INFORMATION

Blue Ball Properties Master Plan

Transportation Technical Committee

Meeting Report
Date: December 8, 1999
Location: Brandywine High School, New Castle County, Delaware

  1. Introduction / Opening Comments:

    Jim Lisa of the Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) welcomed the attendees and explained that Joe Wutka of the Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and Chair of the Transportation Committee would introduce the project. Jim established the schedule for the meeting: the presentation would run about 40 minutes in its entirety, then there would be a 40 minute question and answer period before the meeting was adjourned. He noted that no options would be eliminated from discussion during the meetings to be held on January 22, 1999 and January 29, 1999. He further noted that Meeting Minutes are available on the Web at www.blueball.net, and that they would mail copies to those who cannot access the Website. Additionally, Jim explained that the two Blue Ball committees are made up of representatives/stakeholders in the community, and that their input was important in the design process.
  2. Presentation

    Joe Wutka of DelDOT explained that two issues would be focused on:
    1. the need for additional capacity;
    2. the need of the committee to narrow the alternatives.
    He noted that issues regarding the Augustine Cut-Off and the closure of Rt. 141 would be discussed at the December 15, 1999 meeting, and would not be discussed tonight.

    Barry Schoch of MTA proceeded to review the past meetings and the process that has lead to the current "narrowing of choices" of the transportation options currently being considered. The purpose of the evening's meeting was to define the previously stated issues, and to look at the questions surrounding the intersections of US 202 and Rt. 141/Murphy Road and US 202 and Foulk Road/ Rockland Road.

    A question of whether additional capacity is needed was raised at the previous meeting. The conclusion is yes: due to average annual forecast growth in the area, AstraZeneca, the possibility of expansion at the DuPont Experimental Station, additional capacity is needed to maintain the "no degradation" criteria that needs to be met. "No degradation" means that there will be no additional average delay time at the intersections along the project corridor in 2010 compared to baseline (1999) conditions (excluding the safety project).

    A baseline average delay time at the intersections was established using 1999 numbers that were compared to 2010 "no-build" and 2010 "full build" numbers. This comparison was used to explain the purpose for the specific design options.

    A CORSIM traffic simulation analysis was shown for 1999 and 2010 PM peak hours with the "no build" option and for Options 5 and 6. This computer graphic model demonstrates how the traffic is currently moving through the area and how this will change with the different options.

    Another question that has been asked was whether an adequate improvement of the existing facilities at grade, as an alternative to all the proposed changes. The conclusion was no, and the reason was the number of lanes that would be required to upgrade. (The Power Point Presentation shows the configurations of the lanes).

    At the US 202/Rt. 141/ Murphy Road intersection, for example, Rt. 141 would require eleven (11) lanes, Murphy Road, eight (8), the north side of the intersection on Rt. 202 would require twelve (12) and the south side of the intersection on Rt. 202 would require fifteen (15). A separated grade intersection at this intersection, another option, would have a significant impact to the site. There are a large number of constraints that are not present at the Foulk Road/ Rockland Road intersection, including private property in the area that would be impacted if the lanes necessary were constructed.

    The next questions dealt with whether traffic could be split between Murphy Road and Foulk Road and whether an at-grade intersection would be feasible. Again, the conclusion was "no." The number of lanes required to upgrade the facilities is unfeasible. The committee concurred with the conclusions above. (As shown in the Power Point Presentation).

    The design options for the project corridor that will provide additional capacity are as follows: Option 1 Modified (Fly-Under)
    • separated grade;
    • ramps from I-95 to Foulk Road and to Relocated Rt. 141;
    • restricts access from Relocated Rt. 141 to Foulk Road, access is gained through Murphy Road;
    • Rt. 202 southbound to Foulk Road is not an option, again Murphy Road is accessed;
    • There is degradation to the average delay time at the Murphy Road intersection;
    • At Rt. 202 and Foulk Road intersection, there is an improvement to the average time delay at the signal;
    • There is a degradation at Children's Drive- (this can be seen in all the options, an adjustment to timing should somewhat reduce this, although it does meet the LOS criteria requirements).
    Option 4 Modified (Original Bow Tie)
    • Same restrictions at Foulk Road that occur in Option 1 Modified;
    • Left turn movements from Relocated Rt. 141 northbound to Rt. 202 and Foulk Road to southbound US 202 occur through loop ramps;
    • There is minimal delay at Rt. 202 and Foulk Road;
    • There is still degradation at Murphy Road.
    The best ways to address the problems at Foulk Road seem to be through Options 5 (the new Bow-Tie) and Option 6 (the Diamond).

