Long-Awaited Overpass Opens in Milford

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overpassThe long-awaited ooverpass at the intersection of Coastal Highway (Route1) and Wilkins Road (Route 30) opened on Friday, July 25, 2014. The overpass replaced an existing intersection that had been the sight of many serious accidents over the years. The intersection was closed to cross traffic in September 2011.

The new overpass has a connecting ramp system that allows drivers to now access north and southbound lanes of Coastal Highway safely. Improvements were also made to the intersection of Wilkins road and Cedar Creek Road, including the installation of a traffic signal and clearly marked turning lanes. The project also included erosion and sediment control work, embankments, acceleration/deceleration lanes, along with milling and paving the roadways.

“It’s been a long time coming, but I’m very happy that the overpass is finally completed,” said Senator Gary Simpson. “This project will not only benefit those living in the area and having to travel across Route 1 to get home, but it will also provide a measure of safety for everyone else traveling along that section of the highway.” Senator Simpson stated that the intersection had been unsafe for many years and that in discussions with both the Milford Police and Carlisle Fire Department, was well aware of the problems those agencies faced at the crossroads.

Senator Harvey Kenton also said he was glad to see the project completed, stating that it had been a hazardous, high-accident area for years.

“I have visited this worksite constantly and I have been in contact with DelDOT officials throughout the process. This is an investment, not only in better traffic flow, but improved safety.”

Local officials were also glad to see the intersection opened, especially since during the construction period, Lincoln residents were required to either enter Coastal Highway headed south and immediately cross two busy lanes of traffic and make a u-turn to travel north, or travel into Milford and use the Shawnee Road (Route 36) overpass. Residents on the east side of the highway had to use similar driving patterns to head southbound.

“The City of Milford is excited to see the completion of the overpass at the intersection of Route 1 and Route 30,” said Mayor Bryan Shupe. “Not only will it provide a safer exit for residents of Milford to connect with Route 1, but it will also create an accessible entranceway for visitors to discover what the City of Milford has to offer.” Mayor Shupe said he was looking forward to working with DelDOT on the installation of gateway signs that would highlight the city’s branding – “Rivertown, Art Town, Home Town.”

According to DelDOT engineer, Brad Saborio, the project was scheduled to be completed in early June, but due to the extreme cold and snow over the winter, the timeline was pushed back until this week. Mr. Saborio says that this delay did not increase the cost of the project.

Moving forward, both Senator Simpson and Representative Jack Peterman would like to see other overpasses in the Milford area move toward completion. Both legislators say that an overpass is necessary at the intersection of Northeast Tenth Street and Coastal Highway, which leads to the Woods Haven community, as well as one just north of Milford where the proposed Kent County Sports Complex will be built.

“Now that this is finished, I’d like to see DelDOT break ground on two projects just to the north,” said Representative Peterman. “The first would serve the Woods Haven community. The planned overpass at Northeast Front Street would eliminate a dangerous situation those residents face every time they leave their homes.”

Senator Simpson echoed Representative Peterman’s sentiments regarding the Northeast Tenth Street intersection, stating that DelDOT recognizes how dangerous the intersection is, but that the agency did not have the project on their short-list of immediate projects.

“It’s a dangerous situation for not only the residents of Milford and Woods Haven, but also for the school buses and young student drivers having to cross that intersection.” Senator Simpson said that he hoped the mindset at DelDOT would change regarding the scheduling of this intersection.

The intersection located near the proposed sports complex is another that representatives see as critical, according to Representative Peterman.

“The planned overpass, just south of Frederica, is needed to allow the Kent County Regional Sports Complex to move forward. This is a project that promises to generate millions of dollars in economic activity locally.”