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Author Topic: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware  (Read 54514 times)

Alex

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U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« on: March 22, 2009, 11:21:28 AM »

NIMBY's again raising their ugly heads. The article mentions a possibility of upgrading the existing U.S. 301 to limited-access standards. That would be a very pricey endeavor with so much development already along or near the corridor.

I'm sure the NIMBY's prefer the "no-build" option.

The U.S. 301 freeway to Summit Bridge idea goes back to the 1960s, so who actually believes that the super-2 super or any other limited access route will ever connect to the span? All of that stated, the stretch of U.S. 301 is prone to accidents and I suppose that that factor does not matter to those who live along the corridor who cry out "do nothing!".


DelDOT revisits disputed 301 spur
Opponent calls Middletown workshop on project 'dog and pony show'

March 22, 2009

State transportation officials and opponents of a proposed road north of Middletown will meet again Monday, but both sides say they expect to hear little new information.

"This workshop is a dog-and-pony show," said Andye Daley, chairwoman of the Middletown Corridor Coalition, which is fighting the 4.5 mile Spur Road that would connect U.S. 301 to Summit Bridge. The road would run along the western edge of Daley's development of Chesapeake Meadow.

The alternatives to the Spur Road to be presented Monday reflect only minor adjustments to those presented previously by the Delaware Department of Transportation, spokesman Jim Westhoff said. The agency has been presenting its plans to small neighborhood groups in recent months.

"The spur will be used by more than 12,000 people a day, and this will be a significant benefit for people," Westhoff said.

Last June, the General Assembly ordered DelDOT to take another look at the Spur Road, present alternatives to the public and report back to legislators by May 1.

The public workshop will be 3 to 8 p.m. Monday at Volunteer Hose Company, and DelDOT will continue to collect comments until April 3.

Westhoff said no new alternatives have emerged to the Spur Road.

The Spur Road had always been considered along with the project's main focus: a limited-access highway connecting Del. 1 to U.S. 301 to alleviate congestion and safety issues. The project would be done in four phases over five years, with the Spur Road the last phase.

The entire project is expected to cost $704 million, with the Spur Road making up about $125 million of that.

"This is the first time we've looked at the alternatives separately," Westhoff said.

Daley said her group pressed legislators to force DelDOT to reconsider the alternatives before embarking on the project.

"It seems like there was a better way to do it, but they hadn't really thought about it," Daley said.

She said she opposes the Spur Road because it would cost too much without solving any problems. Instead, the state should upgrade the existing U.S. 301, Daley said.

That is one of the three alternatives that DelDOT will present Monday.

While it would cost only $75 million to $85 million and have a smaller impact on farms and forests, it will not solve safety and congestion problems, DelDOT says. Also, it would affect more homes and businesses.

Another alternative would be to limit access along the existing U.S. 301 and connect it to the new U.S. 301.

That would alleviate truck traffic and address safety issues, but it would cost $165 million and have a huge impact on Summit Airport, homes, businesses, wetlands and forests, according to DelDOT.

The third alternative would be to do nothing.

Westhoff said work on the first project's phase -- construction of U.S. 301 from Del. 1 to just east of the Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks north of Armstrong Corner Road -- could begin in 2011.

"That's in a perfect world, where everything goes exactly the way it should go," Westhoff said.

For more information about the project, visit: www.deldot.gov/information/projects/us301/index.shtml.

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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2009, 11:04:34 AM »

Personally, I think Middletown would benefit from the straightforward construction of the new 301.  Who cares if it goes along the edge of a development?   I'd rather sacrifice having a highway in my backyard if it means I can get through town easier. 
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Alex

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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2009, 11:07:25 AM »

That makes too much logical sense in a sprawl-producing county.  :crazy:

Widen the existing U.S. 301, that is what the opponents always say and probably what will happen instead of the Super-2 spur.

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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2009, 07:33:48 AM »

U.S. 301 project appears to be moving closer to reality. The project web site includes eight refinements to the overall project, six of which that will move forward (the web site includes pdf documents of each item):

August 3, 2009 Status Update of Project Refinements
Each refinement is linked to detailed information, as is the corresponding number on the map.