    Option 5 (New Bow-Tie)
    • Allows all movement in both directions on Foulk Rd. under Rt. 202 via a bow-tie loop;
    • All the local traffic crosses under Rt. 202 through a separated grade (underpass) design;
    • Traffic can move southbound on Rt. 202 to Foulk Road;
    • I-95 traffic is no longer a "fly-under," but must stop at a signal on Foulk Road;
    • There are two lanes with a right turn from I-95;
    • The no degradation criteria is met through average traffic delay.
    Option 6 (Diamond)
    • A smaller footprint than Option 5, ramps are moved closer to Rt. 202 with no loop ramps;
    • There is a two phase signal at Rt. 202 for Relocated Rt. 141 and Foulk Rd. (Left turns only; through movements proceed under US 202).
    The question was raised as to whether the Rockland Road upgrade would work if access is only allowed to AstraZeneca from the Foulk Road intersection. The answer is "no" because it would force all of the Rt. 141 traffic to go up Murphy Road. At Rt. 141 nine (9) lanes would be required, Murphy Road would require six (6) and the north side of Rt. 202 would require twelve (12) lanes and southbound would require fourteen (14).

    The Committee agreed to focus on Options 5 and 6 and dismiss Options 1 Modified and 4 Modified. Next Steps

    The next Transportation Committee Meeting will be held on December 15, 1999 at 7:30 PM at the Bellevue Mansion.

    An example of the renderings that will be used to combine the traffic designs and the overlay of the Master Plan will be available at the December 15, 1999 meeting.
  3. Questions / Answers / Comments

    Q: For Option 5 on the CORSIM Model, what will connect the Augustine Cut-Off to the local roads?
    1. The local road system will be reviewed at the December 15, 1999 meeting.
    Q: Where do the figures that are being used for the "background growth" come from?
    1. The background growth is expected to be 1 to 2 % per year, which accounts for general growth in the region and does not include special traffic growth due to AstraZeneca or DuPont.
    Q: Much of the presentation refers to "Relocated Rt. 141," what happens to the "old" Rt. 141?
    1. Relocated Rt. 141 is a new road option and "old" Rt. 141 currently remains, though, "old" Rt. 141 will be discussed further at the Dec. 15 meeting. The issue of signing/naming "Relocated Rt. 141" has not been determined yet.
    Q: In Options 5 or 6, how do you get to Rt. 202 north?
    1. From I-95, the cars can make a decision as to whether to go to Relocated Rt. 141 or to Rt. 202, the traffic is separated, so that Rt. 202 traffic can't get off and go to Relocated Rt. 141 on the "jug handle."
    Q: What does the model do to the East End of Rockland Road?
    1. It makes the east end a cul de sac, although it could tie in with the proposed local roads.
    Q: Why does there need to be an extra through lane on Rt. 202 at Murphy Road?
    1. Even with the additional capacity provided by Relocated Rt. 141 and grade-separation at Foulk Road, the growth of traffic in the area requires an additional through lane in each direction on US 202 at Murphy Road to meet the "no degradation" criteria.
    Q: All of the traffic numbers have been modeled for 2010. Will all the growth from the AstraZeneca complex be complete so no further improvements will be necessary?
    1. There may be other unforeseen growth. The expected improvements for the new AstraZeneca complex should be complete by this date.
    Q: Have Smart Growth Options such as Mass Transit or Employee Commuting Options been considered?
    1. Mass Transit, Intelligent Transportation Options and Transportation Demand Options (such as car pooling, van pooling, telecommuting) have been considered, and are part of the ongoing negotiations taking place between the State and AstraZeneca.
  4. Conclusion / Adjournment

    The committee concluded its discussions at 6:30 PM. The next meeting is on December 15, 1999 at 7:30 PM at the Bellevue Mansion.