With a brisk, cool wind blowing, Delaware Department of Transportation officials cut a ribbon Nov. 19 to officially open another phase of the Lewes-to-Georgetown Trail. The newest 4,800-foot section is between the Georgetown Little League Park on Parsons Lane and Airport Road east of Georgetown. There is also a trail link to Route 9 in front of Sussex Academy, which is part of the ongoing Georgetown East Gateway improvement project at the Route 9-Airport Road-Sand Hill Road intersection.
The new $913,294 section is the sixth completed phase, with five more phases remaining. So far, the trail is 8 miles long, which is nearly half of the anticipated distance of 17 miles. It's the first section to be constructed along the Delmarva Central Railroad tracks, and there is a tall chain-link fence separating the trail from the tracks.
The next phase, with construction planned for spring 2022, will start where the existing trail out of Lewes ends at Cool Spring Road and connect to Fisher Road.
Phase 1 of the trail, from Gills Neck Road to Savannah Road, Lewes, opened in October 2016. Phase 2, from Savannah Road to Log Cabin Hill Road, Lewes, opened in June 2019. With additional funding, DelDOT officials were able to provide an extension of Phase 2 from Log Cabin Hill Road to Cool Spring Road and Route 9. That work was completed in May 2020.
DelDOT Secretary Nicole Majeski said 1.2 million cyclists and pedestrians have used the trail over the past three years. “We are not just about vehicles. We connect communities with multimodal trails,” she said.
“This is a great day in Georgetown, because we have become part of the growing group of people that enjoy the outdoors. This bike/walking path will bring people to the community to enjoy what we have to offer. We need to thank DelDOT and the Georgetown Little League for joining us in this great project,” said Georgetown Mayor Bill West.
Sen. Brian Pettyjohn, R-Georgetown, said the trail is used by many people who are living healthier lifestyles. He said he can't wait for the trail to be completed so he and his family can bike to relatives who live along the trail in Lewes.
Rep. Ruth Briggs King, R-Georgetown, said she grew up on a farm where Sports at the Beach is now located, and she used to ride her bike and horses along the railroad tracks where the trail will go. She said discussions about a trail along the tracks date back to 2009.
Lewes to Cape Henlopen State Park, 9,000 feet
Savannah Road to Gills Neck Road, 6,000 feet
Minos Conaway Road to Savannah Road, 17,250 feet
Log Cabin Hill Road to Minos Conaway Road, 8,400 feet
Cool Spring Road to Log Cabin Hill Road, 4,250 feet
Georgetown to Airport Road, 4,800 feet
Fisher Road to Cool Spring Road, 7,300 feet
Harbeson Road to Fisher Road, 7,850 feet
Gravel Hill Road to Harbeson Road, 9,250 feet
Park Avenue to Gravel Hill Road, 8,600 feet
Airport Road to Park Avenue, 6,200 feet