Work on Route 9 intersections underwayRoute 1 safety project starting in fiscal 2014
Under a new state transportation project priority rating system, nine Sussex County projects are among the top 40. A total of 29 Sussex projects are on the list of 109 projects listed in the fiscal year 2015-fiscal 2020 capital transportation program.
The projects list was unveiled during a series of public workshops in all three counties by the Delaware Department of Transportation; the Sussex workshop took place Sept. 25.
Two major projects to alleviate traffic flow issues in the Cape Region are finally become a reality.
Intersection improvements along Route 9/404 are underway at three intersections: Gravel Hill Road; Hudson Road; and Sweetbriar Road. Rights of way have been purchased, surveys have been completed and utility pole relocations are taking place.
Mark Harbeson, DelDOT project manager, said road work is scheduled to begin in mid-October and take about a year to complete. He said there would be no lane closures during peak times and summer months. Motorists should, however, expect some delays along the roadway this fall.
Work to realign the Cedar Grove Road-Postal Lane intersection - and put in a traffic signal - at Plantation Road is scheduled to start during the summer of 2014 and take one year to complete. Harbeson said temporary closures of the three roads will force detours during the project, but not during the summer months. He said Plantation Road would be closed for a weekend during the spring for final paving.
The highly anticipated Route 1 crosswalk and sidewalk project is scheduled to begin during fiscal year 2014. The $14.4 million project will complete sidewalks on both sides of the roadway and add a dozen crosswalks from the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal to north of Five Points.
Among area projects on DelDOT's priority list are:
• Intersection improvements at the Route 24-Bay Farm Road intersection. Right-of-way purchases will be made during fiscal 2015.
• Work to improve the Route 24-Mulberry Knoll intersection has been moved up two years on the schedule with construction set to begin in fiscal 2016 or fiscal 2017.
• Intersection improvements on Route 24, Route 5 and Route 23 are scheduled for construction in fiscal 2017.
• Intersection improvements at Route 9- Route 5 has additional funding added to move construction up to fiscal 2017 or fiscal 2018.
• Grade separation at the Route 1 – Route 16 intersection near Milton as part of an ongoing project along Route 1 to improve major crossings. Preliminary engineering is scheduled for fiscal 2015 with rights of way purchases to start in fiscal 2019.
Sussex County officials provided a list of priorities to DelDOT as part of the capital program planning process. Among the county's top priorities are Route 1 improvements; continued runway expansion at the county's airport; east-west improvements on routes 24, 26 and 404/9; bicycling and walking trails; and north-south highway improvements.
Local roads needing DelDOT attention in Sussex County's report include:
Lewes - Shoulders and bike lane on New Road; longer left-turn lane off Route 1 onto Cave Neck Road; service exit off Dartmouth Drive and bike path on Wolfe Neck and Munchy Branch roads.
Milton - Pave and widen Prime Hook Road to deal with flooding issues and widen shoulders on Cave Neck Road.
Rehoboth Beach - Shoulders, sidewalks and bike path on Rehoboth Avenue Extended; drawbridge plates for bicyclists on the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal bridge; and improved intersection signal timing at Rehoboth Avenue Extended and Church Street.
Georgetown, Harbeson - Improved intersection signal timing at Route 9 – Route 5 intersection.
The most heavily traveled roads in Sussex County are routes 13 and 1 with more a traffic count of more than 30,000 vehicles daily. The count on Route 113 is more than 24,000 vehicles a day.
The traffic in the Cape Region accelerates to 80,000 vehicles per day during the summer season.
Nearly 37 percent of all state-maintained roads are in Sussex County; nearly half of the state's land area is in the county.