A major construction project on Elkton Road, originally scheduled to begin this spring or summer, has been delayed for several months, officials confirmed last week.
The utility relocation work, which began last fall and resulted in a number of trees being cut down, is taking longer than expected, according to C.R. McLeod, a spokesman for the Delaware Department of Transportation.
“We had hoped to have already begun construction, but it now appears that construction and lane reductions will likely not occur until at least early September,” McLeod said.
He said he didn’t know the reason for the delay, explaining that several utility companies have to move their power lines, pipes, etc. before the road construction can begin.
In March, DelDOT awarded the $25 million project to Newport-based Diamond Materials LLC.
The two-year project will bring major changes to Elkton Road between Casho Mill Road and the state line, including a third lane, a separated bike path and intersection improvements.
Much like the recently completed Main Street project, the Elkton Road work will provide a more permanent solution to the potholes and rough road surface that has plagued the highway for several years.
The eastbound lanes – the ones used by cars coming from Maryland – will be reconstructed first, and all traffic will be shifted to the westbound side, with one lane in each direction. Once that is complete, the westbound lanes will be reconstructed.
The most noticeable change will be the addition of a third eastbound travel lane between Otts Chapel Road and Christina Parkway in order to accommodate increased traffic. Initial plans called for an additional westbound lane as well, but that was removed after additional analysis.
For cyclists, DelDOT is planning a 10-foot-wide paved bicycle and pedestrian path that will run parallel to the eastbound lanes but be separated by a grassy median.
The path will connect cyclists to Gravenor Lane, from which they can ride through Devon and the Binns to get to the James F. Hall Trail.
The Elkton Road path will also provide a connection to Rittenhouse Trail and the bike path that parallels Christina Parkway. On the western side, it will extend into Maryland and connect with the Stonegate Apartments.