Press Release -- May 06, 2008
New U. S. 301 Formally Approved by FHWA

Federal Highway Official Signs Record of Decision

Dover -- A major milestone was reached on April 30 when the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) signed the Record of Decision (ROD) for the U.S. 301 on a new location. The approval of ROD by FHWA allows the State to move forward with the early property acquisitions, final design, and construction of the project. During the final design, efforts will continue to be made to minimize impacts adversely affecting social, economic, cultural and natural resources.

"This is great news for the people of New Castle County," said DelDOT Secretary Carolann Wicks. "This project was started in the 1960s, and I am proud of the current team who has been working on this since 2005. Their hard work is bringing U.S. 301 one step closer to reality. A new U.S. 301 will alleviate congestion and solve safety problems for a growing part of our state. This road will benefit tens of thousands of people every day."

Before the ROD was signed, FHWA needed to be assured that DelDOT, as the project sponsor, has considered all of the identified environmental, historical and cultural, socio-economic, community, transportation and financial issues that the project would need to address.

The U.S. 301 project addresses a transportation reality in Delaware. As southern New Castle County grows, traffic congestion in the heart of Middletown has become a problem for the residents. The new, limited-access highway will provide a safe alternative to those who are traveling to and from the Wilmington/Newark areas.

The Record of Decision is the latest in a very-public process. Since its inception in 2005, the U.S. 301 project has included six rounds of public workshops and hearings which were attended by thousands of people. In addition, many communities met with members of the project team.

SELECTED ALTERNATIVE

The Selected Alternative, Green North + Spur Road, will provide a new four lane US 301 (2 lanes in each direction) tolled, limited access roadway on new location, extending generally northward from the Maryland/Delaware state line, west of Middletown, to the vicinity of Armstrong Corner Road, where the new US 301 mainline will curve and extend northeast, crossing over existing US 301, the Norfolk Southern Railroad, and existing SR 896 (Boyds Corner Road) before curving and extending east and tying into SR 1, north of the Biddles Corner Toll Plaza and south of the C&D Canal.

Near Armstrong Corner Road, a two-lane (one lane in each direction), limited access, tolled Spur Road will extend north from new US 301, on new location to interchange with SR 15/SR 896 south of Summit Bridge and the C&D Canal.

New US 301 will provide interchanges with: Levels Road, existing US 301 north of Armstrong Corner Road, Jamison Corner Road, and SR 1 north of the Biddles Toll Plaza and south of the C&D Canal. The Spur Road will provide interchanges with new US 301 near Armstrong Corner Road and will provide an interchange with SR 896/Bethel Church Road extended (toll-free), south of Summit Bridge.

The project is described in greater detail in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), approved November 30, 2007 and issued on December 14, 2007 and in the ROD.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

In 2008 and 2009 activities will include early property acquisition activities, the start of final design, continuing public outreach with affected communities and consultation/working sessions with environmental resource agencies. An investment grade traffic and toll revenue study will also be initiated.

VIEWING THE DOCUMENTS

The ROD will be available for viewing or downloading starting on May 9 from the project website at www.deldot.gov/information/projects/us301/ or viewed at

Appoquinimink Public Library, 651 N. Broad Street, Middletown, DE 19709

Town Hall in Middletown, 19 West Green Street, Middletown, DE 19709

Delaware Department of Transportation, Canal District Headquarters ,250 Bear-Christiana Road Bear, DE 19701

Federal Highway Administration, Allen Freer Federal Building, 300 South New Street, Room 2101, Dover, DE 19901

Delaware Department of Transportation, Administration Building, 800 Bay Road Dover, DE 19901