December 3rd Public Workshop Summary and Path Forward

December 3rd Public Workshop Summary

DelDOT hosted a second public workshop on December 3rd on alternatives for improvements to the SR273/Harmony Road Intersection, including the interchange at I-95.

Three primary alternatives were presented to the public at this workshop. The primary alternatives presented included:

  • Alternative 3B – creating a partial diamond by moving the SB I-95 off ramp further east and adding a signal to SR273 westbound
  • Alternative 4A – creating a diverging diamond interchange to separate traffic turning at Harmony Road from traffic continuing on SR273 east of I-95
  • Alternative 10B – removing the existing Northwest loop ramp onto SB I-95 and replacing the loop ramp with a new westbound left turn and ramp on the Southwest corner of the intersection. This alternative creates two new signals, one on eastbound SR273, and one on westbound

In addition to these primary alternatives, several secondary alternatives were also presented that will provide traffic benefits, but do not address all the project needs and therefore, were not considered stand-alone alternatives. These secondary alternatives included:

  • Alternative 5 -Widening of SR273 from Harmony Road to SR4 to provide a third lane in each direction and full-width shoulders and sidewalks on both sides of the roadway
  • Alternative 7E - A new connection to and from Continental and Samoset Drive
  • Alternative 8A - Closure of the northbound Thru/Left Lane on S. Gerald Drive at Harmony Road
  • Alternative 11 - Triple left from South Bound Harmony Road at SR273

Approximately 80 people attended the workshop. 40 comment forms were filled out at the workshop or submitted before the January 18, 2016 comment deadline. Additionally, 273 comment forms were submitted based upon a January 12th meeting hosted by the owner of the Holiday Inn Express.

In summary, the public feedback from the comment forms received was as follows:

  • Main Alternatives: Alternative 3B received the majority of public support followed by Alternative 10B and Alternative 4A
  • Secondary Alternatives: Alternative 7E and 11 received the most public support with Alternative 5 and 8A receiving the least amount of support

Path Forward
After further analysis of the secondary alternatives, and in addition to the public input, the Department will be initially recommending to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) that secondary alternatives 5, 7E, and 11 be retained at this time for further analysis. The Department will be recommending that alternative 8A be removed from the alternatives analysis.
Alternative 8A is being recommended to be removed from further analysis because of its similarity to Alternative 11. Alternative 11 accomplishes the same objective as Alternative 8A by improving the capacity at the intersection of SR273 and Harmony Road at a low cost and with no known environmental impacts but in addition:

  • Alternative 11 does not result in traffic being diverted onto neighboring residential streets
  • Alternative 11 has significantly stronger public support than alternative 8A

The Department is looking to make recommendations to the FHWA on the primary alternatives and the remaining secondary alternatives by this summer. All the remaining alternatives require further traffic and environmental analysis before a final recommendation can be made.