Five Points area roadwork proceeds

DelDOT: Priority is to improve roads, intersections in vicinity
June 18, 2020

The COVID-19 state of emergency may have put the kibosh on in-person workshops and meetings, but it has not stopped work on projects recommended by a Five Points working group tasked with improving traffic conditions at the heavily traveled intersection near Lewes.

Over the past month, the public has had an opportunity to participate in virtual workshops providing updates on the Five Points Transportation Study.

Highlighting the workshops, Delaware Department of Transportation officials said there are so far no plans for a grade-separated interchange at Five Points, like those planned for intersections along Route 1 north of Lewes at Minos Conaway Road, Cave Neck Road and Route 16. 

Those projects are scheduled from 2021 to 2025.

Josh Thomas, DelDOT planning supervisor, said before tackling the Five Points intersection, the priority is to improve surrounding roads in the Five Points area. “These are less-expensive projects to improve circulation and help local traffic and through traffic,” he said. “Longer-term projects are very impactful on the budget and the community.”

About $116 million worth of projects are planned in the Five Points area over the next six years. “There are some big problems to solve, and there is a big investment to deal with them,” said DelDOT consultant Jeff Riegner of Kramer & Associates. 

Shante Hastings, DelDOT chief engineer, said a key problem is what locals call Malfunction Junction, the intersection of Route 9-Beaver Dam Road-Plantation Road. 

She said two phases of improvements are planned,  including widening Plantation Road beginning in 2022. That work will tie into a roundabout that will change traffic patterns at the Malfunction Junction intersection; construction is set to begin in 2023.

All roads, including Salt Marsh Boulevard, will be diverted to the roundabout and a new intersection will be built at Route 9, with a new connection road to southbound Route 1. Parts of Beaver Dam Road and Church Road will be eliminated. All work is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2024.

Other projects under study will consider connections between businesses, which could include access to Lowe's from Route 1.

The working group, comprising DelDOT staff, Sussex County representatives, elected officials, businesspeople and local residents, has been meeting since December 2017. Phase 1, completed near the end of 2018, identified road improvements in the area with 78 recommendations put forward. Phase 2 work includes implementation of the recommendations.

In April, DelDOT released the Five Points annual report.

Of the recommendations, 10 projects have been completed, three are ongoing, 25 are in design or planning stages and 40 have not been started.

The pandemic and subsequent restrictions have impacted DelDOT's budget, Hastings said. However, she said, all scheduled projects are underway. In some cases, because of less traffic, road work has gone faster than expected.

Several of the recommendations are also being considered as part of a possible Henlopen Transportation Improvement District.

The next meeting of the working is scheduled for Monday, July 27. For more information, go to


Priorities for 2020:

Continue work on 24 recommendations now in progress

Continue work on the Henlopen Transportation District

Work with developers on transportation improvements related to their projects

Begin work on five recommendations before the end of the year:

  1. Study the feasibility of a parking management system to alert travelers when parking lots at major destinations are full, including Cape Henlopen State Park
  2. Identify costs and benefits of turning Nassau Commons Boulevard into a public road
  3. Study the feasibility of extending left- and right-turn lanes throughout the Five Points area
  4. Study access management opportunities along Route 1, including connections between businesses, which could include access to Lowe's from Route 1
  5. Identify potential connections to and from the Lewes Transit Center


Proposed projects in 2021-26 capital transportation program (CTP):

  • Cave Neck Road-Hudson Road-Sweetbriar Road intersection improvements
  • Route 9-Minos Conaway intersection improvements including a possible traffic signal
  • Beaver Dam Road widening from Route 1 to Dairy Farm Road
  • Old Landing Road and Airport Road intersection improvements
  • Airport Road extension with a link to Route 24
  • Old Landing Road and Warrington Road intersection improvements
  • New Road improvements from Nassau Road to Old Orchard Road
  • Widening of Route 9 from Ward Avenue to Old Vine Boulevard
  • Canary Creek bridge improvements
  • Construction on any of the proposed projects would not begin until 2027 and beyond


Projects carried over from the previous CTP:

  • Route 1-Cave Neck Road grade-separated interchange, 2024-25
  • Route 1-Minos Conaway grade-separated interchange, 2023-25
  • Phase 1 Plantation Road improvements, Route 24 to Route 9, 2022-23
  • Route 9, Kings Highway, Dartmouth Drive to Freeman Highway improvements, 2026
  • Phase 1 Route 24 widening from Route 1 to Mulberrry Knoll Road, 2020-22
  • Realignment of Old Orchard Road and Wescoats Corner, 2022-24
  • Phase 2 of Lewes Park and Ride maintenance facility

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