Nothing is quite like that building anticipation when driving to the beach — the seagulls that start swooping into view, the vibrant crab shacks and surf shops and, of course, the familiar signs welcoming visitors as they near Delaware’s resort towns.
But that buildup can sometimes feel like a cruel taunt when drivers inevitably hit congested beach traffic. And the last thing travelers want is construction to slow them down even more.
Luckily, some of the construction affecting major highways has already wrapped up, like the repairs to the Broadkill River bridge on Route 1, which no longer requires lane shifts on the northbound or southbound sides.
That doesn’t mean this summer will be construction-free, though. While the Delaware Department of Transportation aims to not disrupt the busiest beach routes, construction crews will be working on a few projects throughout Sussex County, according to DelDOT spokesperson C.R. McLeod.
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Here are a few projects that visitors may want to be aware of as they prepare to hit the road.
Park Avenue off Route 113
Anyone traveling to the beach via Route 113 will notice some construction south of Georgetown.
The first phase of the Park Avenue project begins at the end of May and continues until spring 2024. The construction starts at Route 113 and continues along existing Arrow Safety Road.
This is a $14.4 million project that will add a roundabout at South Bedford Street and Arrow Safety Road. The new fourth leg of the intersection will extend all the way to the existing Park Avenue, also known as the Route 9 Truck Bypass.
Other improvements include an acceleration lane on northbound Route 113 from the Arrow Safety Road intersection, as well as a railroad crossing.
Route 1, Route 16 intersection
One of the most popular beach routes, Coastal Highway will see the start of a major construction project at the Route 16 intersection near Milton.
Starting at the end of June, crews will begin the work necessary to make a grade-separated intersection at Broadkill Road/Route 16 and Coastal Highway/Route 1. It is currently a signaled intersection near The Rookery Golf Course.
This longtime-coming project will cost $23.2 million, and construction is expected to last until late 2025. The grade separation aims to improve safety and reduce the number of crashes at the intersection.
Throughout late spring, large digital signs have already warned of delays due to construction on Route 24 heading east to the beach.
Crews have been working on improvements to the intersections at Mount Joy Road and Bay Farm Road, both near Millsboro.
This nearly $10 million project includes pavement widening to add or extend right and left-turn lanes at both intersections. The construction also includes the addition of bike lanes, bus stops, sidewalks and pedestrian connections.
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Construction began in March 2022 and continues until spring 2023.
Emily Lytle covers Sussex County from the inland towns to the beaches. Got a story she should tell? Contact her at [email protected] or 302-332-0370. Follow her on Twitter at @emily3lytle.