estimate was included as Delaware Department of Transportation
and its consultants for the first time attached pricetags to the
various elements of the controversial project to remove the
traffic bottleneck at the crossing over the Brandywine. A menu
of the various scenarios was presented at a workshop-style
public hearing on June 4.
Delaforum has previously reported, an advisory committee
representing area residents and conservation and business
interests has essentially narrowed the field of viable choices
to putting up another bridge downstream of the existing one and
as close to it as a few feet. While an option to do nothing
remains officially open, observers say that is highly unlikely
to be taken.
committee is scheduled to convene at least twice in June to come
up with final recommendations. The ultimate decision rests with
Secretary of Transportation Nathan Hayward and Governor Ruth Ann
If it is
decided to limit the new span to one lane, it will cost $7.3
million. If a bicycle and pedestrian lane is added, that will
boost the cost to $10.9 million. A one-lane bridge would require
that traffic flow in one of the lanes on the existing bridge be
reversed -- to move eastbound in the morning and westbound in
the afternoon -- through use of a moveable barrier and overhead
signals. Such an arrangement is not unprecedented elsewhere but
has never been done in Delaware.
two-lane bridge would cost an estimated $11.3 million without a
bike lane and $15 million with one.
engineers have said that sometime between now and 2025 a
one-lane addition would have to be expanded to two. The new
bridge can be constructed in such a fashion that that can be
done without replacing it with a new structure.
the bridge, the most significant question the committee has to
resolve is what to do about its west-side approach.
Reconstructing the intersection of Barley Mill and Montchanin
Roads will cost $5.9 million if Barley Mill is kept with two
through lanes in each direction and $6.2 million if a third
westbound lane is added. In both cases, longer turn lanes would
be provided and other safety features included.
estimate was given in the report for replacing the intersection
with an interchange. The committee at its most recent meeting
came close to eliminating that as an option.
the intersection in front of the main entrance to the Du Pont
Experimental Station would cost between $575,000 and $625,000
depending on whether the new McConnell span is one or two lanes.
The higher figure applies to a one-lane bridge because of the
necessity of accommodating the lane reversals.
case, constructing a separate bicycle and pedestrian path
between the bridge and Alacopcas Drive is pegged at $3 million.
a new ramp to access the Hagley Museum property from eastbound
Barley Mill Road would cost an estimated $1.2 million. That
would eliminate the necessity for a traffic-blocking left turn
or a separate turn lane between Montchanin Road and the bridge.