Milford residents unhappy about Del. 1 median crossovers

Delaware State News/Logan Anderson Naa-Atswei Tetteh, traffic studies engineer, shows Milford residents information on the proposed Del. 1 intersection changes.

Delaware State News/Logan Anderson
Naa-Atswei Tetteh, traffic studies engineer, shows Milford residents information on the proposed Del. 1 intersection changes.

MILFORD — Delaware Department of Transportation officials held a public workshop Wednesday about proposed interim changes to the median crossovers on Del. 1 at Northeast 10th Street and New Wharf Road.

The workshop, held in the Milford High School cafeteria, saw a steady stream of community members who came to find out more about the project — most were not happy.

The proposed changes would stop complete crossover traffic and would restrict drivers to only making turns or U-turns.

“We’re removing some of the crossing maneuvers. Because it is typically easier to make a right turn maneuver,” Naa-Atswei Tetteh, traffic studies engineer. “It is just signing, striping and tubal markers.”

Mark Luszcz, assistant director of Traffic Studies, said DelDOT was asked to come up with solutions to ease traffic problems in the area until DelDOT can build a planned overpass project that, when completed, would completely take the place of the intersections.

“When we were asked to do this, I believe it was at a point in time we didn’t have any construction funds for the grade-separated intersection project. It had an unknown time line. The concern from some of the community, and we heard from some of the local legislators, can we do something in the short term to improve safety at the intersections,” he said.

“We looked at the issues we have at the crossovers at Front Street and Northeast 10th Street we proposed the median restrictions, which would mostly close the medians. It would allow a northbound left onto Northeast 10th Street and a southbound left onto New Wharf Road. What we believe that would do is clean those intersections up.

We wouldn’t have the cross traffic mixing with the left turn traffic, mixing side street left turn traffic. It would simplify them and reduce a lot of the conflict points we see are happening today,” added Mr. Luszcz.

The workshop started at 4 p.m. and continued until 7. Mr. Luszcz and other officials said they didn’t think the presentation sat well with those who came to learn.

“I’ve heard nothing but opposition,” said Mr. Luszcz. “When we are done, we will tally all the comments up. I will talk to upper management at DelDOT. I suspect that we will do nothing.”

The public comment period will be open for 10 days. After that time, transportation officials will make their decision.

Mr. Luszcz did have some good news for those who came out to the workshop. He said the grade-separated intersection project that may solve many of the traffic problems in the area is moving forward.

“That is moving ahead. That has construction funds for that. The good news on that is that we are getting ready to start buying right away this fall.

“Unlike where we were a year ago, that project has money and has a defined path forward. In general the community is in favor of that project,” said Mr. Luszcz. “Anything we were going to look at in the short term would be a Band-Aid at best. I don’t think I’ve heard a single person in favor.”

Milford Chronicle Managing Editor Logan B. Anderson can be reached at Follow @LoganBAnderson on Twitter.

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