At a recent meeting, Milford City Manager Mark Whitfield informed council that DelDOT had agreed to review sections of Route 113 in Milford. The city had requested the review due to growth in the area as well as conflicting speed limits in some sections of the highway.
“We agree that we need to collectively do everything we can to provide a safe and efficient transportation system for our residents and visitors,” a letter, signed by Nicole Majeski, Secretary of Transportation, read. “The Department will begin reviewing the previously proposed alignments and update them based on the development and growth that has occurred since 2007 to see which are still feasible.”
The letter explained that the General Assembly passed language in the 2007 Bond Bill that prohibited DelDOT from proceeding with an improvements project they proposed for Milford and Lincoln. The legislators urged DelDOT at the time to achieve local consensus for an acceptable alignment corridor in the area, taking into account legitimate concerns raised by the community at the time as well as to meet the needs of DelDOT to manage traffic flow.
“The language further stated that the Department was to report back on the progress of this corridor to the Governor and members of the General Assembly no later than January 31, 2008,” the letter continued. “After further analysis and consultation with local leaders, [then] Secretary Wicks informed the General Assembly on January 23, 2008, that “there is no community consensus for a compromise alternative. Therefore, DelDOT will not be containing the US 113 North/South Study in the Milford/Lincoln area.””
In 2007, DelDOT announced plans to construct a bypass east of Milford that would connect Route 1 to Route 113, a plan that would have divided the town of Lincoln in half. Community members reacted quickly, holding meetings to oppose the changes to the roads in the area. One of the most outspoken citizens was current Senator Dave Wilson whose family home would have been taken as part of the process.
“I’m not concerned about my home,” Wilson said at the time. “I’m concerned about a community being divided for a highway that is not going to be adequate.”
Residents fought against the proposal as did many other communities along Route 113 where DelDOT proposed massive changes. As a result, the General Assembly stepped in, issuing their order that the Route 113 corridor remain untouched unless DelDOT could create a plan that would also benefit residents in the area.
The letter from Majesky indicates that DelDOT is willing to return to the drawing board and see where they can make changes to improve safety along Route 113, including a review of speed limits in the area. In some sections of Milford, the speed on the southbound lanes is different than the northbound lanes, making it confusing for drivers.
There was no information provided regarding when the review would begin.
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