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Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • Dover/Kent County traffic planning group seeks initial approval of plan

  • The Dover/Kent County Metropolitan Planning Organization to take next step toward revised, transportation plan for long term outlook.
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  • The Dover/Kent County Metropolitan Planning Organization will seek initial approval of its transportation plan outlook when it meets with its Public Advisory Committee on Tuesday night at Kent County Levy Court.
    The Metropolitan Transportation Plan defines how an area's transportation system will develop over the next 20 to 30 years and how transportation projects in central Delaware will be funded, Dover/Kent County MPO spokeswoman Kate Layton said. The U.S. Department of Transportation requires the MPO to update its plan every four years as a prerequisite for federal funding.
    The Dover/Kent County MPO recently concluded a month-long public comment period of its long-range Metropolitan Transportation Plan that includes construction of the West Dover Connector and improvements to Del. Route 1 south of Dover Air Force Base, Layton said.
    The Public Advisory Committee, or PAC, is composed of residents who live in central Delaware and represent the public point of view in the process, she said. Three are Dover City Council appointees, two are DelDOT appointees, two are governor's appointees and six are Kent County Levy Court appointees.
    IF YOU GO
    WHAT Dover/Kent County MPO will seek initial approval of its draft Metropolitan Transportation Plan when it meets with its Public Advisory Committee.
    This meeting is open to the public.
    WHEN 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18
    WHERE Room 221 of the Kent County Levy Court Administrative Complex, 555 Bay Road in Dover
    CONTACT For more information, call the MPO at 387-6026 or 387-6030, or go online to www.doverkentmpo.org.
    If the PAC votes on the plan, the document would then be forwarded to the Dover/Kent County MPO Council for approval, Layton said. The MTP would then go to the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration for final approval.
    Dover/Kent County MPO Executive Director Rich Vetter said the current estimated construction cost for the West Dover Connector was $36 million. Construction was expected to begin in fiscal year 2014, he said.
    "The West Dover Connector is the primary roadway capacity project in the MTP, but it also includes bike and pedestrian amenities along the entire length of the project," Vetter said. "While an important connection for the West Dover area, I think it is just one of many proposed MTP projects that are planned to address the future transportation needs of the county."
    As for proposed improvements to Del. Route 1 south of Dover Air Force Base, Vetter said there were five overpasses proposed along Route 1 south of DAFB ranging in costs from $15 million to $70 million, according to the current DelDOT Capital Transportation Program.
    As for rail service to Dover and the rest of Kent County, the Delaware Transit Corporation is currently conducting the Delmarva Intercity Rail Study to determine feasibility for such a system, Vetter said.
    Page 2 of 2 - The MTP also references several specific trails, including new trails in downtown Dover, connecting Silver Lake with the Isaac Branch greenway, Route 10 and West Street in Dover as well as the need to improve pedestrian amenities in downtown Milford and along U.S. 13 in Smyrna, he said.
    Existing DART service is also described in detail in the MTP, as well as data describing the continued, steady increase in transit ridership in Kent County, Vetter said.
    There were 18 people that attended the Nov. 14 public workshop, Vetter said. The Dover/Kent County MPO also received several written comments via DNREC, DelDOT, State Planning and Kent County Planning.

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