listed that among six options for the intersection at a meeting
of the Delaware Department of Transportation's project advisory
committee on Mar. 26. Although his presentation was designated
as the first of three information sessions intended to put all
the viable choices for improving travel on the bridge and
through its environs on the table for later debate and decision,
the idea of building a large intersection drew
Castle County Councilman Richard Abbott said "so much
pavement violates the boulevard concept." He and others on
the committee advocate trying to maintain Delaware Route 141
where it crosses the Brandywine as something between a country
road and an arterial highway. They want it to look more like a
boulevard or parkway.
did not respond directly, but while presenting another option --
a traffic circle or, to use the trendy European term he did,
roundabout -- explained that "there is just too much
[traffic] volume" for so-called traffic-calming techniques
to work. "It's tough to accommodate traffic projections and
keep it narrow," he said.
Mill Road carries between 30,000 and 40,000 vehicles a day. That
is expected to increase significantly when Astra Zeneca and Du
Pont Co. complete their respective expansions. In addition,
other traffic through the area is projected to increase between
2% and 4% a year.
reiterated a previous position that he would like to see
Montchanin Road separated from Barley Mill Road by an overpass.
That, he said, would enable Barley Mill to be narrowed from its
four-lane configuration west of Kennett Pike to two lanes as it
approaches the bridge. Abbott and some others also favor not
expanding McConnell Bridge to four lanes, as has been proposed.
who also presented options for three versions of a Montchanin
overpass, with and without interchange ramps, said that a wide
intersection "appears to be the one (option) that works
best with either a four-lane or a two-lane [McConnell]
the intersection, Barley Mill would have three westbound lanes,
two eastbound through lanes and two lanes to permit left turns
from eastbound Barley Mill onto Montchanin. Montchanin would
have to be widened to accept the turning traffic, he said.
that a single turn lane would be able to handle projected
traffic volume for about seven years before a second turn lane
would be needed. In any event, he said, Montchanin --
which is designated as Delaware Route 100 in that area and
farther north connects with Delaware Route 92 -- is likely to
remain a road of choice for drivers coming from or going to the
Concord Pike-Naamans Road area. "No matter what you do,
that desire won't go away," he said.
overpass which did not provide any connection between Barley
Mill and Montchanin, Hellmann said, would divert about 2,400
vehicles a day onto Kennett Pike and other roads in the area.
Particularly affected would be Buck Road whose present capacity
would not be sufficient to handle the additional volume, he
some connections by building a partial interchange would reduce
the number of diversions, but they would still be significant
except with a full cloverleaf-style interchange. That was not
one of the options that Hellmann presented. It was noted that
nearby Kennett Pike is not served by a full interchange.
event, the overpass options would require lowering Barley Mill
by about 14 feet and raising Montchanin by about eight feet.
That would interfere with the view of St.
Joseph-on-the-Brandywine church, which is listed as one of the
historical assets in the area.
other option presented cutting off Montchanin at the
intersection, requiring vehicles going in either direction to
turn onto Barley Mill.