Press Release -- August 28, 2001
DelDOT Study Recommends Upgrading Route 113 To A Limited-Access Facility

Transportation Secretary Nathan Hayward III presents results of Sussex County North-South Transportation Study to County Council

Georgetown -- A DelDOT study of north-south travel in Sussex County recommends converting US 113 into a limited-access highway as the best approach to accommodate increasing local, seasonal and regional traffic. During today's Sussex County Council meeting, Transportation Secretary Nathan Hayward III said the study also recommends that DelDOT work together with Sussex County officials to better use existing ordinances to control access to US 113, and that DelDOT open discussions with the communities along US 113 to plan for improved connections to major east-west roadways (9, 24, 26, 54) as well as the conversion of the existing alignment to limited access.

The study was conducted after Senator George H. Bunting Jr. in December sponsored a Senate Resolution that directed DelDOT to determine the feasibility of building a new north-south limited-access highway in Sussex County.

The study noted that Sussex County has three north-south corridors (Route 1, US 13, and US 113), but none is a limited-access facility. The study analyzed the north-south corridors and considered a number of important factors involved in building a new highway or upgrading existing roadways, including the cost, time to implement and environmental impacts including wetlands and agricultural areas. The major conclusion in the study is that DelDOT should change its Corridor Capacity Preservation Program for US 113 into a project with an emphasis on converting the existing alignment into a limited-access facility. The study also recommended that DelDOT take the following actions:

* Begin planning of a Milford bypass extension from Route 1 to US 113 to preserve right-of-way.
* Initiate discussions with towns along US 113 to plan for improved connections to major east-west roadways.
* Work with the County to better use existing ordinances to control access to US 113 and limit the number of additional traffic signals on the roadway.

A Working Group, consisting of Sussex County Administrator Robert L. Stickels, Sussex County Director of Planning and Zoning Lawrence Lank, Georgetown Town Manager David Baird, DelDOT Deputy Director of Planning Joseph T. Wutka, and representatives from DelDOT consultant Whitman, Requardt and Associates, has acknowledged that upgrading US 113 offers significant benefits in terms of cost, timing for implementation and reduction of potential environmental impact. The recommendations in the study are consistent with Governor Ruth Ann Minner's Livable Delaware Initiative, and they have also received the support of the Sussex County Association of Towns.

The study also stated that the "Sussex County North-South Transportation Study represents an opportunity for the Delaware Department of Transportation, the County, and the County's municipalities to work together in meeting transportation needs."