People who ride or hike the Junction and Breakwater Trail connecting Lewes and Rehoboth Beach discover the popular trail ends on existing roads.
Following up on an earlier project to extend the trail into Lewes, state transportation officials now have plans to extend the trail into Rehoboth Beach.
Delaware Department of Transportation officials unveiled a conceptual plan during a Jan. 28 public workshop at the Rehoboth Beach Convention Center that would include new multiuse paths and an improved path to cross the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal bridge leading to the Rehoboth Avenue round-about.
The trail currently ends at Hebron Road and Holland Glade Road near Rehoboth Beach; extensions would begin at both end points. “We want to make this safe and accessible for all skill levels,” said Marco Boyce, project manager.
Under the proposal, new 10-foot paths would be added on one side of each of the roads leading to the Rehoboth Beach entrance. In addition, the sidewalk on the north side of the bridge would be widened to 10 feet to provide access for two-way bike and pedestrian traffic, Boyce said. “The canal has always been a stumbling block,” Boyce said.
Most sections of the current 6-mile Junction and Breakwater Trail are 10 feet wide to allow for two-way traffic.
Boyce said current bike lanes and markings on roads would not be changed. He said the proposed trail extension is designed for casual cyclists and families who need a safer bike route to and from the beach to the trail.
Not all rights of way for the proposed trail extension have been acquired. Boyce said negotiations are underway with a private property owner near the Church Street intersection along one section of the proposed trail. Developers of the new Shoal Harbor project on Rehoboth Avenue Extended have already constructed an 8-foot sidewalk fronting their project to connect to the trail.
Because DelDOT officials are still gathering comments about the proposed trail, Boyce said there is no timeline or a cost estimate for the project.
Comments can be mailed to DelDOT Public Relations, PO Box 778, Dover, DE 19903 or sent via email to email@example.com.
Trail extension into Lewes
State transportation officials also have plans to extend the Junction and Breakwater Trail into Lewes from Gills Neck Road to Freeman Highway and Monroe Avenue to a trail head as part of Phase I of the Georgetown-to-Lewes rail-trail. The project, which was expected to begin last spring, has been delayed because of a lawsuit filed by two Breakwater Estates residents who live adjacent to the proposed trail.
The extension would pass along the border of Breakwater Estates and the proposed Showfield subdivision. According to the lawsuit, a 15-foot-wide easement for part of the planned trail extension was never granted or recorded.
State officials dispute the claim.