State transportation officials offered an update of the draft capital transportation program for fiscal years 2022-28, as well as an update on various approved projects in Sussex County during the Aug. 24 county council meeting and the Aug. 26 Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.
Among the nine proposed projects is a new extension road from Mulberry Knoll Road to Cedar Grove Road and on to Route 9 at Old Vine Boulevard across from The Vineyards community in Lewes.
Also included in the Cape Region are Postal Lane improvements from Linden Lane to Route 1, and Shady Road improvements from Plantation Road to Route 1.
The nine projects will cost more than $175 million. DelDOT's total roadwork budget for fiscal year 2022 is $570 million, said Pam Steinbach, the new DelDOT director of planning.
Other projects in the new CTP include three grade-separated intersections along Route 113 in the Georgetown area: Avenue of Honor-East Piney Grove Road; Redden Road-East Redden Road; and Shortly Road-Bedford Road.
Josh Thomas, Delaware Department of Transportation planning supervisor, told council that the projects are included in the draft CTP, which will go to a public hearing in September, and then be reviewed and approved by the state's Council on Transportation in February 2022. The General Assembly will approve the CTP during its 2022 session in June.
Rieley: DelDOT does have plans
District 5 Councilman John Rieley said work needs to be done to dissuade public perception by some people that DelDOT does not have any plans for roadwork in Sussex County. He said many comments have been made recently on an area radio station that there is no plan for infrastructure. Rieley said the comments are totally inaccurate, because DelDOT does have plans in place.
The Henlopen Transportation Improvement District outlines numerous road projects planned in anticipation of growth over the next 25 years.
Planners project 12 new traffic signals, 13 roundabouts and 15 intersections with turn lanes, plus four miles of new road connections, totaling nearly $284 million, will be necessary within the district to keep pace with current and future development.
In the district, developers are required to pay 24 percent of costs for road work impacted by their projects, with DelDOT covering 76 percent of the cost.
In addition, Thomas said, DelDOT staff are in the process of developing a long-range transportation plan for Sussex County, which will include a list of proposed projects.
Plans for another transportation improvement district in the Route 54 area of southeastern Sussex County are also being discussed.
Engineer Mark Lutz said DelDOT plans to spend $1.2 billion on road projects over the next six years in Sussex County.
Updates on Sussex projects
Lutz provided council with an update on approved projects.
Cave Neck Road-Hudson Road-Sweetbriar Road improvements near Milton. Preliminary design work is underway to evaluate options, with construction completion expected in 2025. The project is funded by the Sussex County Funding Accelerating Safety and Transportation (FAST) program.
Plantation Road improvements from Robinsonville Road to Route 9. Phase 1 of the project consists of realignment of the Plantation Road-Beaver Dam Road-Route 9 intersection as a roundabout with pedestrian and bicycle access improvements. Improvements to Plantation Road from Robinsonville Road to the roundabout are also part of the phase. Construction 2022-23. Other phases will continue through April 2024.
Phase 2 could consist of widening Plantation Road to four lanes from Robinsonville Road to Route 24, which was recommended by the Five Points Working Group. DelDOT engineers are evaluating the benefits and impacts of the proposed project and will update the design and construction schedule.
Realignment of Old Orchard Road at Wescoats Corner. Project includes intersection improvements at Savannah Road, a roundabout at Marsh Road and Wescoats Road, crosswalks, sidewalks, a Lewes-to-Georgetown Trail connection and a new road linking Old Orchard Road to Savannah Road. Utility relocation is expected to begin in late 2022 with a construction schedule to be determined.
Savannah Road sidewalk improvements. Design is complete and the project is out to bid. Construction fall 2021 to winter 2021-22.
Georgetown East Gateway improvements. Construction began in September 2020 with a completion date of spring 2022. Airport Road, which closed June 14, was reopened to traffic Aug. 18. Project includes through, left- and right- turn lanes, stormwater management, crosswalks, sidewalks, connection to the Lewes-to-Georgetown Trail and a roundabout at the entrance to the Warren L. & Charles C. Allen Jr. CHEER Community Center facility.
Park Avenue relocation Phases 1 and 2 near Georgetown. Phase 1 consists of improvements at the Route 113-Arrow Safety Road intersection, a roundabout at Arrow Safety Road and South Bedford Street, and relocation of a section of Park Avenue near the intersection. Construction fall 2021 to 2023. Phase 2 will continue where Phase 1 left off with 12-foot travel lanes and 10-foot shoulders as well as a safety zone to allow more space for a longer Delaware Coastal Airport runway. Construction 2023-25.
Lewes-to-Georgetown Trail Phase 8 from Georgetown to Park Avenue. Design is completed with construction underway along the existing railroad tracks. Completion is expected in fall 2021.
Lewes-to-Georgetown Trail from Cool Spring Road to Fisher Road between Lewes and Harbeson. Design is underway with construction completion likely in spring 2022.
Rehoboth Beach area
Phase 1 of Munchy Branch Road multiuse trail on the east side from Seaside Boulevard to Field Lane. Design is underway with construction completion in summer 2022. As funding becomes available, the trail will be extended the length of Munchy Branch Road to Wolfe Neck Road.
North Millsboro bypass from Route 113 to Route 24. Design and rights-of-way acquisitions are underway. The project is split into two parts consisting of a grade-separated intersection at Route 113 and Route 20, and the bypass connector road. Construction 2023-25. Design work for a third lane on northbound and southbound Route 113 will start in summer 2022.
Route 24 improvements from Mulberry Knoll Road to the area around the Saddle Ridge community to correspond to ongoing Route 24 dualization from Route 1 to Mulberry Knoll Road, which is expected to be finished in early 2022. When completed, a widening project will begin from Mulberry Knoll Road to Love Creek. A new traffic signal at the intersection is also planned.
Route 1-Minos Conaway Road - Design and right-of-way purchases are ongoing. Construction 2023-25.
Route 1-Cave Neck Road - Design is underway. Construction 2024-26.
Route 113-Routes 18 and 404 - Design and and right-of-way acquisitions are underway. Construction 2024-26.
Route 113-Route 16 Ellendale - Public workshop is planned this fall to present alternatives. Construction funded for fiscal years 2027-29.
Route 1-Route 16 - Design is complete and right-of-way acquisitions are underway. Construction 2021-24.
Route 24 intersections
Route 24, Camp Arrowhead Road and Angola Road intersection improvements, which include a new traffic signal at the Angola Road-Robinsonville Road intersection and upgrades at the Camp Arrowhead intersection. Construction 2021 to spring 2023.
Route 24 at Mount Joy Road, and Route 24 at Bay Farm Road intersection improvements. Design and rights-of-way purchases are nearly complete. Some utility relocation is underway. Construction winter 2021-22 to spring 2023.
Route 24 at Route 5 and Route 23 intersection improvements. Construction began in June 2021 and is expected to finish in fall 2022.
Northbound and southbound lanes of Route 1 bridge over the Broadkill River. Construction fall 2021 to spring 2022.
Removal of Lewes railroad swing bridge. The historic bridge will be moved from its crossing site on the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal to a site near the Junction & Breakwater Trail at the end of American Legion Road. Project is expected to take place in fall 2021 to winter 2021-22.