Lewes capital projects falling into place

Railroad Avenue and parking lots to be improved
October 1, 2022

With much of paradise already paved, the City of Lewes will not be putting up a parking lot in the near future. Two existing lots, however, will be revitalized with utilitarian and cosmetic upgrades that officials say are necessary.

Designs for improvements to the Schley Avenue and Smith Avenue parking lots have been presented, and the bidding process began Sept. 22. Officials expect to recommend an award to mayor and city council in October.

Railroad Avenue, which is just a street, not a parking lot or a railroad, is also slated for upgrades that should be completed by the spring of 2023.

Smith Avenue

The Smith Avenue parking lot, located behind Otis Smith Park and in between the Shoppes of Lewes and the Beacon Motel, is estimated to cost $120,000. Designs show the creation of 22 parking spaces, one ADA space, one streetlight pole, transformer and the foundation for future electric vehicle charging stations. The Lewes Board of Public Works will perform all electrical work, which includes three streetlights – two existing and one new – and electrical conduit. An electric vehicle charging station is one of the few amenities currently at the parking lot. Timber parking bumpers will mark the spaces, and the parking area will comprise a porous asphalt material.  

If the city chooses to go with a permeable paver alternate, it will add $259,000 to the project. City engineer Charlie O’Donnell said the $120,000 price tag without the permeable paver reflects the current market of rising costs.

Schley Avenue

Doing a complete 180-degree turn, literally, will be the existing municipal parking lot on Schley Avenue. O’Donnell says the existing stone and asphalt millings can be used as a base and surface, but a new orientation is needed. Included in the plans are an asphalt ADA space and an ADA crosswalk from the parking lot to the Franklin Avenue sidewalk, cosmetic upgrades, three LED streetlights, electric/feed conduit for two additional electric vehicle charging stations, and designated spaces for five Lewes Line buses.

Officials have stressed the importance of making the lot more attractive for seekers of public parking. The spots for the Lewes Line will be situated to clarify the lot is open for public use. Landscaping and fencing are ticketed under the $135,000 budget, and the bike trail chain-link fence will be removed and replaced with a split-rail fence.

Railroad Avenue

Railroad, Monroe and Adams avenues are in need of repairs.  While final construction plan design is in process for Monroe, the bidding for Railroad is expected to open in January. Construction is expected to begin late winter 2023 and be completed in spring 2023. 

Initially, Adams Avenue, which is only mill and overlay work, was going to be included in the Railroad Avenue project, but O’Donnell decided to move the project to another phase of planned capital projects. Railroad Avenue will be totally rebuilt, including the sidewalks, curbs and gutters. Three parallel parking spaces with permeable pavement will be constructed on the west side of the street near Monroe Avenue. Initially, there were plans for more, but limiting the spaces allowed for preservation of trees in the area. Both the street and sidewalks on Railroad Avenue have physical damage.

The total cost of the Railroad Avenue project is estimated to be $710,000 and about $500,000 for the BPW. O’Donnell said he doesn’t believe there is additional funding available from the Delaware Department of Transportation for the first project, but there is a chance at funding from the DelDOT Transportation Alternatives Program for Monroe Avenue. The creation of sidewalks where there previously were none and installation of pervious pavement would help strengthen the application. If accepted, DelDOT would match 20% of the project’s cost. 


Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter