Get the facts at Route 26 meeting


After lots of talk and preparation, Route 26 construction season is nearly here, expected to last almost three years. People can learn exactly what that means at a Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) public meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 15, from 4 to 7 p.m. at South Coastal Library in Bethany Beach.

The State Route 26 Mainline Improvement Project brings a center turn lane and a 5-foot shoulder to more than 4 miles of the road, from Assawoman Canal to St. George’s U.M. Church in Clarksville.

Residents, business owners and visitors can learn more about the project that affects 250 parcels, reconstructs 237 entrances, replaces two bridges and creates sidewalks from Ocean View to Millville, all while maintaining pedestrian traffic.

Construction is expected to begin in late November or December and finish by summer or fall of 2016.

“The goal is to let everyone know that, yes, after all these years, we are going to improve the road, and here’s what to expect,” said Chief Engineer Jill Frey of Century Engineering.

DelDOT staff will answer questions and keep people informed. However, the project already went through public review, so they will not take formal public comment on-record.

Guests at the Oct. 15 meeting can hear a short lecture, view informational boards and see the overall project’s expected effect on their own home or business.

Road work will occur on multiple sites simultaneously, although there will be a one-mile break between active sections.

The main contractor should be announced at the workshop, as bids were received Sept. 24. The company will send representatives to all future meetings, as stipulated in their contract. This public relations demand was included after Route 54 construction in 2012, a public relations disaster that improved after public meetings began.

The alternative routes road improvements and utilities relocation should be nearly complete when construction begins this winter.

Throughout the project, people can get DelDOT updates on the radio at 1330 AM, on their Facebook and Twitter pages, via their smartphone app and email (sign up at www.SR26.deldot.gov).

For further information, contact DelDOT Public Relations at 1(800) 652-5600 (in Del.) or (302) 760-2080, or email dotpr@state.de.us.