DelDOT makes data-driven decisions
During the Five Points Working Group Meeting on April 29, the issue of timing of the new grade-separated interchange at Route 16 was questioned by members of the group. DelDOT is currently moving forward three GSI projects in the area: SR 1 at Cave Neck Road, SR 1 at Route 16, and SR 1 at Minos Conaway.
All three of these projects will increase safety along the corridor by eliminating crossovers. Similar projects farther north on SR 1 have accomplished just that and allowed the local communities to safely move across SR 1 without having to cross multiple lanes of traffic.
Constructing the GSI on Route 1 at Route 16 remains our priority, as the crash data clearly shows that the most incidents that have occurred between Route 5 and Five Points have occurred at Route 16, with 76 crashes occurring between 2012 and April 2019.
In addition, multiple traffic studies have shown that the removal of the traffic signal at SR 1 and Route 16 will not result in an apocalyptic traffic situation as some have voiced.
So to test these findings and put the naysayers at ease, DelDOT will be selecting a number of weekends this summer where the traffic signal at Route 16 will remain a static green and no cross-traffic movements will be permitted.
This will allow the department to review the impact of the traffic flow farther down Route 1 and respond with real-time data to those who question the many studies and believe that this traffic signal is critical to managing traffic flow.
Similarly, concerns were raised when the Thompsonville Road GSI was proposed, and the data has shown since its opening in 2016 that the removal of the light did not negatively impact traffic flow farther south.
Lastly, the notion that DelDOT is not familiar with the conditions on SR 1 in this area is unfounded as this has arguably been one of the most studied sections of road in the entire state in recent years.
There is no magic wand that can be waved that can undo the development that has occurred, or instantly correct infrastructure deficiencies; however, the department continues to work toward solutions that will improve safety and traffic flow in eastern Sussex County. As I have stated since becoming secretary, the department stands committed to investing in transportation infrastructure in the county.
Jennifer Cohan is Secretary of Delaware Department of Transportation.