Route 26 moves to nighttime lane closures — for summer
Late-night work is getting a little later this summer on Route 26. The Delaware Department of Transportation was already scheduled to begin a second year of overnight work on the road construction project, from May 15 to Sept. 30, in a schedule designed to accommodate summer traffic.
Last year, DelDOT heard pleas from local businesses to avoid the dinner hour, so summer lane closures this year will now occur from 9 p.m. to 8 a.m. on weekdays. Lane shifts may occur during the day on weekdays, but two full lanes must remain open at all times outside those overnight hours. Lane closures are prohibited entirely during weekends.
In a 2012 survey, most residents and business owners said they preferred to have the project utilize night work, which will help the project conclude faster.
In summer, builders get 11 hours at night for lane closures. Since night work began last summer, the night hours have been pushed back by two hours, to aid vehicles driving to late-night dinners and events.
The work is part of a 2.5-year project to expand a 4-mile stretch of Route 26, from Assawoman Canal to Clarksville. Crews are adding sidewalks, clearer entrances and exits, center turn lanes, and water and sewer pipes. The official end-date is the late summer of 2016.
Drivers are still being encouraged to use the official alternate routes that utilize local back roads.
Drivers wishing bypass construction completely to reach Bethany Beach and Coastal Highway can detour (eastward) on Burbage Road, Windmill Road, Central Avenue, Beaver Dam (via Parker House Road) and Muddy Neck Road.
Those roads were the official detour route when two small Route 26 bridges were closed for several months this winter.
Additionally, Ocean View officials announced this week that DelDOT had responded affirmatively to their request to keep in place two temporary traffic lights, at the intersections of Windmill and Cedar Drive with Central Avenue, past the original May 15 date.
The lights at Cedar will remain in the standard green/yellow/red pattern, while the ones at Windmill will utilize a flashing yellow light for traffic on Central and a flashing red light on Windmill. Additional studies of the traffic at the two intersections are planned, with permanent placement not assured. Making either light permanent would require the existing, temporary wooden poles to be replaced with steel poles.
As public outreach coordinator, Ken Cimino personally responds to all questions and complaints regarding Route 26 construction. Residents and businesses can contact him at (302) 616-2621 or Kenneth.Cimino@aecom.com.