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Officials look at problem intersection in Harbeson

Those attending the meeting in Harbeson are (l-r) State Rep. Steve Smyk, R-Milton; John Lingo of Harbeson Deli; attorney Richard Abbott; Beth Rosenbrooks, DelDOT right-of-way section; DelDOT Legislative Liaison Dawn Hopkins; and Rosemary Richardson, DelDOT right-of-way section. BY SUBMITTED PHOTO
August 6, 2014

State officials, business owners, and others met July 25 in Harbeson to explore approaches to fixing the often-congested intersection of Route 5 and Route 9 (Lewes-Georgetown Highway).

“As traffic volume has increased, so have delays,” said Rep. Steve Smyk, R-Milton, who has been advocating for improvements at the site.  “There are no left-hand turn lanes on either road and the intersection was simply never intended to handle the number of vehicles it is experiencing daily.”

Delaware Department of Transportation engineers were at the meeting to look what difficulties they will face when widening the intersection, which is framed by a cemetery, four active businesses and an abandoned house.

“They recognize there is a problem and designing a solution will be a challenge,” Smyk said.  “We need to find a way to expand this intersection, improve traffic flow and increase safety in a way that will minimize the impact on the surrounding property owners.”

Smyk said the process of designing a solution, getting agreement from all the stakeholders (including the public) and appropriating the money will likely take several years.

“The sooner we start, the sooner we finish,” he said.  “This meeting was an important step forward towards doing what needs to be done.”