DelDOT committed to improving transportation in Sussex
As Sussex County develops its latest comprehensive plan, DelDOT has been actively engaged in the process to ensure transportation issues in Sussex are adequately addressed as we look to the future.
In the recent Cape Gazette article, "State spending blamed for Sussex traffic problems," comments alluding to a misuse of state funds being the cause of traffic issues in Sussex are without merit.
Funding for our state transportation system is entirely independent of the state's general fund. The Department of Transportation's primary sources of revenue are the federal government, Division of Motor Vehicles fees, the Motor Fuel Tax, and tolls. These funds are used to support transportation projects throughout our state. The department, after a decade of funding challenges that resulted in delaying many needed projects statewide, was successful in working with the General Assembly in passing a revenue package in 2015, which added $390 million into the Transportation Trust Fund.
A part of that package was a "lock box" provision that prevents any non-transportation-related projects to be funded from the Trust Fund, and this measure was supported both by the General Assembly and DelDOT.
Sussex County continues to experience growing pains, and DelDOT is currently working on numerous projects across the county, such as Route 1 corridor improvements and the Lewes Transit Center, SR 54 and SR 26 mainline improvements, and the planning of the new Millsboro bypass to name a few. Also worth noting, since FY2011, DelDOT has invested nearly $670 million in transportation infrastructure projects in the county, and in the next six years, we have more than $837 million in projects scheduled for Sussex County alone in the Capital Transportation Program.
DelDOT also continues to tout the benefits of Transportation Improvement Districts for Sussex to assist in the planning of future development that also will guide DelDOT in its planning of infrastructure improvements and ensure that these happen in tandem with each other. I believe that Sussex County Council understands the importance of linking land-use decisions and transportation infrastructure, and we are working closely with council members to make sure current needs are met and future needs are planned for appropriately.
I understand the frustration residents are experiencing as a result of county-approved widespread development. DelDOT is firmly committed to working with our state and local officials to identify the areas of greatest need and provide the infrastructure improvements that are necessary as Sussex County continues to grow in the years ahead.
Delaware Secretary of Transportation