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Sussex County Council ...

DelDOT Planning $369M
in County Road Work

By KERIN MAGILL
SC Online Content Editor

GEORGETOWN -- Sussex County roads could see $369 million worth of improvements over the next five years -- and that possibility has county officials smiling for a change.

County road projects have historically received low priority when state transportation budgets have been divvied up. But this year, according to County Administrator Robert Stickels, the Delaware Department of Transportation has "addressed every one of our concerns -- our needs."

Here are some of the projects that will receive funding if Gov. Ruth Ann Minner approves the state Department of Transportation's proposed capital improvements plan:

  • Improvements to the intersection of Route 1 and Route 16 (which are already under construction), $150,000;
  • Drainage improvements, paving and a new traffic light (at Bayard Avenue) along the "Forgotten Mile" on Route 1 in Rehoboth Beach, $8.9 million;
  • On Route 1, between Rehoboth Avenue and Route 9, a new park and ride facility for 700 cars, $4.8 million;
  • Also on Route 1, a third lane between Nassau and Route 24;
  • A series of improvements on Route 26 between Bethany Beach and Route 113, $28.2 million;
  • Several improvement on Route 13 in Laurel;
  • Continued improvements to Route 113 between Georgetown and the Delaware-Maryland line;
  • Planning work for the proposed limited access north-south highway, $10 million;
  • Drainage work on Clayton Avenue in Frankford by the new high school;
  • Intersection improvements at routes 24 and 5, $2.7 million;
  • Improvements on Route 24 between Route 30 and Route 1, including the Millsboro bridge, $72.6 million;
  • Extension of Route 54 improvements to intersection with Route 113, $30.8 million;
  • Fourteen intersection improvements on routes 9, 404, 36, 24, 20 and 18;
  • Indian River Inlet Bridge replacement, $54 million.

"This is the most aggressive transportation program that we've seen. I guess they're listening to us," Stickels said.


Council OKs rezoning for 282 homes

The County Council approved rezoning for a 282-home development near Pepper Creek, with 17 conditions.

The development will be located on 148 acres off Piney Neck Road near Dagsboro. Developers Steve Parsons and Bake Timmons sought to rezone the land from agricultural-residential to medium residential/residential planned community.

The approval came after a lengthy discussion about whether a boat dock should be permitted. The county Planning Commission recommended the developers be prohibited from placing a boat dock and boat launch on Pepper Creek, based on a request from the state Department of Natural Resources.

"I'm personally not convinced the developers should be denied access to the waterfront," council member Vance Phillips said.

Council member George Cole abstained from voting on the development, claiming he has a business affiliation with the developers. Phillips protested Cole's participation in the discussion of the project, saying it was contrary to standard operating procedure for the council.

But county attorney James Griffin said while he "would prefer (Cole) stay out of the whole process," his participation in the discussion amounted to a "harmless error-type situation."

The other four council members voted in favor of the rezoning.

Update on readdressing

Now in its sixth year, Sussex County's readdressing project is still at least a year from completion.

Matt Laick, county mapping and addressing supervisor, told the county council that new, more complete computerized maps of the entire county will make the project go faster than it has been. "We will be able to eliminate a lot of field work," Laick said.

Most of the remaining properties to be readdressed are in the coastal area, Laick said.

Council members expressed frustration with the process, which has been bogged down by difficulties with contractors and turnover of staff. Last year, former mapping supervisor Dennis Norwood resigned, citing conflicts with the council.


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