US 301 Combined Location-Design Public Hearings
January 8 and 9, 2007


238 persons signed in on January 8
216 persons signed in on January 9
Total attendance - 454
Total number of written comments: 55
Total "private" testimonies received: 25
Number of persons providing public testimony: 20
On-line (24) and other (41) comments received: 65
Agency comments: 4 (not included in summary)

A good number of comments received (44) support the selection of Green North with Armstrong Corner Road Option 2A and Spur Option 3B. Some of this support included the caveats described under "major issues" below. Major Issues expressed in comments and testimony (multiple comments not included on table below):

  • Chesapeake Meadow residents support Green North but without the spur road or the Churchtown Road overpass because of their concern regarding:
    • Noise increases
    • Home values decrease
    • Safety of children in playground and park adjacent to berm
    • Potential toll diversions onto Choptank and Churchtown Roads
    • Potential bottleneck on Summit Bridge
    • Use of road for locals without paying tolls
    • Utilities relocations; pond relocations
    • No local access to spur/useless to residents
    • Closing Churchtown Road during overpass construction and emergency access and response time
  • Airmont residents accept Green North but would like the berm constructed the full length of the road, a roadway below grade where possible, and some traffic control for Jamison Corner Road/Lorewood Grove Road/Road 412A traffic.
    • Noise and traffic concerns
    • Lorewood Grove Road traffic
    • Bicyclists safety
  • Residents and supporters of the Ratledge Road Community accept Green North but asked to save their farmlands (Wolleyhan and Emerson Farms) and homes by constructing Options A or B through wetlands instead.
    • Presented other Options (there are now options 1,2,3,4,A,B)
    • Consider farmers an endangered species
    • Farmlands cannot be replaced; wetlands can
    • Health stresses of losing homes, businesses (farming), livelihood
    • Churches were given additional consideration and alignment options; give the same to Ratledge community
    • More consideration given to developers (not built yet) than to existing homes

Additional community issues included those from:

  • Residents of Midland Farms are concerned about individual noise impacts, property impacts, and a decrease in property values with the construction of the roadway in their neighborhood.
  • Residents of the Middletown Village and Springmill communities expressed concerns about the open space/forested areas on the west side of their communities, the wildlife that these areas support, existing treelines, landscaping of the visual berms, light pollution, potential drainage impacts.
  • The Middletown Corridor Coalition has been formed to persuade DelDOT to eliminate the Spur Road and use the land already owned by DelDOT for open space, recreation, and a greenway trail.

Three petitions were received:

  • 158 signatures from Middletown Baptist Church supporting DelDOT's choice of Green North with spur, Armstrong Corner Road Option 2A and Spur Option 3B.
  • 285 signatures from Ratledge Road residents and friends supporting Options A or B for Green North and opposing Option 1 in order to protect the productive farms
  • 58 signatures (including Milton Melendez, DDA and Jack Lahatosh, NRSC-USDA) on the map showing all of the Ratledge Road Options, supporting Options A or B.

Public testimony summary:

Much of the public testimony (12 of 20) expressed in various iterations their views on the three major issues described above; the Ratledge Road community had the most speakers (9). Senator Steven Amick and Representative Richard Cathcart expressed their support (1/9/07) for the Ratledge Road community and promised to assist them in making their requests reality. Two speakers identified impacts to the Middletown Village community and made requests for mitigation measures in the Middletown Village area. Two speakers (one on 1/8, one on 1/9) spoke on behalf of the Airmont community and one spoke for the community of Chesapeake Meadow. One speaker thanked DelDOT for their effort in avoiding impacts to the Middletown Baptist Church. Two speakers suggested using the ridge route only (not connecting to SR1) and one suggested another C&D Canal crossing is needed.

Private testimony summary:

Of the 25 persons who provided testimony to a stenographer, 7 comments concerned the Ratledge Road community; one spoke for the Airmont community, two spoke on behalf of the Chesapeake Meadow community and two spoke about concerns of the Middletown Village community. Three speakers asked for adjustments to avoid or mitigate property impacts, one spoke about concerns for potential changes in property values, and one owner asked for a fair and speedy acquisition process. Two speakers expressed support for the preferred alternative and two asked that their communities be kept informed during the next phases of the planning and design process. Two speakers expressed continued support or perceived need for the Red Alternative. Other statements included: don't use concrete road surface; improve local roads; do it soon; prefers Armstrong Corner Road Area Option 3 and would like local access to the spur from the west; don't build the spur.

Summary of other comments received:

Number Comment
1Prefers Brown Route
1Prefers Blue Route
3Prefers Green South
1Supports Armstrong Corner Road Option 2A
4Extend new 301 as originally intended (i.e. the Red Route);
1Restrict local use of I-95; require developers to fund roadway improvements; other roadway improvement suggestions; funding suggestions
4"Save the Wooleyhan Farm"
1Concern about impacts to businesses if Yellow is not chosen
1Prefers green south (less impacts to Airmont)
2Consider the roadway surface to lower noise impacts (use asphalt, no rumble strips or expansion strips)
2Would like to have local access without paying tolls
2"Process" complaints – last minute changes; lack of disclosure of specific property impacts throughout; noise study doesn't model overpass; spur added late in process;
2Concerns about the cost of planning/public involvement (workshops & hearing)
2Construct green north mainline first; add spur when fiscally able or if needed
2Concerns about impacts to wildlife north of Middletown Village (open forest land)
4Get it done; soon; save the corridor without delay; urging prompt action
1Concern over financing project and continuing development
1Prefers none of the options
1Adjust alignment at Strawberry Lane to avoid impact on south side
2Restore access from Strawberry Lane to existing US 301 for farm vehicles
1Single home owner – no noise mitigation; can minor adjustments make room?
2Concerns over lower home values because of road – no compensation
1Adjust alignment to save my house and wellhouse; OK with land acquisition
1Concern over determination of fair cost and timing of property acquisition
1Improve local roads; local intersections; develop interchanges; other suggestions not really related to US301
1Suggests moving toll collection to Biddles; eliminate toll plaza at state line
1Consider tolling existing US 301 for trucks only
1Against privatization of toll facilities
1Opposed to "the alternative that will affect our quiet community [Chesapeake Meadow]"
1Keep toll-free ramps between SR 1 and US 13 at Biddles
1Preserve open space wildlife refuge behind Middletown Village
1Consider travelers who use local facilities for food, fuel, rest now and will continue to want to do so
1Consider open-road tolling (used for trucks in Germany)
1Does not support spur road: will not add value to homes/property or quality of life; would expect the road to be lined with developments and strip malls, further lowering values; restrict trucks and have them exit and use existing 4-lane SR 896 to Summit Bridge; Summit Bridge curve has adequate sight distances and not so dangerous
1Green N & S have little difference in impacts
3Was unaware of roadway planning and proposed ridge route when home was purchased (one in summer of 2006)
1Appoquinimink School District strongly opposes to Green Option 4 for its proximity to Cedar Lane Schools and use of 80-acre parcel to the north for another proposed high school
1Against DelDOT's recommendation of the Green Route + spur