Shailen P. Bhatt, the cabinet secretary for the Delaware Department of Transportation gave an update on several projects on Wednesday. One of those projects was the West Dover Connector, a 3.2 mile stretch of road way that is set to stretch from an area near the Rodney Village Shopping center on U.S. Route 13 to the intersection of North Street and Saulsbury Road. It will also have connections to New Burton Road and Wyoming Mill Road, according to John Gaines, project manager for the West Dover Connector.
“The West Dover Connector is going to provide a really good link form the West side of Dover to U.S. Route 13,” Gaines said. “Traffic studies have shown that a huge amount of traffic comes down Saulsbury Road, hits North Street and has to filter through local roads to get to 13. This provides a direct line instead of cars cutting through neighborhoods.”
The West Dover Connector is a project that has been on the books at DelDOT for nearly ten years. Now the process of making that road and actuality has begun, Bhatt said.
“We are finishing up the design and acquiring right of way in FY 14,” Bhatt said. “We are supposed to go to construction on that in the summer of 2014.”
Over the past six to eight months 13 families have been relocated in order to make way for the coming project. All of the transactions were amiable, Gaines said. DelDOT is now focusing on acquiring tracts of open land for the road way, Gaines said.
“We have several large tracts to purchase as we cross farms,” he said. “We acquired houses first because we were holding those people’s lives up. They were first priority. Now the remainder of the parcels are being appraised and we should start making offers soon. We hope to have all of the land acquired by March or sooner.”
DelDOT is expecting toe project to take between two and two and a half years to complete once ground has been broken, Gaines said.