The work started Nov. 27 and will run through June.
Dover drivers will need to work around construction on a major thoroughfare over the next few months.
Work began Nov. 27 on a $1.2 million project to upgrade and improve North Street from West Street to South Governors Avenue. It is scheduled for completion sometime in June, depending on the weather, DelDOT spokesman Todd Pryor said.
Part of the Transportation Alternatives Program, the work will involve removing the top two inches of pavement, repairing any problems underneath and repaving, Pryor said. Underground fiber optic conduit will be installed, and new street lights will be put up to match those from earlier upgrades.
Except for the part of the roadway going past the Chesapeake Utilities storage area, crews will repair or replace sidewalks, making them wheelchair accessible, he said. Sidewalks along the Chesapeake storage yard will be part of a later project.
The Transportation Alternatives Program is a federal program administered through DelDOT, which picks up 80 percent of the funding. The sponsor, in this case, the city, provides the remainder, Pryor said.
“Most of it is streetscape projects, community-driven projects,” he said.
The ongoing North Street work is a continuation of earlier improvements stretching from Federal Street to South Governors Avenue. That included the Loockerman Way Plaza, brick walkways, and improved parking.
The scenery was improved with the burial of unsightly utility lines. That will not be part of the new project, Pryor said.
“That would have been cost-prohibitive,” he said.
Because there are two cemeteries along the way, North Street will not be widened, even though it is four lanes wide beginning at the intersection of Saulsbury Road. It narrows just east of the railroad tracks at South West Street.
Carrying an average of 7,150 vehicles per day, North Street is a main route into the city. It is second to Division Street, which has about 11,000 vehicles daily traversing its east-west corridor.
Pryor acknowledged that drivers will be inconvenienced during the six- to seven-month project. Vehicles are funneled to North Street from Hazlettville Road, feeding from areas west of the city into the area holding Legislative Hall and other government buildings.
With this in mind, work generally will be confined to a six-hour window, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
“We’re trying to alleviate that difficulty as much as possible,” he said. “There may be times it runs after 3 p.m. but the contractor will do his best to have the road open.”
Access to all buildings and homes along the road will be kept open, Pryor said. The contractor may work Saturdays if needed.
Drivers should watch for construction equipment and workers near the travel lanes and will need to anticipate lane shifts. Flaggers will direct motorists to alternate routes, Pryor said.
“People just need to follow the detours in their travels,” he said.