Drainage problems prolonged work between south New and Queen streets

Drivers coming in and out of downtown Dover can look forward to mid-August when work on North Street improvements should be complete.

DelDOT area engineer Craig Blowers said contractors should finish the section between south New and Queen streets by the end of June. The work has been complicated by the need to resolve some drainage issues, he said.

The project is part of an effort to improve the streetscape between Jerusalem Avenue and State Street by upgrading pedestrian access and connecting the area to a series of trails around the capital city.

Blowers acknowledges the detours caused by the work can be frustrating to commuters entering the city from Hazlettville and Saulsbury roads and the West Dover Connector.

“I know from personal experience what it’s like,” he said. “I used to go that way to work every day.”

Workers ran into an unexpected problem while hooking up a new drainage system when they discovered the pipes they were connecting to were on a different level.

“We had to pull up some of the old drainage and re-lay it at a new elevation to have positive drainage,” he said.

This affected work to lay underground electrical lines for new street and sidewalk lighting, Blower added.

Once work is finished on this block, construction will begin on the section between South New and South Governors Avenue; that should go more smoothly. However, it does mean continued delays for east- and westbound commuters, he said.

When all the construction is finished, the roadway will be repaved, eliminating many of the patches and dips that have plagued drivers for years, Blowers said.