Sussex County Council Gets Update on DelDOT Transportation Projects

The Transportation Department visited the Sussex County Council this week for an update on projects either in the planning stages, underway or completed in the County. Some of the information covers statewide issues – like safety and smart work zones. An uptick in wrong way driving has led to a pilot on new technology that will hopefully turn people going the wrong way up a ramp – back in the right direction. If successful, Secretary Nicole Majeski says this technology will be deployed statewide. Another issue is flooding in Sussex County – even on sunny days. They are looking to invest funding to mitigate each year 20 miles of roadway that floods with a porus surface where some of the water goes through the road surface into the drainage system. This is a pilot program that could also be used elsewhere in the state where flooding is an issue.

Multiple projects are underway by transportation officials around Sussex County – on main roads, back roads – as well as trails and more.
On Route 54 – the bridge over the Assawoman Bay will be replaced. Deputy Secretary Shante Hastings says the bridge will remain open to traffic – work on the north side of the bridge will be done in 2024 to 2025 and the south side in 2025 to 2026.

Route 1 Corridor – from Milton to Lewes includes work at the intersections of Minos Conaway and Cave Neck Road. Construction on Minos Conaway is expected to begin in 2024 and Cave Neck the following year. As for the Route 1 and 16 crossover – that project will be done like the Little Heaven crossover with traffic shifting to the nearly completed ramps while the bridge structure is built.

On Route 113 – multiple traffic signals are being installed from Georgetown to Selbyville because of the increase in traffic and increase in the number of accidents. The design phase for the Route 113 widening project – adding a third lane through Millsboro and the Route 113 – Route 404 overpass project is underway.

On Route 24 – work is continuing to widen the roadway, adding or lengthening turn lanes and improving intersections through to Oak Orchard.

The Park Avenue project – phase 1 is expected to be completed by next summer.

And the Fast project, which the County fronting some of the funding – which will be paid back by DelDOT upon completion. This is the intersection at Cave Neck/Hudson/Sweetbriar Roads – design is underway – and expect to begin right of way acquisition in a couple of months and in construction in 20-25.

No public comment was made during a public hearing on an amendment to the FY 2023 operating budget to incorporate new fees and expenses for the kitchen incubator project. With the incubator located at Delaware Tech, and kitchen equipment available – quite of lot of the projected expense has been avoided and the project is increasingly closer to beginning.

Finance Director Gina Jennings updated the Council on the American Rescue Plan Act and explained adjustments needed to meet deadlines or cost adjustments. ARPA funding has been allocated for a variety of needs – sewer infrastructure, affordable housing and low income services, non-profit grants, security upgrades to sewer infrastructure, EOC/EMS employees and the kitchen incubator. Another round of applications will be taken in coming weeks for the small ARPA grant program and housing development grant.

There were four public hearing on Conditional Use and Change of Zone applications during the afternoon session. CU No. 2366 and 2367 were for two different group homes – one in the Seaford area and the other in Harbeson. There was quite a lot of comment in opposition of both projects. The Council deferred action on both applications. CU No. 2371 for a Business Plaza on Route 9 east of Georgetown was approved by the Council. And a Change of Zone application for over 160 acres of AR-1 property to be rezoned to Heavy Industrial was also approved by the Council. This is for a feed mill near Bridgeville for a Mountaire Farms subsidiary. State Senator Dave Wilson was among several people who came out to comment in support of this project – which was approved.

Sussex County Council is off for the next two weeks for the Easter/Spring break – they will return to The Circle in Georgetown on April 18.