DelDOT Secretary holds roundtable discussion

    DelDOT Secretary of Transportation Shailen Bhatt is coming up on his one year anniversary which has been full of transportation changes, future goals and now a strong 2013 fiscal year budget.

    During a roundtable discussion Thursday afternoon, Secretary Bhatt laid everything on the table about the transportation agency starting with the Governor’s recommended budget of $181 million.

    “We had a couple things happen, one, we didn’t borrow this year which saved us in terms of finance cost. We also saved $32 million on total debt through refinancing this year, and so what that did is free up $13 million,” said Bhatt.

    As a result the extra money will be used on much needed transportation projects.

    Thursday’s roundtable discussion is all in an effort to create transparency, according to Secretary Bhatt who later pointed out DART services changes.  Dart routes in New Castle and Kent counties will see bus route changes starting July 15th. Details on the fixed routes can be found on DART’s website.

    Meanwhile, Bhatt also talked about DelDOT’s committment to working on a new U.S 301 Mainline Toll Road. The project, which will give motorists direct access to U.S 301 from Interstate 95, is expected to improve public safety in the state’s largest growth areas. Officials say completion is likely to happen by 2016.

    Other status updates included the Woodland Ferry that will resume service next week, a new DMV facility in Bear and the removal of the Old Indian River Inlet Bridge.

    In April, DelDOT hosted a management retreat where tranportation officials discussed their mission, goals and values. Listen to what Secretary Shailen Bhatt had to say in the Newsworks video clip. 

    As for the future, transportation officials are looking to break ground on the C & D Canal Trail in July, proposing traffic improvements districts for each county and figuring out a dollar amount necessary to keep roads in good repair.

    “It’s my one year anniversary here in about 10 days, I think we had a very succesful first year, and we look forward to building on that success as we move forward.”

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