For Immediate Release
Tuesday, January 11, 2000
Contact: Michelle Reardon 302-474-0087
Subject: Brandywine Hundred Community Recommends Transportation Changes for Concord Pike Area
Wilmington, DE - A committee of Brandywine Hundred residents, business owners and civic association representatives recommended today that several road improvements be made at key intersections along U.S. 202 in order to improve the quality of life for the Brandywine Hundred community and to accommodate expansion at AstraZeneca.
"The intersections along the Concord Pike are in failure today," said Darrell J. Minott, Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office and Chairman of the Blue Ball Executive Committee. "We knew before we began talking with AstraZeneca about maintaining its North American headquarters in Delaware that significant infrastructure improvements were needed, not only to accommodate AstraZeneca, but to address this existing transportation problem. The changes that have been recommended by the Blue Ball planning committees have been responsible choices, and I commend the Brandywine Hundred community for their work on this project."
The Blue Ball Transportation Committee and Recreation and Historic Preservation Committee have been meeting since August 1999. The Transportation Committee has reviewed over 200 road options for U.S. 202 intersections including Augustine Cut-Off, Foulk Road, Rockland Road, Route 141, and Murphy Road. The Committee was able to narrow the options down, but required a one month extension and weekly meetings during the holiday season to better understand the complicated traffic data they were presented. An evaluation survey was used to garnish the feedback from the Transportation Committee.
At a Brandywine Hundred Legislator's Town Meeting last night, the results of the evaluation survey were released (39 responses of 44 were collected). They included:
- 56% surveyed recommended "the Diamond" option over "the Bow Tie" at the U.S. 202, Foulk Road and Rockland Road intersection. "The Diamond" configuration is the option that takes up the least amount of land at this intersection. It requires an underpass of Foulk Road, Rockland Road and a new road that will be constructed running from Route 141 and Children's Drive adjacent with Rockland Road and behind the Ronald McDonald House.
- This option maintains a light at Foulk Road and Concord Pike. "The Bow Tie" option would create the same underpass system, but would require two loop ramps used to exit and enter Concord Pike. Under "the Diamond" option, no light would be required at Foulk Road. On January 5, 2000, the Blue Ball Recreation and Historic Preservation Committee stated they preferred "the Diamond" option versus "the Bow Tie" because it requires less land.
- 54% surveyed recommend a partial signal at the Augustine Cut-Off-Concord Pike intersection. This intersection has one of the highest accident rates in the state, according to DelDOT officials. As a result, an option was presented to close the Augustine Cut-Off intersection and relocate its access to U.S. 202 by creating two local roads that would connect to Rockland Road and Weldin Road (through an underpass of U.S. 202). The recommendation of the Transportation Committee is to build the park roads, but to maintain the intersection at Augustine Cut-Off and U.S. 202 and allow right turns out of Augustine Cut-Off and left turns from U.S. 202 North to Augustine Cut-Off.
- 95% surveyed preferred Route 141 remain open in front of the AstraZeneca campus. The Transportation Committee reviewed an option to close a segment of Route 141 in front of the AstraZeneca campus.
- 52% surveyed favored a designated left turn lane at Murphy Road and Concord Pike while 45% preferred a designated left turn lane. Currently, Murphy Road has only two lanes. The Transportation Committee recommended a third lane be built that would be a designated turn lane to accommodate an increase in traffic at this intersection.
- 56% surveyed recommend changing Children's Drive to a four-legged intersection. The other choice at this intersection was to relocate Children's Drive further south. A four-way intersection is required in place of the current three-way intersection at Children's Drive and 141 due to an increase in the population growth in the Brandywine Hundred community.
- 56% surveyed prefer Rockland Road be connected to the local road system versus building a cul-de-sac south of the Ronald McDonald House.
The Blue Ball Policy Committee, consisting of Brandywine Hundred state and county legislators, and the Executive Committee, chaired by Minott, will meet jointly later this week to review the recommendations of the Transportation and Recreation Committees and to recommend a preferred plan for road improvements and park design. Governor Thomas R. Carper and County Executive Tom Gordon will meet at the end of the week to make the final decision on the Blue Ball Concept Plan for roads and parkland.
After the Blue Ball design plan has been agreed to, the Blue Ball properties will be studied for air quality and other environmental impacts, and more detailed planning of the road and park design will begin. Additional meetings of the Blue Ball committees will be scheduled in the near future.