Drivers on Savannah Road may notice a slight change from the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal to Lewes Beach.
Crews recently repaved a half-mile section and shifted lanes to create a five-foot-wide bike lane on the westbound side of the road. The contract was awarded to GrassBusters Landscaping with a winning bid of about $283,000 as part of the Delaware Department of Transportation’s bike and pedestrian program.
The project will continue through November. It includes a second bike lane on the eastbound side of Savannah Road, curb ramps at American Legion Road, decorative crosswalks and improved signage.
The improvements have been a long time coming. The concept was first presented to city officials in 2015 by the Historic Lewes Scenic Byway committee. It also included a trail connection at American Legion Road, which was completed separately earlier this year.
In 2017, Councilwoman Bonnie Osler raised concerns about DelDOT’s concept plan for the project. That version offered no westbound bike lane. Instead, DelDOT officials planned a separated two-way path along the marshy area on the eastbound side of the road for bicyclists and pedestrians. The concerns raised were enough for DelDOT to reconsider its plan.
Later that year, DelDOT agreed to bike paths on both sides, and some of the decorative streetscape ideas were abandoned.
Unrelated to the Savannah Road project, work is underway on the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal drawbridge. Crews are upgrading the electrical and mechanical parts of the bridge and will eventually also improve the sidewalks.