Sussex County Delaware

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Sussex County Council ...

County Road Requests
Could Hit $500 Million

By KERIN MAGILL
SC Online Content Editor

If the state funds all the projects on the county's wish list this year, funding could reach $500 million, Sussex County Administrator Robert Stickels told county council during its regular meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2002.

Stickels said there are no dollar figures in his request to the state Department of Transportation for capital improvement projects, but he said "If they fund everything this year, I wouldn't be surprised to see the costs exceed half a billion dollars."

Stickels was to present his proposal to DelDOT officials at a meeting in Georgetown on Tuesday evening.

Among the projects the county will seek new funding for are:

  • A limited access north-south highway;

  • Improvements to Route 26 west of Bethany Beach;

  • Improvements to Route 1 in Dewey Beach;

  • Improvements to Route 30 and Route 5 between Route 24 and Route 1;

  • Realignment and upgrade of Park Avenue in Georgetown;

  • Addition of stationary message boards on evacuation routes;

  • Work on the Indian River Bridge to counteract scouring of pilings under the bridge; and

  • A program of improvements to the county's back roads.

Stickels said a design engineer has been selected for the proposed north-south highway. He said the design will utilize as much existing highway as possible, and could include an east and west bypass at Millsboro.

The Route 26 project would result in the addition of sidewalks and bike lanes through Ocean View and Millville, similar to the improvements made on Route 26 in Bethany Beach last year. That stretch of Route 26 has seen a "vast improvement" since the completion of the project, according to county council member George Cole.

The improvements to routes 30 and 5, according to Stickels, were the only ones requested last year that were not funded. The state did, however, spend $5.4 million on intersection improvements at Route 30 and Route 1.

Stickels said the stationary message board would be helpful, particularly during nor'easters and hurricanes, when portable signs are not safe.

The Indian River Bridge is a high priority for the county, Stickels said. "Because of the importance of that bridge, we cannot wait ... until '06 or '07 for that to be done."

Another high priority is upgrades for the county's back roads. "Secondary roads in the county are horrible," council member Dale Dukes said. Council member Lynn Rogers said improvements to the back roads is becoming more of an issue as the county's population grows. "Usage has increased because the locals are going to take them" rather than fight traffic on the main roads, Rogers said.

Stickels said he hoped attendance at this year's meeting between state and county officials would be better attended -- by both the public and elected officials -- than in the past.

Last year, the state funded $147 million in capital improvement projects in Sussex County. Stickels said he hoped Sussex would continue to receive the support of Transportation Secretary Nathan Hayward, who said last year that he recognized that the county's transportation needs had been largely ignored for years.

In Other Business ...
  • Stickels announced that the countywide burning ban has been lifted;

  • Council introduced ordinances to authorize the issuance of up to $2.6 million for sewer projects in Sea Country Estates and Bay View Estates and up to $6.75 million for the Miller Creek sewer project;

  • Council approved additional streetlighting in the Oak Meadows community and community improvements in Cedar Landing in response to petitions from both communities;

  • Council approved annexation of a .4-acre property on Honolulu Road, Frankford, into the Dagsboro-Frankford Sewer District; and

  • Council approved an amendment to a contract with Whitman, Requardt and Associates for contruction inspection on the Cedar Landing sewer project.

  • Council approved the following grant requests:
    • Sussex Central Pop Warner -- $400;
    • Sussex Central Swim Team Boosters -- $200; and
    • Kiwanis Foundation of Rehoboth Beach -- $500 for the third Rehoboth Folk Festival.

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