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Towering DelDOT pole to be removed in Lewes

DelDOT evaluating other options
The pole in question towered over the intersection of Savannah Road, Gills Neck Road and Front Street in Lewes. NICK ROTH PHOTO
July 14, 2017

A towering traffic-monitoring pole recently installed at Lewes' busiest intersection will be removed. C.R. McLeod, the state Department of Transportation's community relations director, said feedback from the city resulted in the decision.

"Just to be clear, DelDOT had worked with Lewes officials on this project and did not receive any objections until the pole was in place," he said.

McLeod said the purpose of the pole was to monitor traffic and flooding conditions. It stands about 75 feet high over the Savannah Road, Gills Neck Road, Front Street intersection at the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal drawbridge.

Mayor Ted Becker said he was aware the pole was to be installed, but had no idea of its size.

"It was a bit of a surprise to all of us [on council]," he said at council's July 10 meeting. "It was sort of a Jack and the Beanstalk story. It will disappear hopefully in the near future."

McLeod said there is a network of 160 publicly available live traffic cameras statewide.

"We believe there is value for DelDOT and the community to have a publicly available camera in this area to monitor the drawbridge, traffic and weather conditions," he said.

The cost to install the pole was about $100,000, including the pole, camera and on-the-ground installation, McLeod said. "We'll discuss other options, including a shorter pole, with the city, but no timeline as of yet for when that will take place."