Sidewalks, turn lanes start new year on Route 26

Striping and sidewalks indicate real progress on road project

Date Published: 
January 8, 2016

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Route 26 is seeing new sidewalks being installed as part of the roadwork being done over the next few years.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Route 26 is seeing new sidewalks being installed as part of the roadwork being done over the next few years.Pedestrians have already benefited from new sidewalks along Route 26. Now, drivers are using some of the new turn lanes promised in the State Route 26 Mainline Improvement Project.

New striping was painted on a one-mile stretch between Old Mill Road and Woodland Avenue, showing the ultimate traffic pattern.

Not including early utilities work, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) project began in January of 2013 and is expected to end in the autumn of 2016, eventually improving traffic flow from Clarksville to Ocean View.

Lane closures are still a regular part of life, with flaggers directing traffic through the construction zone, which is spread across more than 4 miles of Route 26.

The project’s transportation management plan is updated every year, said Ken Cimino, resident engineer with AECOM.

“We also monitor lane closures and length of backups,” he said at the construction advisory group’s public meeting on Dec. 8. For instance, the flaggers aren’t supposed to have 80-car backups, but “Some days, that’s just unavoidable. You got a hole in the road, and you can’t get around that.”

Overall, community outreach continues to be “relatively quiet,” Cimino said. “That’s a sign to me … there’s not a lot of heartache or hardship, although sometimes the detours can test your patience a little bit.”

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert Route 26 upgrades include a middle turning lane.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert Route 26 upgrades include a middle turning lane.Projects for late December included placing concrete for new sidewalks near Club House Road and laying concrete for directional islands at Irons Lane.

Meanwhile, Tidewater Utilities continues installing a new 16-inch water main west of Whites Neck Road.

Survey work has begun to create a permanent new stoplight at Central Avenue and Cedar Drive.

“Currently, we’re doing sewer force main relocation in the area of Town Road, in front of CraZy LadyZ! and Bethany Auto Parts,” he said, the same as West Avenue and Avenue had earlier in the job. The sewer force main needs to be moved lower in the ground to make room for stormwater drainage. That work began Nov. 18 and should end by mid-January. Passersby have noticed a big, black pipe aboveground there, which is a temporary bypass for the sewer.

Pedestrians, cyclists and drivers are all being encouraged to be especially vigilant when driving in construction zones.

Weekly emails remind drivers that “Travel times to and from your destination may be quicker if you use one of the SR 26 Alternate Routes that were constructed prior to the start of the SR 26 Mainline Construction Project.” The recently reconstructed roadways include:

• Burbage Road, from Route 17 to Windmill Drive;

• Windmill Drive to Route 26 to Central Avenue;

• Central Avenue, from Windmill Drive to Beaver Dam Road; and

• Beaver Dam Road, from Central Avenue to Muddy Neck Road.

For more information or to register for email updates, visit www.deldot.gov/information/projects/sr26.

Mobile devices can download the DelDOT app or visit www.deldot.gov/mobile.

Ken Cimino responds to all public questions and complaints regarding Route 26 construction. People can contact him at (302) 616-2621 or Kenneth.Cimino@aecom.com.

The next public meeting will be Feb. 9 at 10 a.m. at Bethany Beach Town Hall.