  • Alignment shift of US 301 Mainline near MD/DE line to avoid power
    transmission towers (1)
  • Shift Levels Road Interchange 150 feet south (1)
  • Provide right rather than left exit from northbound US 301 Mainline to northbound Spur Road (1)
  • Revise interchange configuration between new US 301 and existing US 301 from a partial cloverleaf to a traditional diamond interchange (further refined based on workshop comments) (1)
  • Provide roundabouts rather than intersections at the new US 301 interchange ramps with Jamison Corner Road (1)
  • Realign Port Penn Road to improve safety/operations of Toll Free Ramp from US 13 to northbound SR 1 (Roth Bridge) (2)
  • Spur Road Alignment Options (2)
  • "Fix the Curve" at base of Summit Bridge and SR 896/Bethel Church interchange - Option B (1)
   
  • (1) Refinement adopted – to be incorporated into final design.
  • (2) Additional evaluation underway – the final determination to be made in the future and will be noted on the project website.

Alex

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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2011, 04:34:36 PM »

DelDOT calls off meeting on 301 connector

Quote
Reeling from allegations of mismanagement and the resignation of top officials, including Secretary Carolann Wicks, the Delaware Department of Transportation canceled a meeting to review land purchases for the $600 million U.S. 301 connector, the largest transportation project on the state's agenda.

Agency spokesman Geoff Sundstrom said the postponement resulted from flux within the department, capped by Wicks' surprise announcement Friday.

Over the past year, DelDOT has been the subject of a series of reports that during her administration, the agency struck favorable deals with wealthy and politically connected businessmen in Kent and Sussex counties. Some of those reports led to a continuing FBI investigation.

The department has also drawn criticism for the failure of an original design for a new bridge over the Indian River Inlet and delays in a new bridge project now under way there.

The Advanced Acquisition Committee had been scheduled to meet Monday afternoon to authorize early land purchases for the $600 million U.S. 301 toll-road plan. But reform regulations have yet to be approved for reviews of land that DelDOT wants to buy in advance of formal designs and final right-of-way plans.

DelDOT's Advanced Acquisition Committee meets as required to review purchase terms and rationales for buying land or reserving purchase rights before DelDOT approves a detailed right-of-way alignment. Committee members can vote to approve, reject or set conditions for purchases. The committee includes the leaders of the departments of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Transportation and Agriculture, the Delaware Economic Development Office director, the governor's chief of staff; one member each from the Senate and House and two members of the public, chosen by the Senate president pro tem and the House speaker.

The Federal Highway Administration in mid-2008 approved DelDOT's general proposal for a 17.5-mile U.S. 301 connector between west of Middletown and the Del. 1 canal bridge. A spur road would connect the new highway to the Del. 896 Summit Bridge. Officials estimated in mid-2008 that nearly 1,000 acres and nearly 150 properties would be needed, although no construction funds have been approved and completion could be a decade or more away.

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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2011, 12:04:50 PM »

DelDOT delays US 301 meeting

Quote
Officials still hope to prepare a semifinal financing and toll plan for Gov. Jack Markell's review in December that will make the $747 million highway self-supporting between west of Middletown and the Roth and Summit bridges on Del. 1 and Del. 896. Work could begin by mid-2012.

State lawmakers directed the agency to move ahead with the project in phases last year, starting with the 14-mile, four-lane mainline from the state line west of Middletown to Del. 1 south of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. Construction of a two-lane, 3.5-mile "spur" toll road linking the mainline to Summit Bridge could follow, based on traffic needs.

Out-of-state vehicles, many moving between the state line and I-95, are expected to pay 70 percent of the tolls collected along the road, with trucks accounting for 40 percent.

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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2011, 08:38:28 PM »

US 301 project loses out on aid

Quote
Delaware has been quietly bumped out of the running for $240 million in federal credit aid that the state Department of Transportation hoped to use for the proposed $738 million U.S. 301 toll road, a project already on uncertain financial ground.

Agency officials released the Federal Highway Administration denial, received by email earlier this summer, during a briefing Friday on a U.S. 301 public workshop scheduled for Tuesday afternoon and evening in Middletown.

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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2011, 12:30:08 PM »

US 301 timetable in doubt

Quote
Currently forecast to be the state's largest highway project through the year 2040, the $747 million project was once expected to go out for bids in stages, starting early next year.

But the nation's recession and a lost bid for federal aid could threaten that timetable. Details are expected to be released next month, when DelDOT issues updates to traffic and toll-revenue forecasts.

Quote
Although not easily apparent in DelDOT's earlier public accounts of the traffic study, consultants have predicted that thousands of trucks and cars eventually will shift from Interstate 95 to U.S. 301 each day to reduce the overall toll cost of their trips.

The traffic diversions could cost the Transportation Trust Fund about $3.5 million during the first full year of operations, with the loss climbing to $4.2 million by 2020 and $6.5 million by 2025, according to a report dated Sept. 20, 2011, and recently made public.

