.”
The council said that subject to factors such as severe weather, the clearance of vegetation and trees should take about four months. This is essential so pipework and other utilities can be moved and protected as the road scheme progresses, the council said. None of the trees being cleared are subject to Tree Preservation Orders and a replanting scheme is currently being designed, they added.
The clearance work will be between the Haskins garden centre roundabout and Station Road in Angmering and the Body Shop roundabout and Highdown Drive in Littlehampton. Minimal traffic control should be needed, so it is hoped there will be little impact on traffic flow, the spokesman said.