Blue Ball Properties Project Honored At American Society of Civil Engineers - Delaware Section's Dinner
The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) Blue Ball Property Improvements Project was honored May 8, 2008 at the American Society of Civil Engineers, Delaware Section (ASCE) May dinner meeting, held at the University of Delaware Courtyard Marriot, Newark.
ASCE President, Richard Horenburger, presented Robert J. Taylor, Director, Transportation Solutions, with their 2008 Project of the Year Award. In accepting the award, on behalf of Transportation Secretary Carolann Wicks, Taylor said, "It is an honor and a privilege to be here with you this evening receiving this award. The Blue Ball Property Project was an unique project and opportunity, bringing together DelDOT, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Delaware Economic Development Office, State Historic Preservation Office, state legislators, local officials, and the general community under a single umbrella. It will now stand as an outstanding project for which all future projects shall be measured."
The Blue Ball Properties Project was initiated based on an agreement reached by the State of Delaware with the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to bring their North American headquarters to the US202/DE141 Corridor, just north of Wilmington, Delaware. The project has addressed existing traffic flow and safety concerns; projected traffic generated by 5,000 new or relocated AstraZeneca employees; recreational needs in the area; historic preservation; stormwater management problems; and community land use concerns. Encompassing approximately 550 acres, the project's total cost of publicly-funded transportation, recreation, historic restoration, and stormwater management improvements was about $123 Million, of which $105 Million was spent on transportation improvements. The first of the six major construction projects began in 2002; the last was completed in 2007.
Elements of the project include:
1. Reconstruction and widening of the US202 Corridor, from I-95 to North of Existing DE State Route 141
2. Construction of a new four-lane highway connecting DE State Route 141 to US202, called the "SR141 Spur".
3. Construction of new local roads to separate local and through traffic.
4. Two roundabouts on the local road network
5. Two underpasses of US202, with rock veneered curved wing walls among the aesthetic features
6. Greenway Trails to provide both local pedestrian and bicycle connections and a regional connection as part of the East Coast Greenway System.
Environmental and Historic Enhancements:
1. Regional Stormwater management systems to not only address project impacts but also long term, regional systemic problems.
2. Improve three historic standing structures within the study area, most notably the Blue Ball Dairy Barn built by industrialist Alfred I. DuPont in 1910. The Blue Ball Barn has been adaptively reused to include special exhibit space dedicated to the agricultural history of the Blue Ball Properties, reflecting the rural history of the area, catering facilities and meeting rooms. It is also being certified through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Program.
3. The Weldin Ruins Archaeological Site has been restored and ultimately will be developed into an interpretive site. The site is unique because it contains partially standing structures, which have been reinforced and incorporated as a recreational park feature.
4. Extensive stream stabilization and restoration of a local stream. The stream was severely impacted through years of runoff from local land development.
Park and Recreational Improvements:
1. Reconstruction and expansion of the Rock Manor Golf Course
2. Multi-Use Playing Fields on the East Side of US202
3. The "Can-Do" Playground, a playground designed for children of all levels of accessibility.
4. Dedication of the new Alapocas Run State Park
5. Native Plants as part of an extensive landscaping plan
For further information contact DelDOT Public Relations at 1-800-652-5600 (in DE) or 302-760-2080 or write to the above address.