recommendations are contained in a voluminous catalog in a draft
of the council's annual Transportation Improvement Program made
public at a workshop meeting on Jan. 10. The council will accept
comments from the public until Feb. 24 and establish priorities
before submitting the recommendations to the Delaware and
Maryland transportation departments.
Zegeye, the council's executive director, said the plan is
advisory and it is up to the departments to schedule the work
and the respective legislatures and the Federal Highway
Administration to finance
them. Nevertheless the program carries
considerable weight since it is regarded as the official
expression of public participation in a cooperative
decision-making process required to obtain federal financing.
this year to the program, which rolls over annually, are:
million to purchase Bread and Cheese Island in the Christina
River near Newport as the potential site of a new reservoir.
● An additional $10
million of state
Attenders at a
workshop view charts illustrating components of the
2005-08 Transportation Improvement Program.
money to complete purchases of
flood-damaged properties in Glenville and Stanton Crest. The
state put up $19.2 million and New Castle County provided $18
million for that purpose last year after adoption of the 2005-07
million to continue developing plans to use the existing
railroad track between Newark and Middletown for a commuter rail
line. The line would later be extended to Dover and possibly
into Sussex County.
million for a preliminary study of possible extension of
Churchmans Road through Delaware Park to Kirkwood Highway.
also would be $1 million of new money for bicycle and pedestrian
paths along Marsh and Grubb Roads in Brandywine Hundred and $5
million for a path linking downtown Newark and White Clay Creek
largest project by far is continuation of the widening and
improving of Interstate 95 between the Maryland state line and
the Basin Road interchange. That would include reconstruction of
the interchange with Christiana Mall and Delaware Route 1. The
program calls for spending $4 million this fiscal year and $185
million next in addition to the $36.8 million spent in prior
Blue Ball project is down for an additional $2 million this year
on top of the $28.8 million already spent.
related project would be widening the 'flyover' exit from
northbound Interstate 95 onto northbound Concord Pike from one
lane to two. That would cost $33.6 million allocated for this
fiscal year on top of $2.3 million already spent.
Expanding capacity of the Tyler McConnell Bridge over the
Brandywine is included in the program, but the status of that
project remains unclear.
program document notes a reduction of $27.2 million from the
amount allocated to fiscal 2006 in the 2005-07 program and an
increase of $28 million to the amount allocated for fiscal 2007.
The document also states that "a new two-lane bridge will be
built immediately south of the existing bridge [and] should be
similar in type and at the same elevation as the existing
bridge." It also said that 80% of the construction financing
will be federal money.
Delaware Department of Transportation spokesman Michael Williams
told Delaforum that is "about as wrong as it could be." He said
DelDOT is still preparing documentation to justify federal
financing of a plan, first put forth two years ago, to tear down
the existing bridge and replace it with a new four-lane bridge.
The issue, which has been pending for more than a year, is over
whether the existing bridge has historical significance and, if
so, whether that should be subordinated to the overall historic
significance of the surrounding Hagley Mills property and Henry
Clay Village area. Williams said there is no deadline for
deciding the issue.
the coming three fiscal years $21.8 million would be allocated
to projects at the Christina Riverfront in Wilmington, including
a road and bridge over the river to connect to South Market
Street, extension of the pedestrian path into the nature
preserve south of the shops area and building a new walkway
between the Browntown neighborhood and Frawley Stadium.
proposed 2006-08 program also includes $7.1 million to repair
four bridges on Interstate 495 over the Amtrak railroad at the
Edgemoor interchange with the work scheduled for this year.