Nassau Bridge crossover should be closed now
For many visitors, the Nassau Bridge is a gateway to the beaches. Descending from the Route 1 bridge is like a plane coming in for a landing, a sign you’re almost at your destination, whether Lewes, Rehoboth, Dewey or points farther south.
Also like a plane, many cars are coming in hot, racing down the bridge toward Five Points, where they’ll certainly be met by a stop light or two over the next few miles.
The steady flow of fast-moving traffic causes problems for drivers at the bottom of the bridge, sitting on Nassau Road, Janice Road or at the crossover between the northbound and southbound lanes of Route 1. Those who often travel through the intersection know best how to navigate it, but it can still be a harrowing experience. The uninitiated have a more difficult time judging the speed of cars coming down the bridge; they equally struggle on the opposite side when cars race north from Five Points. Stacked cars, often with impatient drivers, waiting in a disorganized fashion only exacerbate the issue.
Crashes are common. Rollovers and entrapments are not uncommon. Something needs to be done.
In just a few years, it will be a moot point. The Delaware Department of Transportation has planned major changes for the stretch between Five Points and Minos Conaway Road, north of Nassau Bridge. The crossovers will be eliminated, as a series of access roads and roundabouts will be introduced to improve traffic flow. The project is in the right-of-way acquisition phase, with construction slated to begin in 2023 and go until 2026.
Improvements to this intersection – and many other Route 1 crossovers – cannot wait another summer. Crashes are piling up. Fortunately, deaths are not. But it’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed. DelDOT should consider closing this crossover. At the very least, Delaware State Police needs to beef up speed enforcement between Cave Neck Road and Five Points. Their presence alone will slow traffic and improve safety for all.