Walnut Street bridge fully opens

Terry RogersBusiness, Headlines, Milford Headline Story

The Walnut Street Bridge is officially open to both pedestrian and vehicle traffic

On Wednesday, May 8, the City of Milford announced that the Walnut Street bridge, which had undergone resurfacing and beautification over the past few months was now open to both pedestrian and vehicle traffic. The city also reminded motorist that vehicles are now required to yield to pedestrians crossing the bridge as it is now an official crosswalk.

A design for the bridge was presented to Milford City Council in February 2022. Then-Public Works Director, Mike Svaby, explained that the goal for the bridge project was to create a speed deterrent, a pedestrian crossing and ADA access on the bridge. It was also designed to link the Riverwalk on both sides while creating a focal point in the center of town. It was also the culmination of four years of discussions with DelDOT.

At the time, Svaby presented a photo of the current bridge which he admitted was sufficient and functional but looked dated and had no ADA compliant access to the street. The center of the bridge has stamped concrete to give the impression of bricks as well as a line designating the separation of Kent and Sussex Counties, a suggestion made by now-Mayor Todd Culotta at the time.

The closure of the bridge caused issues for many downtown businesses who say they lost a significant amount of business with the closure along with continuing construction on Front Street at the same time.  With the opening of the bridge plus the beautification efforts, businesses are expecting more visitors to the downtown area.

The bridge is located next to the popular DMI-sponsored Riverwalk Farmer’s Market and there were problems with people crossing the street to get to parking areas before the crosswalk was added to the street. This will also provide safer crossing for pedestrians in the area during the Riverwalk Farmer’s Market, those frequenting the North Pole Creamery as well as families visiting Santa during the holidays.

DelDOT has estimated that this phase of the Front Street project should be completed by the end of June which will reduce the traffic woes in the downtown area as well.

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