By Terry Rogers
Starting in late May, sections of Airport Road will be closed so that the City of Milford can make necessary repairs. The project, which will cost $2.3 million, is more than just a repaving project, according to Mark Whitfield, Public Works Director.
“There will be excavation below the road to repair issues that we have identified,” Mr. Whitfield said. “We are widening the road somewhat and adding shoulders. The paving portion will be the easy part of this project. We anticipate completion in October.” Mr. Whitfield said that this has been a project in the works for some time and was one of the first priorities he was given when he took the position last year.
Mr. Whitfield explained that Airport Road was originally a narrow, country road, similar to how Bowman Road looks today. He said that the City took over maintenance of the road about 15 or 20 years ago after the construction of the industrial park. The road has been repaved and widened in patches over the years, but an entire resurfacing and repairing has not been done since the City took control.
“We looked at whether we could do one-lane closures, but the road is heavily traveled,” Mr. Whitfield said. “At least 20,000 cars each day travel that road and it is not a really long road. If we did one-lane closures, traffic would be backed up past each intersection in a matter of minutes. Therefore, we decided that we would do the road in sections, closing it off to traffic completely in each of those sections.” Mr. Whitfield explained that each section was designed to keep an intersection open that would allow detoured traffic.
Construction will begin at Bowman Road running west toward Canterbury Road. Mr. Whitfield said that people who are used to coming down Bowman Road and turning right to get to Canterbury would not be able to do that during construction. He said that Mullett Run would be open for motorists to access Canterbury Road from Airport Road. Once those sections are completed, construction will shift to the east side of Bowman Road towards Route 113. During construction, entrances to Milford Crossing will remain open and Roosa Road will be used to access Route 113. Mr. Whitfield said that the City decided to do the west end of Airport Road due to planned railroad crossing construction by DelDOT on 113 that will have the highway closed for a short period.
“We will be removing the low concrete island at the end of Airport Road next to Airpark Plaza and the bowling alley,” Mr. Whitfield said. “This construction will be an inconvenience. We will have information posted on our website, on Facebook and through Twitter. We are offering residents the ability to sign up for CodeRED, an automated system similar to that used by the school district. If you have registered, you will receive messages related to safety, property or welfare.” Citizens can register for CodeRED by visiting www.cityofmilford/CodeRED.com or visiting City Hall to pick up an enrollment form.