Public safety projects continue in Dewey Beach

Center island barrier project planned to reduce jaywalking on Coastal Highway
November 12, 2021

Projects focusing on public safety continue in Dewey Beach, with a months-long center island project aimed at reducing jaywalking highlighting those efforts.

The town has partnered with the Delaware Department of Transportation to plan installation of a post-and-rope barrier system in the center island from Saulsbury Street to Read Avenue designed to deter mid-block pedestrian crossing and encourage use of crosswalks, Town Manager Bill Zolper said. 

According to a memorandum written by DelDOT contractor WRA outlining the project, that stretch of Coastal Highway was selected as a pilot location for the project based on pedestrian activity and historical pedestrian crash data. 

In the future, the post-and-rope system could be installed along the remainder of Coastal Highway in the Town of Dewey Beach, the memo states.

Work will take place during a 60-day period, Monday to Thursday, through April, Zolper said. Portions of the existing concrete median will be removed, and 6-by-6-inch timber posts with three courses of rope bolted through them will be installed. In the spring, low-level trees, plants and mulch will be added.

Some trees on the center island on either side of the flashing crosswalk lights will be removed and replaced with smaller trees, because the larger ones block the lights, Zolper said.

The barrier will be aesthetically pleasing and resemble the new post-and-rope fencing system being installed on the dune crossings by Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Zolper said. 

The project also includes installation of additional roadway light poles in the median from Houston Street to Bayard Avenue, Zolper said.

On Nov. 8, workers also began adding pedestrian crossing symbols and 10-foot traffic striping markings on Coastal Highway, Zolper said. Stop bar and legend painting will begin on Bayard Avenue and Cullen Street at the four-way stop behind Fifer's Market, he said.

“We also replaced the four-way stop signs with larger signs,” Zolper said. “I was able to roll these safety projects in with the center island project when working with DelDOT and Rep. Pete Schwartzkopf [D-Rehoboth].”

Additional street lights in the area of St. Louis Street to Bayard Avenue will be installed in the spring, Zolper said, and none of the funding for these safety projects will interfere with funding for the center island project. The Town of Dewey Beach funded $35,000 of the total $480,000 project.

“Rep. Schwartzkopf was able to provide additional CTF funds for these projects along with yearly state funding the town receives for street improvements,” Zolper said.

Throughout the fall and winter, parking signs and other road signs will be updated for uniformity, Zolper said.

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