Over a year ago, the Delaware Department of Transportation announced a two-phase plan to improve traffic flow on Route 24, past Love Creek Elementary and Beacon Middle schools.
On Sept. 30, DelDOT issued a request for proposals on the first phase of those improvements – widening Route 24 from two lanes to four with a center turn lane from Route 1 to just west of Plantation Road.
In an email Oct. 4, DelDOT spokesman C.R. McLeod said utility relocations are set to begin the week of Monday, Oct. 14.
During a public meeting in April 2018, DelDOT officials said construction on the $7 million first phase was slated to begin in March 2019 and end in the fall or winter of 2020. McLeod said DelDOT is still on that time table.
According to the RFP, bids must be submitted to DelDOT by 2 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 29. The RFP says the contract includes an allowance of 89 weather days, but all work on this contract must be complete within 537 calendar days. The RFP says it is DelDOT’s intent to issue a notice to proceed on or about Monday, Jan. 20.
The first phase will widen Route 24 from two lanes to four with a center left turn lane from Route 1 to west of Plantation Road. The project will add intersection improvements at Plantation Road/Warrington Road and place a new signal at the intersection near the entrance to Beebe Healthcare’s medical campus and the Colonial Oaks Hotel under construction.
Once complete, the Plantation Road/Warrington Road intersection with Route 24 will have dedicated right-turn lanes, a through-traffic lane, a shared left turn/through lane and a dedicated left-turn lane from both Plantation Road and Warrington Road. Eastbound and westbound Route 24 will have dedicated left-turn lanes, two through lanes and a dedicated right-turn lane.
McLeod said the road improvements aim to improve safety and traffic flow in this corridor as a result of the development taking place.
McLeod said the elementary and middle schools will not affected by this project. The next phase of improvements, an extension of these improvements further to the west, will impact the school properties, he said, but access will not be restricted.
McLeod said some of the work will be conducted at night, but most work on the project will be done during the day.
The $5 million second phase will pick up where the first phase ends, with construction slated to begin in September 2020, continuing until March 2022. Work will include widening Route 24 to four lanes with a center turn lane from west of Plantation Road to the Saddle Ridge community, west of the schools. From that point west to the Love Creek bridge, lanes reduce to two with a center turn lane. A traffic signal will be added to the Mulberry Knoll intersection along with other intersection improvements. The existing traffic signal at the entrance to the schools will remain.