Once an amenity, now a necessity
Construction on the first phase of the Munchy Branch Road pedestrian and bicyclist multi-use trail, from Route 1 to Field Lane, will begin this coming fall. Good news. The trail will address a long-standing safety issue in one of the busiest areas of Delaware’s Cape Region.
Thousands of people live in the communities along Munchy Branch Road. They work and shop in the shopping area surrounding Munchy’s intersection with Route 1. As the roadways have become more congested, and more people cycle and walk to those facilities, Munchy’s shoulderless roadway is increasingly dangerous.
This multi-use trail will eventually extend along the entire length of Munchy Branch Road westward to its intersection with Wolfe Neck Road. From there, it will take a relatively simple project to connect with the Junction and Breakwater Trail and its associated parking lot at the Wolfe House in Cape Henlopen State Park.
This project is ground zero for Rep. Pete Schwartkopf’s 14th District. He has long championed its need. Now he can turn his attention to lighting the fire needed to hasten completion of the entire project. The sooner the better.
The region’s trail system was once seen as a fun amenity. Now, in addition to enhancing our vital tourism industry, the trails have become an important transportation alternative. They also play a role in providing the kind of attractive outdoor recreation that will keep our bodies healthier and better able to ward off deadly viruses like COVID-19.
With a president in the White House who knows and values our trails, and a nation clamoring for major infrastructure projects, we should be laser-focused on having all of the regional trail projects - including those connecting Georgetown, Lewes and Milton - designed, engineered and shovel-ready for when new infrastructure money comes.
It’s all about timing. We should get ourselves out in front, starting with rapid completion of the entire Munchy Branch project.