Businesses remain open during road construction

Even during road construction, Route 26’s businesses are open, and the Delaware Department of Transportation must provide access to each.

“Our local businesses are open,” emphasized Ken Cimino, contractor AECOM’s on-site public outreach coordinator. “I encourage folks to get out and visit local eateries and businesses.”

Apart from typical summertime traffic, the Route 26 drive has gotten easier during daylight hours. Until Oct. 1, lane closures are only permitted overnight. Flaggers guide traffic in certain areas from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., Monday to Thursday nights.

In October of 2012, DelDOT surveyed local residents about night work, and only nine people opposed it. A total of 68 people responded “yes” to night work, and 117 people did not reply, which counts as approval.

Day work still continues, but it cannot shut down traffic.

“It will create some spectator slow-downs. People slow down to watch,” Cimino said, “but there will always be one lane open in both ways.”

On the west end of the project area, construction began in Clarksville on Sussex County’s sewer expansion, with about 800 feet of new gravity sewer line from Millville town limits to Hocker’s Super Center at Route 17.

This summer, the goal is to complete realignment of the Route 26 intersections at Cedar Drive and Central Avenue — work that has already begun. With those sharp turns straightened out, people can more easily use the designated detour routes when George & Lynch closes lanes on Route 26, possibly this winter.

Route 26 will only ever close completely in two spots, to replace small bridges near Lord Baltimore Elementary School and Millville Town Hall, from January to March in 2015 or 2016, depending on construction progress.

Representatives of local grocers were concerned about how much longer construction would linger at the Old Mill Road intersection, next to Food Lion and Giant.

“I stressed to them we’re moving eastward. Until we finish all the drainage work, we wouldn’t be back in that intersection for any lengthy period of time until late in the summer,” Cimino said.

Warm rains and weather have led to quickly growing grass in areas recently planted ahead of work alongside the existing roadway. The State controls everything within the areas fenced-off with black construction fence, so George & Lynch will hire someone to mow the grass.

“Depending on how much rain we get, you can bet we’ll be out there cutting grass every other Friday,” Cimino said, with intentions to conform as closely as possible to Ocean View, Millville and Sussex County ordinances.

Emergency responders have a unique challenge in passing construction zones, so an emergency services working group has been established. They met after Memorial Day, to find that operations have progressed well so far, Cimino said. They discuss road conditions, from flaggers to reassembly of the roadways. The emergency group will meet again after July 4.

The Route 26 public meetings are typically held the second Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. at Bethany Beach Town Hall. However, due to low attendance, the meetings may become quarterly in the future, Cimino said.

Residents and businesses are being encouraged to contact Ken Cimino anytime with questions or concerns, at (302) 616-2621 or or 17 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 2, in Ocean View.

Pipe replacement to close two local roads

DelDOT contractor Mumford & Miller Concrete Inc. will be removing and replacing crossroad pipes in Sussex County in the coming weeks.

The following roadways will be closed to traffic from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.:

• Bishopville Road, which connects Selbyville to Maryland (between Lighthouse Road and Hudson Road) on June 16 and 17.

• Thatcher Street in Frankford (between Main Street and Honolulu Road) from June 23 to 25.

In case of rain, the construction will continue the following day. Detour signage will be posted for motorists.