When construction work eventually ends at the intersection of Del. Route 1 and Bowers Beach Road, it will be the culmination of more than 15 years of planning designed to make the roadway safer and easier to travel. The project is one of six intended to improve the Delaware Route 1 traffic corridor in Kent County.
Formally known as the Little Heaven Grade Separated Intersection, the $40 million project is set to begin in October, with work lasting about three years.
The plan is to replace the current intersection and traffic light with an overpass to carry Route 1 over Bowers Beach Road, allowing uninterrupted traffic flow. Service roads will permit both north- and southbound travel on Route 1 to continue during construction.
Ramps eventually will be installed that will allow traffic off and onto Bowers Beach Road.
Although Route 1 stretches from Christiana to Fenwick Island, DelDOT has targeted the southern section of the roadway for construction of several overpasses and improvements that will get rid of intersections and other barriers to free-flowing traffic.
The overpasses will end the need for drivers to cross Route 1, particularly during summers when traffic to and from beaches is heavy.
Two examples – the Route 9 overpass near Dover Air Force Base and one north of Frederica –have been completed.
According to an Aug. 26 DelDOT press release, other projects include: 1) replacing the intersection of Route 1 and Thompsonville Road, 2) improvements to the U.S. Route 113 bridge at Milford, 3) widening of Carpenter Pit Road, 4) intersection improvements at Northeast Front Street in Milford and 5) construction of an interchange at Frederica Road and Route 1.
The Frederica project, scheduled to begin early in 2016, will include access roads to the proposed Kent County Sports Complex.
All six projects are expected to cost about $93.9 million in total.