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Blue Ball bypass on target

Behind this mound of dirt next to Concord Pike -- one of three on the site -- workers are building a temporary six-lane bypass to carry traffic around construction of an interchange where the pike, Foulk Road and Rockland Road. come together.

Construction project manager Bill Stewart said the contractor, Mumford & Miller, has been able to make up time lost to February's snowstorm and other winter-related delays and the job should be completed, as scheduled, by late September or early October.

The detour, however, will not go into effect immediately. Delaware Department of Transportation is still negotiating with Louis Capano, owner of the Brandywine Plaza office complex on the west side of Concord Pike to acquire a right-of-way to link Foulk Road with the pike at the north end of the bypass. DelDOT has not responded Delaforum inquiries concerning the status of that part of the project and what, if any, effect it will have on the timetable of the overall Blue Ball Project.

Meanwhile, on the east side of the highway, work is proceeding apace, not only on the roadway but also on a 'greenway' pedestrian and bicycle path through the site and down through Alapocas Woods to the Brandywine. Alapocas Run, which even long-time residents did not realize did not realize courses parallel to Concord Pike, has had extensive restoration work done. A three-basin stormwater management system is being constructed.

When the road network, which includes an extension of Delaware 141 between Powder Mill road and Blue Ball, is completed in 2006 or thereabouts, the bypass will have been reconfigured into a two-lane road serving local traffic and a combination recreation and conservation area that is being developed concurrently with the roadbuilding. (CLICK HERE to access DelDOT's Blue Ball Project Web site for full details.)

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Posted on May 14, 2003

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