DelDOT, police make plans for Delaware Junction traffic

Workers were busy Wednesday afternoon erecting the main stage for this weekend’s Delaware Junction country music festival at the Delaware State Fairgrounds. (Special to the Delaware State News by Gary Emeigh)

Workers were busy Wednesday afternoon erecting the main stage for this weekend’s Delaware Junction country music festival at the Delaware State Fairgrounds. (Special to the Delaware State News by Gary Emeigh)

HARRINGTON — State traffic planners ran the numbers for this weekend’s Delaware Junction country music festival, and they were good.

Barring any unforeseen developments, the Department of Transportation believes the estimated 10,000 to 15,000 attendees arriving today through Sunday won’t bring significant road stress to the area.

With multiple access points to the Delaware State Fairgrounds next to U.S. 13 and nearly a year of planning, DelDOT officials figure vehicles will arrive and depart smoothly if they follow the 15 message boards providing guidance and updated information, along with traffic control personnel directing them where to go.

Arrivals and departures will be spread over four days, DelDOT special events manager Mike Rivera said. That includes long-term campers and vehicles there for a single day.

Whatever the case, they won’t all be getting to Harrington at the same time or leaving at once either, easing volume concerns.

“There’s not really a lot of (roadway) impact expected … ” Mr. Rivera said. “The venue is favorable to get in and out of.”

Gates open today with the music starting Friday afternoon.

Gates open today with the music starting Friday afternoon.

Campgrounds open at noon today, with music beginning at 2:15 p.m. Friday.

Any slowdowns typically associated with large gatherings should dissipate quickly, according to officials. There will be intermittent lane closures similar to last month’s state fair.

“There’s going to be minor delays at points,” Mr. Rivera said.

With last month’s state fair and its significantly larger crowds in the rear-view mirror, organizers have a general blueprint of how to handle traffic around the area.

With staffing Mr. Rivera described as “ample,” DelDOT will be on site beginning at 6 a.m. today until the last camper leaves by noon Monday. Country Junction pays for the personnel, Mr. Rivera said.

Delaware State Police will oversee traffic control.

Harrington Police Department spokesman Lt. Earl K. Brode said municipal officers will monitor traffic flow throughout town limits.

“We’ll watch the traffic, but are not anticipating any big issues,” Lt. Brode said.

One-day festival-goers can pay $20 for parking — it’s first come, first serve — and must leave the lot by the end of the day. Organizers said day-trippers can enter the grounds via Tower Hill Road off U.S. 13.

Overnight parking costs $60 for the weekend.

Festival gates open at 1 p.m. each day.

In a news release, DelDOT suggested that motorists can better adjust and estimate their routes and/or travel times through its free app, which can be downloaded at the Google Play and Apple store with a search for “DelDOT.”

The DelDOT app also provides access to WTMC-AM (1380) for traffic updates.

Real-time traffic information is available at deldot.gov, and DelDOT’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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