Construction begins on West Dover Connector

The road will run from US 13 to Delaware Route 15, with an access point on New Burton Road.

A variety of improvements will also take place on several nearby roads.

The project is set to be completed in 817 days, which would place the opening in early May 2017.

On Friday, the ceremonial groundbreaking was held with the new Department of Transportation Secretary Jennifer Cohan taking the reins. Ms. Cohan, who assumed the post just three days before, was accompanied by DelDOT personnel, employees from the project’s contractor and local officials.

“This is such a win-win-win project,” she said. “It’s fantastic for the folks in Kent County, like I said. It’s been a long time coming.

“It’s going to really decrease the congestion in downtown. It’s going to be able to facilitate the ease of movement much, much faster in this area.”

The 3.2-mile-long road will go from the Eden Hill Commercial Center to the south end of Rodney Village, next to Brecknock Park, with no lights or stop signs to delay travel.

Traffic lights at both ends of the connector will help control flow, while another one at the “spur” off New Burton Road will help cars entering and exiting there.

The US 13 intersection will receive a signal upgrade and more turn lanes, while the North Street-Saulsbury Road intersection at Eden Hill will undergo similar changes.

Drivers hoping to go across Dover west to east or vice versa must take a longer route involving multiple roads, something officials said will change soon.

The connector will simplify travel, with DelDOT projecting more than 19,000 daily rides along it in lieu of other roads by 2035.

“I see it as an economic development tool which will grant us access to the western industrial parts of the city of Dover,” said Mayor Robin Christiansen. “It’ll join Camden with us and provide an easy access around the city.”

The connector will also allow for more bike paths, something Ms. Cohan said she is excited about.
Friday’s ceremony was brief, with speakers keeping their remarks short due to sub-freezing temperatures. After the comments, several participants took part in the symbolic groundbreaking, with Ms. Cohan using a special pink shovel to toss a scoop of dirt.

Middletown’s Mumford and Miller Concrete is the lead contractor on the $38 million project.

Reach staff writer Matt Bittle at mbittle@newszap.com

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