For Immediate Release
Friday, March 3, 2000
Contact: Anthony Farina 302-577-8711
Subject: Carper, Gordon agree with Brandywine Hundred community's recommendation on U.S. 202-Blue Ball Road improvements/park design
Brandywine Hundred - Governor Thomas R. Carper and New Castle County Executive Thomas Gordon today announced their agreement with the Brandywine Hundred community's recommendations for the Concord Pike/Route 141 road improvements and park design associated with the Blue Ball project, including a partial intersection at Route 202 and St. Augustine Cut-Off.
"After talking with County Executive Tom Gordon, community leaders and their elected representatives, I am convinced that we can move forward in a way that will address the concerns of area residents," Carper said. "The approval of the road concept in and around the U.S. 202/Route 141 corridor is an important issue. These improvements are necessary for AstraZeneca to receive the needed traffic waiver and deed restriction amendments from the County Council. County Executive Gordon, County Councilmen Penrose Hollins and Bob Weiner agree with the community's recommendations and so do I."
Gordon said, "I would like to commend the Governor. He did a great job on building consensus on this issue after thoroughly researching all the facts."
Carper has directed Secretary of Transportation Anne Canby to continue to work with residents in the area on safety and other traffic concerns they have raised. Public involvement will continue as the project moves forward, Canby said.
Darrell J. Minott, director of the Delaware Economic Development Office and chairman of the Blue Ball Project said, "When we began this process nearly a year ago, the state made a commitment to the citizens of Brandywine Hundred that they would have an unprecedented say in the way their roads and parks would be designed. The announcement today underscores this commitment -- the Blue Ball road and park design are clearly the people's choice."
Carper and Gordon met in mid-January to review the recommendations from the Blue Ball transportation and recreation and historic preservation committees, as well as the recommendations of 12 state and county legislators who make up the project's policy committee. The transportation and recreation and historic preservation committees are each comprised of 45 civic association, community and business leaders representing Brandywine Hundred and the Broom Street and Trolley Square areas of the City of Wilmington. Gordon has said a signal that would allow limited turns into and from Augustine Cut-Off would address the safety concerns of area residents.
In following the recommendations of the transportation committee, the decision by Carper and Gordon is as follows:
- Route 141: Remains open. The committee reviewed, but rejected, an option to close a segment of Route 141 in front of the AstraZeneca campus.
- Foulk Road/U.S. 202 Intersection: Will be the "Diamond" intersection. It requires an underpass at existing Foulk Road and U.S. 202. In addition, a new road will be constructed running from Route 141 and Children's Drive, parallel with Rockland Road and running behind the Ronald McDonald House to U.S. 202.
This option maintains a light at Foulk Road and Concord Pike. The "Bow Tie" option would have created the same underpass system, but would require two loop ramps used to exit and enter U.S. 202. Under the "Bow Tie" option, no light would be required at Foulk Road. Consistent with the transportation committee's recommendation in January, the Blue Ball recreation and historic preservation committee said it preferred the "Diamond" option versus the "Bow Tie" because it requires less land for transportation and allows more land for parks and recreation purposes.
- Augustine Cut-Off/U.S. 202 Intersection: Will be a partial intersection, allowing right turns from the Cut-Off and left turns from U.S. 202 North.
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, and maintain a partial intersection at Augustine Cut-Off and U.S. 202 that would permit only right turns from Augustine Cut-Off and left turns from U.S. 202 North into Augustine Cut-Off.
- Murphy Road/U.S. 202 Intersection: A designated turn-lane will be constructed. Currently, Murphy Road has only two lanes. The transportation committee recommended a third lane be built that would establish a designated left turn lane to accommodate an increase in traffic at this intersection.
- Children's Drive/Route 141 Intersection: Children's Drive will be redesigned as a four-way intersection. An option to relocate Children's Drive further south was rejected by the transportation committee. A four-way intersection is required in place of the current three-way intersection at Children's Drive and Route 141 due to an increase in population in the Brandywine Hundred community.
- Rockland Road: Will be connected to the local road system. The transportation committee reviewed an option to cul-de-sac Rockland Road south of the Ronald McDonald House. They opposed this option primarily because it limited access to the DuPont Children's Hospital, and did not tie Rockland Road into the local road system.
In addition, Carper and Gordon accepted the principal guidelines adopted by the Blue Ball transportation committee, including the requirement to meet a "no degradation criteria" and to maintain a commitment to tie all local roads together to create a local traffic system that is separate from the regional traffic corridor. No degradation means the roads must maintain or improve the current level of service through the year 2010.
The decision enables AstraZeneca to move forward on its plans to request a traffic waiver and deed restriction amendments from New Castle County Council. Additional community meetings will be announced in the future as the Blue Ball project moves into the master planning phase.