of Transportation Nathan Hayward told the Greater Hockessin
Economic Development Association on June 21 that three years of
planning and negotiations will reach a climax in the coming
autumn with start of work on an enlarged version of an
approximately 50 acre park at the intersection of Limestone and
one can equal four," he said.
Creation of the park had been
previously announced, but Hayward's explanation of how it came
to be and the expanded scope of the $5.8 million project went
well beyond what would come out in such a venue if the state
cabinet secretary stuck to a public relations script. He even
acknowledged that he
forgotten to bring the necessary power cord to use the Power
Point presentation he did bring.
As he detailed it, everything
started when Delaware Department of Transportation widened
Limestone Road and inadvertently dumped a flooding problem on
the Lantana Shopping Center. Hayward couldn't explain how such a
thing happened beyond saying that "the engineers got it wrong."
In any event, he said, the choice
came down to whether to "argue about it for a long time or just
At the same time, the department was
wrestling with a decision on what to do with an historic tavern
building that had to be relocated to allow for widening the
Several months ago, the decision was
made to use surplus land at the northeast corner of the
intersection as its new site. Purchase by the state agency of
some adjacent land allowed for it to be situated in a park
As initially conceived, the park
would have been U-shaped, embracing the Basher & Son welding
business. Hayward said he
Take your pick
The public has to
decide between preserving picturesque country roads and
turning them into thruways, according to Nathan Hayward.
If it's to be the
former option, there's a tradeoff to be made, he added.
Slower speeds and limited passing opportunities will
continue to be required.
"If it's going to
stay a country road, it has to be driven on with
patience," he said.
The question arose
at the Greater Hockessin Area Development Association
meeting and involved DelDOT's plans for Brackenville
Road, a major shortcut between Limestone Road and
Lancaster Pike. But Hayward pointed out that there are
numerous other examples throughout New Castle County.
the firm in the past and has been pleased with its services, but
agreed that a welding shop is not exactly the kind of amenity
one would prefer to have sitting next to a park.
secretary said the solution that has been worked out is to
combine all the elements in a compatible four-sided package:
DelDOT will build a new stormwater drainage pond; Pike Creek
Fitness Club will purchase the Basher property; Hockessin Soccer
League will manage two playing and one practice field in the
park; a two-story parking garage with capacity for 200 vehicles
will handle soccer fans and other park users.
fitness club facility will be a private membership affair, but a
more acceptable business for the location. The fields will be
available for public use when the league isn't using them and
DelDOT will complement the athletic complex with walking trails
and other such amenities in the park. The garage will be
"nestled into" the park and not be visible from the highway, he
said. "It's not going to be another Shea Stadium of the
addition to the tavern building, the one-room schoolhouse which
stands at the intersection of Limestone with Paper Mill Road
will be located in the park.
described how those elements will fit together into a 'live
happily ever after' scenario with Hockessin ending up getting a
"significant new community amenity."
this is not something envisioned for some future undermined
time, he added. Money to finance it is in the state's fiscal
2005 capital budget, which the General Assembly is about to
approve, Hayward said.
response to a question, he said DelDOT's getting into park
development fulfills its mission to "prepare for the future
[and] plan for orderly economic growth." To further that end, he
added, the department has spent or committed more money in the
past three years than it and its predecessor highway agencies
did in all the previous years since the state got into the roads
business in 1912.
Preserving open space, he added, is an important element of
economic development. "I'm probably the greenest secretary of
transportation Delaware ever had," he said.