Dover’s N. State Street to close for one month

DOVER — The replacement of an old water main on North State Street that will take place from Sept. 4 until Oct. 5 will cause some detours and headaches for motorists, officials said.

However, the construction is not expected to have a major impact on the NASCAR Hauler Parade, which is scheduled to take place downtown on Oct. 4, signaling the start of fall race weekend at Dover International Speedway.

Kay Sass, public affairs and emergency management coordinator for the City of Dover, said the work that will take place on North State Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Columbia Avenue is something that must be done.

“It’s difficult when you have to close a busy road like State Street, but the water main we’re replacing is actually from 1963, so it’s definitely worth the trouble,” Ms. Sass said. “The construction work is planned to end around October 4, weather permitting.”

At the Dover City Council meeting on June 25, members of council awarded the contract for the water main replacement to Gateway Construction Inc.

North State Street will close in September and is scheduled to reopen on Oct. 5.

Ms. Sass said the project “will improve the quality of the residents’ water, improve available capacity, increase system reliability and make improvements for fire protection.”

As for the NASCAR Hauler Parade, it appears to be full-speed ahead, even if it is forced to make a slight detour.

“There is a hauler parade planned, indeed,” said Gary Camp, assistant vice president of marketing and communications at Dover International Speedway on Wednesday. “We are working to get (any possible issues) straightened out.

“There’s more to come, but we’re optimistic the project will be completed, or there may need to be a slight tweak to the parade route to make it work. It shouldn’t be a major deal, hopefully.”

A line of Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series haulers will be traveling on some of the city’s most prominent streets and near some of Kent County’s famous landmarks, including Legislative Hall, Loockerman Street and State Street on the way toward the race track on Oct. 4.

The first NASCAR Hauler Parade in Dover was held in 2013, which attracted approximately 10,000 people along the route and featured dozens of 80-foot tractor trailers traveling through the city. Parades were also scheduled in 2014, 2015 and 2016, but were canceled due to inclement weather.

“We’re excited to be able to bring back the NASCAR Hauler Parade to the fans,” said Mike Tatoian, president and CEO of Dover International Speedway. “Colorful haulers have been a symbol of the sport for decades, and we’re pleased to be able to share that tradition with the community.”

Meanwhile, residents in the area where the water main construction replacement will take place have been informed of what’s to come.

The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) said detour signs will be posted for motorists.

The water main replacement project was initiated after city staff was informed of a DelDOT traffic calming project on North State Street.

Prior to the traffic calming project, staff identified the need for upgrading the existing four-inch unlined cast iron water main located in North State Street, between Pennsylvania Avenue and Columbia Avenue.

The existing water main will be replaced with a new 12-inch cement lined ductile iron water main.

“This replacement project will install a new larger water main as well as new water services (to the right-of-way), new curb stops and new water meters,” Paul Thompson, construction manager with the city’s Department of Public Works, wrote in a letter to residents in the affected area. “Customers will be notified at least 48 hours prior to any scheduled water interruptions.

“During construction, temporary road closures may be required within the scope of the project, however, (residents) trash removal will remain available throughout the entire project.

“Following the necessary installation work, disturbed areas within the road will be patched and blacktopped, as well as grassy areas that are disturbed will be re-seeded.”

And it appears as if the NASCAR Hauler Parade will roll on.


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