As part of the Route 26 Mainline Improvements Project, Railway Road will have a one-week detour this coming week. Railway Road will remain completely open in Millville, except where it intersects with Route 26. The intersection needs to be rebuilt. Weather permitting, the closure will occur from Monday, Oct. 19 to Friday, Oct. 23.
Drivers can detour from Route 26 using Club House Road or Whites Neck Road, both of which intersect with Old Mill Road, which connects to Railway Road.
“It’s going to be very similar to the West Avenue closure. You’ll be able to get all the way up Railway to get to homes, but you won’t be able [to reach] Route 26,” reported Ken Cimino, resident engineer with AECOM.
Meanwhile, West Avenue in Ocean View is halfway through its nearly-seven-week closure, scheduled to end Nov. 6. That project is on scheduled, Cimino said at the Route 26 construction advisory group’s public meeting on Oct. 13.
It “was a learning day” when that road first closed, he said, but things have calmed down, and with more signage and traffic barrels, fewer drivers are cutting through the business parking lots.
At the western edge of the project, near St. George’s U.M. Church in Clarksville, the new road configuration is visible, as Route 26 will curve to become the dominant road there. Omar Road will “T” into Powell Farm Road, which will “T” into Route 26.
Expansion is mostly done from Central Avenue to Old Mill Road, with sidewalks, drainage and widening. New striping will be painted so drivers can start using a shared center turn lane and bicycle lanes. The very final layer of pavement and striping will be done at a later date.
The builders and construction managers are taking advantage of good weather, still looking to reduce the project end-date from Sept. 7, 2016, he said.
“We’re looking for ways to pick up some of the time we lost due to weather over the last two years now. We’ve allowed [contractor] George & Lynch, after Labor Day … to have early-morning lane closures, stating at 9 a.m., to get out there and continue,” Cimino said. “I do believe we’ve seen some benefits of that in picking up some lost days … we’re going to continue to look for every available day that we can get.”
To reduce flooding during recent heavy rainfall, the team had removed sediment bags from the drainage systems. Like a towel under a faucet, the sediment bags prevent clogging of the pipes below, but they were hauled out completely so water could exit the roads as quickly as possible. Meant to reduce erosion, the bags are replaced after storms.
Two traffic signals that were installed for the detours on Central Avenue were meant to be temporary, until the Town of Ocean View requested permanent signals to control traffic at Cedar Drive and Windmill Road.
The project team was instructed to study the temporary signals with summer and fall traffic.
“There’s different warrants they have to meet. Cedar and Central met some warrants during summer traffic. In fall, I don’t think either signal met the warrants,” said Chief Engineer Jill Frey of Century Engineering.
DelDOT’s Traffic Section will make the final decision about whether to leave the signals in place, remove them or study the intersections again in springtime.
Next to Lord Baltimore Elementary School, well-worn Old School Lane got a slight upgrade. It’s not part of the Route 26 project, but the builders laid some extra pavement anyway, from the school entrance to Route 26.
This August, children got to visit the construction site near their school, as Cimino and other project team members talked about the sidewalk construction and answered questions.
Ken Cimino responds to all public questions and complaints regarding Route 26 construction. People can contact him at (302) 616-2621 or email Kenneth.Cimino@aecom.com.
The next public meeting will be Dec. 8 at 10 a.m. at Bethany Beach Town Hall.