The city's Safety Administration and Transportation Committee hit a road block when plans for the new Dover High School crossed its desk at a Feb. 23 meeting.
When the new Dover High School is built, an access road will run along its western border, connecting Route 8 to a stub, Tribbett Street, in the Village of Cannon Mill. That plan hit a road block Feb. 23 when the city’s Safety Advisory and Transportation Committee denied a waiver that would allow a portion of the access road to go from a 60-foot right of way to 50 feet.
According to Dawn Melson-Williams, principal planner, the waiver for the southwest corner of the property’s roads would not change the width of the pavement, curbs or sidewalks.
Committee members took issue with the connection to Tribbett Street. Chairwoman Beverly Williams asked about the long-discussed West Dover Connector, and why the access road couldn’t be extended to serve as a connection to Hazlettville Road.
“It makes no sense to make curbs and go through communities,” she said.
Gary Laing, DelDOT community relations officer, said the West Dover Connector is set for construction between 2014 and 2016. The school is slated to open in 2014.
Another of the committee’s many problems with the plan was that the district gave no clear reason for the waiver. Councilman Eugene Ruane said he had heard no concrete reason to approve the waiver. Fellow council and committee member David Bonar said he would like to see the district and its planners attend a meeting to discuss the plan.
Williams said as it stands, the plan could be a serious traffic hazard.
“This is going to cripple the western gateway,” she said.
The district does not need the committee’s approval to move forward with the plan as a whole, but they do need its recommendation to implement the waiver. The city’s Planning Commission has already unanimously approved the school’s plan.