WHAT'S THE STORY The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) is currently in the middle of a road rehabilitation project for Carter Road from Wheatley's Pond Road to Sunnyside Road.
The $4 million project includes the widening of roads to feature 11-foot lanes, five-foot shoulders on each side, curbs and sidewalks on both sides, a drainage system to deal with storms, relocation of utility poles, streetlights, and a traffic light at the intersection of Carter and Sunnyside roads.
The purpose of the project is to make the road wider and safer for cars, bicyclists, walkers, and joggers. The contractor for the improvements is A-Del Construction Company, of Newark.
WHAT'S NEW The Sunnyside Road end of the project for the most part is completed, according to DelDOT area engineer Craig Blowers. The intersection of Carter and Sunnyside roads was fully reopened on Thursday, after access to Sunnyside east of Carter Road had been closed for several weeks and before that, access to Sunnyside west of Carter Road had been closed.
Now DelDOT is moving into the third stage of the five-stage project.
Stage 3 requires the temporary closing of Carter Road from Wheatley's Pond (Route 300) to Deak Drive, which started Monday. Blowers said a barrier will be placed so drivers can't turn from Wheatley's Pond Road onto Carter Road, or get from Carter Road to Wheatley's Pond Road.
Residents will have access but through a different route. Individuals needing to get to a building on Deak Drive such as Smyrna Family Medical Associates will have access but also through a different route. Ambulances going to the Bayhealth Emergency Department will also have access, but not at the main entrance.
"Stage 3 involves the widening of Route 300 at the intersection of Carter Road and Route 300," Blowers said. "And a little bit of drainage work by the hospital and a little bit of the nose of where Route 6 and Route 300 meet. That's why the barriers are there."
Moreover, Blowers said there will eventually be a left turn "pocket" at the Carter Road-Wheatley's Pond Road light to help alleviate traffic.
Stage 4 also involves the closure of Carter Road up to Clayton Avenue and Deak Drive. Blowers said the portions of the project closing Carter Road to Deak Drive are expected to take about two months and roll into the last stage. Once Stage 4 is complete, the portion of Carter Road from Wheatley's Pond Road to Deak Drive will be reopened.
WHAT'S NEXT The final stage of the project will close the remaining portion of Carter Road from Clayton Avenue to Sunnyside Road in through November. Residents that live on the portions of the road where there's a closure will still have access.
Blowers said there will be points where the project will move its way down the road, therefore, individual sections of 1,000 feet will be impacted at a time.
"Hopefully we're only impacting a few houses at a time, but it will be absolute full closure one side or another," Blowers said.
As for families who have membership in the summers at the Smyrna Swim Club, Blowers said these individuals will still have access to the facility: "I'm not saying it'll be the easiest at all times. I would ask people to bear with us as you may be delayed five minutes, but they will have access."
The project is expected to be completed by November.
"The project is very close to schedule," Blowers said. "The contractor was originally going to shut down for the winter but obviously we've been able to work through the winter thus far. The plan right now is to continue working if they can."
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