Senators Carper, Coons Announce $23 Million for Newport River Trail

Today, U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons (both D-Del.) joined representatives from the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) to announce the award of $23 million to New Castle County from U.S. DOT’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program. The grant will support the construction of a 2-mile, ADA-accessible, shared-use path between the Town of Newport and the Jack A. Markell Trail, connecting Newport to Wilmington and New Castle. This project is a key link to a proposed “Wilmington Loop,” a 16-mile, continuous community trail around the City of Wilmington.

Funding for this RAISE grant was made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, legislation championed by Senators Carper and Coons and Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.). In June, DelDOT was also awarded a RAISE grant for $21 million for the construction of the final phase of an approximately 17-mile multi-use, off-alignment path connecting the Town of Georgetown to the City of Lewes. These two RAISE grants represent a combined total of $44 million for Delaware.

“Thanks the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Delaware is receiving well-deserved federal funding to invest in infrastructure projects that better connect our communities,” said Senator Carper, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “This RAISE grant will help provide safer alternatives for bicyclists and pedestrians in New Castle County while also reducing traffic and supporting economic opportunity—a win-win-win.”

“Delaware continues to be a national leader of new trails and safer ways to commute with this plan to build a trail from Wilmington to Newport, Georgetown to Lewes, and everywhere in between,” said Senator Coons. “The tens of millions of dollars from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help Delawareans get where they need to be quickly, affordably, and safely, whether they travel by car, by bike, or on foot.”

“In the First State, we work together not only to preserve our state’s natural heritage but to invest in it with a focus on sustainability, equity, and community,” said Representative Blunt Rochester. “I’m thrilled that New Castle County has been selected to receive a RAISE Grant that will bridge the gap between Wilmington and Newport, a long-awaited achievement made possible through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Soon, Delaware will have a new bike trail for recreation and transportation, which is good news for public health, our workforce and economy, and everything in between.”

“While this investment allows us to expand the Jack Markell Trail to Newport, it’s really an opportunity to expand offerings for a healthy lifestyle, to add to what is already an exceptional trail system, but will also remove barriers to our communities,” said New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer. “I am thankful for the incredible hard work of Senators Carper, Coons and Congresswoman Blunt Rochester in helping secure these funds.”

This project has the support of public, private, and nonprofit organizations in Delaware, including DelDOT, DNREC, Bike Delaware, Delaware Bicycle Council, Delaware Greenways, East Coast Greenway, WILMAPCO, Town of Newport, City of Wilmington, City of Newark, City of New Castle, ChristianaCare, Cornerstone West Community Development Corporation, County Council Member Toole, Delaware BioScience Association, Delaware Black Chamber of Commerce, Delaware League of Local Governments, Delaware Nature Society, Greater Wilmington Visitor and Convention Bureau, Harvey Hanna & Associates, Inc., League of Women Voters, Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, Nemours, NCC Chamber of Commerce, Riverfront Development Corp., University of Delaware, and Urban Bike Project.