“As this portion of southern Kent County transitions from a rural to suburban landscape, this new interchange will play a big role in the effective movement of people, goods and services.” - Michael J. Petit de Mange, Kent County Administrator
Michael J. Petit de Mange sees the construction of the Route 1 overpass south of Frederica as a vital key to future growth in Kent County.
County Administrator Petit de Mange joined Gov. Jack Markell, Sen. Tom Carper, DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan and others as they broke ground on the $18 million South Frederica overpass project this morning.
“The South Frederica interchange is a public improvement of critical, strategic importance to central Delaware,” Petit de Mange said. “It will eliminate a hazardous intersection within the Route 1 corridor and will provide safe and efficient access to our essential infrastructure at the Kent County Resource Recovery Facility to the east, and to a vast segment of the Kent County growth zone that is poised for growth to the west.
“As this portion of southern Kent County transitions from a rural to suburban landscape, this new interchange will play a big role in the effective movement of people, goods and services.”
Newark-based A-Del Construction will build the overpass expected to be completed by mid-2018.
The project will realign Frederica Road and Tub Mill Pond Road to connect with ramps to southbound Route 1.
It will realign Milford Neck Road to access northbound Route 1 via new ramps. An overpass will allow traffic from Milford Neck Road to Frederica Road and vice versa.
Cohan said the overpass is just a part of a much greater project along the Route 1 corridor.
“The South Frederica grade separated intersection is our latest project to improve safety and the flow of traffic on Route 1 through Kent County,” Cohan said. “This project will benefit local drivers as well as tourists traveling to and from Delaware beaches.”
The overpass will greatly help with access to the Kent County Regional Sports Complex, a new 85-acre, 12-field artificial grass facility that is expected to break ground next month. It will be called the DE Turf Complex.
“When the South Frederica overpass opens, it will unlock the Kent County Regional Sports Complex and provide increased access to the residents of the county and beyond, as well as provide a significant economic driver for Kent County and the State of Delaware,” said Rob Smith Jr., executive director of the sports complex.
Smith noted the new overpass will make travel much safer to the complex for future athletes and their families.
“While not built specifically for the DE Turf Complex, the overpass will make it safer and easier for athletes and their families to get in and out of … giving us another competitive advantage within the Mid-Atlantic region to bring sports travel to Kent County,” he said.
Some site work has already taken place at the complex, which is adjacent to the planned overpass. During the first phase of construction, complex access will be via temporary ramps to and from Route 1, about 1,000 feet north of the existing crossover for Frederica.
Eventually, the ramps will be removed and both northbound and southbound travelers will get to the sports complex using a permanent entrance on Milford Neck Road.
Markell said the construction project is a win-win for everybody.
“Projects like this demonstrate the many benefits of investing in our roads and bridges by improving safety, reducing congestion, increasing economic development prospects and creating jobs for construction workers,” Markell said.
Local roads will have lane closures during the construction of the new alignments and in order to complete tie-in work, there will be full road closures for a short time. DelDOT said the effect on Route 1 will be minimal during construction with some lane and shoulder closures during off-peak hours.
Carper said the expected minor travel headaches will all be worth it in the long run.
“Good things are happening around Kent County, especially up and down Route 1,” said Carper. “Kent County is poised for growth, and one way to encourage economic development is by offering safe and reliable roads, highways and bridges.”