Federal dollars given to Delaware beach road improvement

$57 million dollars of federal money are being put into Route 26, one of the state’s most heavily traveled roads through the summer months.

This project will concentrate on an area from the Assawoman Canal near Bethany Beach to an area around Atlantic Avenue in Clarksville. When it is done, the road will be widened and bike lanes will be added, all with the goal of reducing summer congestion.

“Better transportation means economic expansion and job growth, whether it’s near our beaches where visitors and locals expect safe and smooth roadways, or anywhere across our state,” said Governor Jack Markell.

The three members of the Delaware Congressional delegation were on hand for the announcement of the project. “I’m looking forward to these improvements that will support commerce, address environmental needs, and make it easier for everyone driving through this part of our state,” said Congressman John Carney, D-Delaware.   

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“I’m thrilled this project is underway thanks to the federal and state funding that I’ve been working to secure for years, along with the governor and the rest of the Congressional delegation,” said Senator Tom Carper, D-Delaware.

The federal money represents 80% of the money needed for the road expansion. The other 20% will be done through state funds. “The federal government’s significant investment in this project will play an integral role in the continued economic development of the area,” said Senator Chris Coons, D-Delaware.

Road preparations are already underway in several areas along the four mile project. Engineers on the project have been given the okay to work both day and night shifts in several areas at the same time to speed up completion of the work. However, once the summer season starts up in mid-May, work will only be allowed to take place at night. Some businesses have placed signs along the roadway saying they will be open for business during construction.

Route 26 is a connector road between Route 1 and Route 113. When the work is done the existing two-lane roadway will be expanded to include two eleven-foot travel lanes with five-foot shoulder/bike lanes, and a twelve-foot wide continuous shared center left turn lane.

A web site has been set up for anyone looking for more information and progress on the construction, www.sr26.deldot.gov

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