VIDEO - Road project by DelDOT to enhance safety and improve traffic.

A much-anticipated project in Milford began Monday after DelDOT broke ground on the SR1, Northeast Front Street Grade Separated Intersection.

DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan led the groundbreaking ceremony, along with Gov. John Carney,

Sen. Tom Carper, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, Milford Mayor Bryan Shupe and other state officials.

The overpass has been a long time in the making for the people of Milford, especially for the residents of the Woods Haven neighborhood, who will enjoy a much-needed relief from the beach traffic on Route 1.

During planning, Shupe said he wanted to make sure that the project was beneficial to the residents of Milford and not just for people going to the beach. Shupe said the overpass will help in three ways: it will allow safer access for residents who live across Route 1 to get into Milford and back; it will provide a safer route for students and teachers to get to school each day; and it will drive right into the downtown area, which creates more economic development.

Although the project will cost an estimated $22 million, the state did not have to bear the cost alone.

“Like most things, this is a partnership,” Carper said. “The fed brought about $17 million to the table for this project and the state came up with their share. The state couldn’t do it alone, the federal government couldn’t do it alone.”

Carney said the SR1, Northeast Front Street Grade Separated Intersection is one of many transportation projects the state has planned for the coming years.

“This year we will be spending over $100 million on infrastructure improvements in Kent

County, another $100 million plus in Sussex County, and about twice that in New Castle

County,” Carney said.

Milford’s new overpass is set to be built in three phases which will be completed by late 2020. Officials insure that during construction, business in the area, including Grotto Pizza and Royal Farms, will remain operational.