Quote
The latest estimates predicted 21,790 car and truck tolls per day in 2015 -- if the highway opens that year -- with 13,110 at the mainline barrier and the rest at ramps. Analysts based their forecast on a $4 toll for cars traveling the mainline and an $11 truck toll.

Although DelDOT was allowed to sell federally backed bonds for U.S. 301 right-of-way purchases and is actively buying land, the state did not win a hoped-for $240 million federal loan for the project. Without the loan, some revenue forecasts released earlier this year showed the project falling short of self-supporting cash flows, with the darkest outlook putting the annual shortfall at more than $22 million.

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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2011, 10:53:54 PM »

DelDOT delays construction target for US 301 toll road

Quote
The Delaware Department of Transportation has delayed a key construction target for the proposed U.S. 301 toll road, pending outside reviews of projected traffic, toll receipts and cost estimates.

Under the new approach, officials could seek legislative authorization for the project in June instead of January if forecasts hold up, with the start of the first roadway construction moved back from mid-2012 to 2013.

DelDOT Secretary Shailen Bhatt said Tuesday that updated studies indicate the toll road can pay for itself. The road originally was expected to cost about $740 million, but new estimates say the cost could be significantly less.

Quote
New projections have cut $60 million from the previous $440 million construction cost estimates for the longest stretch of mainline highway. An updated draft report on traffic and toll revenue outlooks, meanwhile, supports a conclusion that tolls can cover all long-term annual debt service, even if traffic misses targets by a wide margin, officials said.

Quote
According to the latest draft report, about 21,300 vehicles, including 3,000 trucks, would use the toll road daily during 2016, its first full year of operation, producing more than $27 million in toll receipts. Traffic on the toll road would rise to 31,646 vehicles daily. Cars initially would pay a $4 toll at the mainline barrier west of Middletown, with trucks paying $11.

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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2013, 01:28:48 PM »

DelDOT seeks federal funds to help construct U.S. 301 toll road

Quote
DelDOT recently applied for millions in federal credit aid that it hopes to use for the planned $471 million U.S. 301 toll road, officials say.

If approved through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program, DelDOT would pay less overall in borrowing costs, Secretary Shailen Bhatt said Monday in Dover. Program officials in 2011 denied a previous application for the project.

Bhatt said his agency has purchased more than 95 percent of the properties needed for construction of the project – a 14-mile, four-lane toll road between the Maryland line west of Middletown and the Del. 1 bridge over the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal, along with a spur linking the Summit Bridge.

Officials would like to begin construction later this year, with the road opening in late 2015 or 2016.

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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2013, 10:58:41 AM »

US 301 cost may rise by millions

Quote
A little noticed change in Middletown’s annexation and zoning plans last year could tack more unexpected millions onto the state Department of Transportation’s land cost for the proposed U.S. 301 toll road, state officials said Thursday.

Concern about right-of-way costs for farmland off Bunker Hill Road surfaced a day after Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt said that he would explore options for recovering some of a $16 million payment to investor-owners for another property that Middletown annexed and rezoned to commercial status in 2007.

That land-use change sharply increased the value that DelDOT appraisers had assigned the property for a court supervised condemnation.

Although DelDOT said this week overall land costs are under budget for the 14.5-mile toll road, more than a quarter of the planned right-of-way spending has gone to just two tracts and landowner groups at a far higher cost than the state’s initial forecast.

Quote
DelDOT hopes to seek bids for U.S. 301 construction early next year if the project qualifies for a low-interest federal loan guarantee and if bond rating supports the financing plan.

Alex

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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2013, 10:51:12 AM »

Two road related articles in one day is rare for DE!

Progress made in fixing US 301 snafus as state firms up land buys

Quote
State highway officials have moved to secure hundreds of acres of development rights left unclaimed during a mismanaged $16 million deal on land needed for the planned U.S. 301 toll road.

Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt noted an agreement with Middletown on the transferable rights on Wednesday, during a wide-ranging briefing for news organizations on DelDOT issues, projects and priorities.

Quote
The agency hopes to start construction of the $471 million, 14-mile toll-road connector — stretching between the state line west of Middletown and the Del. 1 Roth bridge — in the spring of 2014, with an opening by 2017.

Alex4897

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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2013, 09:31:17 PM »

Preeeetty much.

It'll be a wonder if the entire US 301 relocation gets built.
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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2013, 08:35:53 AM »

Preeeetty much.

It'll be a wonder if the entire US 301 relocation gets built.

DelDOT is quickly buying up the land for it.
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Alex

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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2013, 11:44:16 AM »

Diminished projections raise doubts for U.S. 301 plan

Quote
In another setback for the extension of U.S. 301, deep cuts in the projections for traffic and toll receipts are raising questions about how Delaware will finance the project without the state kicking in $50 million to $100 million more than expected.

