DelDOT prepares to close Windmill Road from Nov. 19-Jan. 7

For two weeks, a large traffic sign has warned Millville-area motorists that Windmill Road is next in the Route 26 Detour Routes project. The Delaware Department of Transportation will close the road near Millville Town Hall at 7 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 19, and is scheduled to reopen it Jan. 7, 2013.

“We’re widening Windmill Road, which means we’re gong to have to replace the pipes for part of the Derrickson Canal tax ditch underneath,” said Bob King of DelDOT.

The Windmill closure only reaches a few hundred feet, from Route 26 to Deer Trail Road.

A new headwall will hold up the road around new crossroad pipes. However, as residents near Burbage Road recently learned, headwalls are not a fast process. Each section of concrete must dry completely before the next can be safely poured, up to a week later. And while one section of road is drying, George & Lynch contractors may leave to continue work on another site, making apparent progress occur at a snail’s pace. Weather can also impact the timetable for the project.

DelDOT is still shooting for a deadline of Memorial Day of 2013 for completion of the entire Detour Routes Project. Back roads to the south of Route 26 are being widened, with larger shoulders and turn lanes at intersections. These “alternate routes” will help alleviate traffic when the Route 26 Mainline Project begins as early as fall of 2013.

The Mainline Project will last several years, also seeking to widen the road and add a turn lane, among other improvements. Currently, utilities companies are preparing for the move. Verizon was on-schedule to begin Early Action relocations on Nov. 13, but Delmarva Power fell behind due to Hurricane Sandy cleanup and repair work. Delmarva is expected to begin work by Dec. 3. King said the schedule was light at first, so they “seem optimistic” that they will catch up.

Utility companies continue meeting monthly with DelDOT, and the community Working Group will meet again in 2013.