THE DETAILS City officials, backed with state funding, are moving ahead with the construction of brick walkways and improved parking in the vicinity of Loockerman and North streets as part of downtown Dover’s economic revitalization.


THE DETAILS City officials, backed with state funding, are moving ahead with the construction of brick walkways and improved parking in the vicinity of Loockerman and North streets as part of downtown Dover’s economic revitalization.

Gov. Jack Markell, Dover Mayor Carleton Carey Sr., City Council President Thomas Leary and State Sen. Brian Bushweller (D-Dover) were among the officials who gathered to break ground on Loockerman Way Plaza, a now a grass lot between Loockerman and North streets, with the golden shovels on May 15.

The $3 million project has three facets to it, Downtown Dover Partnership Executive Director William Neaton said. Loockerman Way Plaza, a plot formerly owned by prominent developer Mike Zimmerman, will feature brick walkways and 36 parking spaces, Neaton said. On North Street, crews will bury cables and eliminate the telephone poles as well as mill and pave the road, he said. Lastly, the city will consolidate half a dozen small parking lots into one parking lot with 175 parking spots and two entrances/exits on North Street.

The groundbreaking was the latest step in two years of lobbying the governor’s office and the Delaware General Assembly for funding in the Bond Bill, Neaton said.

In sum, all three aspects of this $3 million project will make downtown Dover a far more desirable place for businesses to locate, Sen. Brian Bushweller (D-Dover) said.

“With business comes economic activity and jobs,” he said. And this project fits in well with the ongoing construction in Dover, including the new library, the new high school and Wesley College’s streetscape project, Bushweller added. “Right here in the middle of all that is an important piece of the puzzle for Dover’s future,” he said.

THE PROGRESS Verizon has already begun work on burying cables on North Street, Neaton said. As for Loockerman Way and the milling and paving, Kent Construction Co. has been awarded the contract, city officials said.

Leary said Loockerman Street would be a lot easier on the eyes and well lit once completed, and the centralized parking with lights and cameras would bring more people downtown, he said.

Leary also remembers when burying those power lines on North Street was a topic back when he was an appointed community member of City Council’s Legislative, Finance & Administration Committee from 1990 to 1992.

“This is long overdue and we’re very grateful to our friends at Legislative Hall for including us on this,” he said.

FOR QUESTIONS
William Neaton, executive director, Downtown Dover Partnership
678-2940 or wneaton@dover.de.us.