By Terry Rogers
On Friday, December 8, officials from the City of Milford along with Senator Gary Simpson officially opened Airport Road after a construction project that began in July. The project, estimated to cost $2.4 million was completed under budget and sooner than anticipated.
“This project is the culmination of several years of planning,” Mark Whitfield, Public Works Director with the City of Milford, said. “It was completed early and under budget. Much of this accomplishment can be attributed to our outstanding contractor, Diamond Materials, as well as the engineering work done by Davis, Bowen and Friedel. We also need to thank Senator Gary Simpson who provided some of the funding for this important project. We know this has been difficult for many motorists who use this road every day, as well as for the many businesses that are located on Airport Road, including the Industrial Park. We appreciate their patience as we worked to make this road better.”
The project was initially supposed to begin in May 2017, but when DelDOT announced that Route 113 would be closed in order to complete necessary repairs to the railroad tracks near Route 14, the City decided to delay the Airport Road project until July to avoid additional traffic delays.
According to City officials, the Airport Road project was more than simply repaving the road, something that many residents of the City had been requesting for several years. Excavation was done below the surface to repair issues and the road was widened in some areas with shoulders added. According to Mr. Whitfield, Airport Road was originally a narrow, country road that looked similar to what Bowman Road looks like today. About 15 years ago, the City took over maintenance of Airport Road after the industrial park was created. Over the years, the road has been repaved in patches, but the City had not resurfaced or repaired the entire road since they took over maintenance.
Mr. Whitfield explained that they looked at doing one-lane closures but since so many people used the road each day, that would have been difficult. The decision was made to do the repairs in sections, closing different parts of the road throughout the summer and fall to make the necessary repairs.
“Thank you to everyone who worked on this project,” Mayor Bryan Shupe said. “This is a huge success for everyone. As we looked at this project, we uncovered many things that were wrong and, rather than just cover those problems, we did complete repairs and resurfacing. We are very happy that it is now open as more than 10,000 cars travel this road each day. It is now safer and we are very happy that the entire project was completed early and at less cost that originally anticipated.”
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