The new projections could also delay construction by six months and scuttle Delaware’s bid for a $193 million low-cost federal loan – expected to cover a third of the cost of the 14.5-mile mainline, state officials said Friday.

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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #15 on: October 26, 2013, 08:11:28 PM »

Diminished projections raise doubts for U.S. 301 plan

Quote
In another setback for the extension of U.S. 301, deep cuts in the projections for traffic and toll receipts are raising questions about how Delaware will finance the project without the state kicking in $50 million to $100 million more than expected.

The new projections could also delay construction by six months and scuttle Delaware’s bid for a $193 million low-cost federal loan – expected to cover a third of the cost of the 14.5-mile mainline, state officials said Friday.

I found it interesting that in reading that they quoted someone in support of the project.  Usually with these huge highway projects they only focus on people throwing hissy-fits over it.
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Alex

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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2014, 09:28:27 AM »

Budget proposal moves US 301 extension forward

Quote
A provision in the state’s proposed capital budget would allow Delaware officials to move forward with the much-anticipated extension of U.S. 301 around Middletown, with some opponents claiming the state will stick taxpayers with expenses for the toll road that can’t pay for itself.

The budget language would allow Transportation Trust Fund money to be used for the project, which already has seen toll revenue projections reduced in a recent survey that suggested significantly less traffic on the road.

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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2014, 09:10:47 PM »

Budget proposal moves US 301 extension forward

Quote
A provision in the state’s proposed capital budget would allow Delaware officials to move forward with the much-anticipated extension of U.S. 301 around Middletown, with some opponents claiming the state will stick taxpayers with expenses for the toll road that can’t pay for itself.

The budget language would allow Transportation Trust Fund money to be used for the project, which already has seen toll revenue projections reduced in a recent survey that suggested significantly less traffic on the road.
This is worse than waiting for the US 46/NJ 3 split construction to begin.

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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2014, 07:16:13 PM »

DelawareOnline.com: US 301 toll road plan gets ratings boost

Quote
The state of Delaware is prepared to ask for federal loan support to move forward with a U.S. 301 toll plan following good news from a bond rating agency, a DelDOT official said Wednesday.

Quote
DelDOT's plan calls for a 14-mile toll-road connector stretching between the state line west of Middletown and the Del. 1 Roth Bridge. Supporters say the road would improve safety and reduce congestion and pollution compared with travel along existing U.S. 301 in southern New Castle County.

Quote
Moody's Investors Services gave the $400 million mainline construction portion of the plan a positive rating after Delaware officials said borrowing would be backed by Transportation Trust Fund revenues if toll collections fall short.
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Alex4897

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U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2014, 12:50:33 AM »

It seems we're getting closer to the construction of the US 301 toll road commencing.

http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/traffic/2014/12/28/deldot-toll-road/20961125/
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Alex4897

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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2015, 01:23:23 PM »

It appears that the state is close to making an announcement concerning the source of federal funding for the US 301 toll road.  Also mentioned in the linked article is the dangerous nature of the current 2 lane configuration of Summit Bridge Road between DE 896 and Middletown, which manifested itself this weekend in a deadly head-on crash near Marl Pit Road.

Full story: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/local/2015/07/14/state-close-announcement-us-financing/30130151/
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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2015, 08:52:04 PM »

DelDOT put together a flyover animation of the US 301 tollway, similar to the one they did for the DE 1 / I-95 interchange.

http://www.delawareonline.com/videos/news/2015/07/24/30619501/
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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #22 on: July 26, 2015, 12:49:45 AM »

Are they planning to re-route US-301 to and up DE-1?
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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #23 on: July 27, 2015, 06:55:53 PM »

Are they planning to re-route US-301 to and up DE-1?

I assume they'd route it to DE 1, as for up to I-95 I have no clue.  They've been pretty quiet as to what everything will look like route-wise when this is all said and done.

IMO, I'd like to see DE 71 routed down the current US 301 then DE 896 routed down the remainder of Summit Bridge Road, as opposed to jogging eastward on Boyds Corner Road.  If they really want to keep Boyds Corner Road signed as something, then extend Maryland's numbering of 310 over Churchtown Road and Boyds Corner Road to DE 1.
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Re: Re: Delaware
« Reply #24 on: July 28, 2015, 11:58:32 AM »

I just saw the US 301 video, and that gives me reason to believe that it will eventually connect to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. It would make a great route for those who wish to avoid Baltimore and Washington.
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