Money Would Help Spur Economic Development, “Smart Growth” Opportunities
Jul 29 2005
WASHINGTON (July 29, 2005) – The federal transportation bill, which is set for congressional passage today, includes more than $63 million in specific transportation projects requested by state and local officials, Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., announced Friday. As a member of the congressional committee that crafted the final transportation bill, Carper helped secure $63.6 million in new highway, transit, bridge, rail and “smart growth” projects in all three Delaware counties. “County and local officials will be able to put this money to very good use,” said Sen. Carper, who was the first Delawarean ever to sit on a so-called “conference committee” to develop the new transportation bill. “Many of these projects have been on the agenda back home for a long time but couldn’t find the necessary funding because of budget shortfalls and just the sheer volume of need throughout the state for improved highways and bridges and new transit projects.” Carper continued, “A lot of people refer to this legislation as the ‘highway bill’, but it’s much more than that and we show it with the projects we funded. This bill provides funding for rail transit, buses, bike and pedestrian facilities, vanpools, bridges, highways, and research. These projects will improve our local transportation systems, reduce congestion, and in many cases, add substantial economic and recreational value to state and local attractions.” Delaware’s overall transportation allocation – which is allocated to DelDOT – would also see a big increase over current levels. Delaware highway and safety funds would increase by more than 30 percent over current levels – for a total of $965 million over six years – while transit funding would increase by nearly 50 percent, to $70 million. The following is a list of specific projects in the new transportation bill, which is set to pass the House and Senate today: New Castle County ($33.77 million) $20 million to construct a new interchange from I-95 and improve local street and pedestrian access to the Wilmington Riverfront. $6.5 million for Wilmington Train Station restoration, both interior and exterior renovations. $4.77 million to build a new pedestrian/bicycle trail in Newark. The project would use an abandoned rail line to build a bike/pedestrian route connecting the new Newark Train station, the James Hall Bicycle and Pedestrian Trail, the planned Newark Transit Hub, downtown Newark and White Clay Creek State Park. $1 million to improve pedestrian and bicycle access at the University of Delaware-Newark. The money would construct a 360-foot-long bike/pedestrian bridge that will traverse the ravine between the central and Laird Campus. $1.5 million to replace railroad crossings in Wilmington and Marshallton. Kent County ($18 million) · $8.5 million to develop an alternative route for truck traffic in downtown Harrington. · $5 million to repair roads, resurface and rehabilitate almost 9 miles of gravel road within the Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge. · $2 million for the Hydrogen Storage Research facility at Delaware State University in Dover. The money would go toward finding new ways to store and release large quantities of hydrogen gas for vehicle propulsion. · $1.5 million for the Wyoming Mill Road Realignment Project in Dover. The money would realign a road that currently cuts through Schutte Park, adding 14 acres to the park, improving safety and extending the North Street bike lane. · $1 million for the city of Dover Transportation and Community and System Preservation Project. The money would be used to build streets within the proposed Lincoln Park Center, a 10-acre office and commerce park. Sussex County ($11.85 million) $6.75 million for infrastructure and streetscape improvements on Rehoboth Avenue. Projects include: reconstruction of a lane, new streetlights, reconnection of sewer lines, sidewalks, new restrooms and a bandstand area. $1.6 million for replacement of the Lake Gerar Bridge in Rehoboth. This project will replace the 70-90-year-old bridge that carries First Street across Lake Gerar. The new bridge will include a sidewalk for pedestrians. $2.5 million for replacement of the Woodland Ferry on the Nanticoke River between Seaford and Laurel. This project will include building a new ferry and making improvements to docking facilities, bulkheads, pilings, and boat ramps at the ferry site to accommodate changing tidal conditions and the new ferry. $1 million to plan, design and build an Energy Exploration Center at Destination Station in Rehoboth Beach. This project will develop an energy education system that includes hands-on exhibits designed to educate visitors, help strengthen math and science awareness and increase energy awareness for all ages.