Area residents next week will get the chance to see what DelDOT is planning in the way of changes to road networks in south Dover and Camden-Wyoming.

The state’s highway agency is holding an open public workshop to get people’s opinions about possible improvements along U.S. Route 13 and the south Dover/Camden-Wyoming area.

DelDOT Project Program Manager John Gaines said the agency is inviting the public to come in and review existing traffic patterns in the area. The agency also is looking for ideas on relieving traffic congestion south of Dover and Camden.

“The study is to look at the environmental impact and to poll the public on what the public thinks needs to be done,” Gaines said.

Planners hope to achieve four goals by the end of the study:

- How to increase safety on those roadways.

- How to maintain the roadways and improve traffic.

- How to maintain the quality of life for persons living in the area and also preserve historic resources.

- Address economic growth that’s been occurring in that area.

They’ll also be briefing about a proposal to widen a three-mile stretch of Route 13 between the Puncheon Run connector and Lochmeath Way, he said. That proposal, which already is on the books, was taken up after a reported 725 traffic crashes on the roadway between 2014 and 2016.

DelDOT’s analyses show crash rates in the area over the past three years have been higher than the state average along the heavily-congested Route 13. This overcrowding reaches into Camden and Wyoming, creating high volumes of traffic in those two small towns.

“The area is very congested,” Gaines said. “Development in the area has driven up traffic volumes, and that’s not just for residential, but because of heavy commercial use.”

Town residents have long complained about the increase of vehicles in their towns, particularly large trucks, on roadways not designed to handle that type of traffic.

There are three potential projects under study:

- Widen Route 13 from a four-lane to a six-lane highway.

- Connecting West Lebanon Road (State Route 10) to the intersection of Old North Road and U.S. Route 13, near the current Redner’s store.

- Construction of a new road to connect West Lebanon Road to Route 13 at a point about 1,000 feet south of the current intersection. One goal would be to cut back on the heavy truck traffic going through historic areas of Camden and Wyoming.

“The main idea of the study is to determine what needs to be done. We’ve done an extensive traffic analysis to see where people are coming from and where they’re going to help pinpoint the problems and fix them.”

Gaines said DelDOT hopes to have a draft of the study completed by the end of 2017, after which it will be reviewed at the federal level. That will give DelDOT a better idea of where they’ll want to proceed, he said.

Those who are unable to attend the Aug. 2 workshop can make their thoughts known via a public survey at http://buff.ly/2utOxh4.