The former Bests' Ace Hardware building along Route 1 at Five Points is slated for demolition in the near future.
Now owned by the Delaware Department of Transportation, the site is scheduled to be cleared in early 2023, said Charles “C.R.” McLeod, DelDOT community relations director.
A section of the property will be used for road improvements, including a new Route 1 access road to a Plantation Road roundabout with construction scheduled to begin in 2023.
The family closed the store Oct. 7 after 54 years in business and relocated just around the corner to 32437 Lewes-Georgetown Highway.
DelDOT officials and the Best family reached an agreement to transfer the property in September 2019. In November, Sussex County Planning & Zoning Commission rejected a site plan for a new Royal Farms convenience store on the property because of concerns over adequate parking.
Barricades around the perimeter of the property were installed in early November to curtail vehicles driving and parking on the parcel.
Lots of road work
DelDOT has plans for 31 projects in Sussex County totaling $1.25 billion over the next five years; 20 of those projects are in the Cape Region.
Included are three grade-separated interchange projects on Route 1: a Route 16 overpass near Milton, which is under construction; Minos Conaway Road overpass with access and service roads near Lewes, construction spring 2023-fall 2025; and a Cave Neck Road overpass, construction date pending.
One of the first major projects to be completed was Phase 1 of Route 24 widening from Route 1 to Mulberry Knoll Road. Phase 2 will include widening from Mulberry Knoll Road to the Love Creek bridge. A traffic signal will be added to the Route 24-Mulberry Knoll intersection.
A four-phase project is planned along Plantation Road from Robinsonville Road to Route 9. Plantation Road will be widened; sidewalks and bicycle/pedestrian pathways as well as a roundabout are planned. The roundabout, on a 13-acre parcel near Plantation Road-Route 9-Beaver Dam Road intersection, will change traffic patterns to alleviate congestion and confusion at the intersection.