DelDOT Says Funding Needed for Milton Overpass - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

DelDOT Says Funding Needed for Milton Overpass

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MILTON, Del. - Tuesday afternoon police say a fatal accident took the life of 25-year old Daniel Murray of Newark. The collision happened at the intersection of Routes 1 and 16, after police said Murray failed to stop at a red light. In the aftermath of this accident, the Delaware Department of Transportation said they can make the road safer with a new overpass.

The overpass would cost the state $30 million between planning, land acquisition and actual construction. Planning would begin Fiscal Year 2015 if the revenue can be gathered with the intention of starting construction by fiscal year 2020. Between Lewes and Dover, DelDOT has marked four intersections as places where they hope to build overpasses, including this one at Route 16.

The problem comes down to funding. DelDOT said the only way it will be able to build these overpasses in the near future, is with the passage of the gas tax proposed by Governor Jack Markell.  

The governor's proposal would call for a 10-cents per gallon gas tax hike, which along with $250 million in borrowing, would create $500 million for transportation projects. DelDOT officials told WBOC that without passage of this bill, many projects such as the overpass in Milton would be delayed until they have the revenue. 

Wayne White, who lives just a couple dozen feet from the crash site said an overpass would be a good idea. He said he's seen many accidents at this intersection, and said it makes him worry for his family.  

"I worry a lot," he said. "Not just for her (his mother). But my brother and sister and all that. I think an overpass would be good for us."

Bob Wardwell of Lewes said the nature of this intersection in particular makes an overpass important. He said there are many miles of open road north of this stoplight. He said this leads to accidents as people unintentionally cross into the intersection.

"I's a long distance from the previous light to this light," he said. "People get in highway hypnosis, and they come running down that road and it's a frequent place where people have accidents." 

The project is ranked number 32 in DelDOT's prioritization list. Officials from DelDOT said this means they will likely have to delay the project if the gas tax proposal fails. Ken Talley said the loss of life is tragic, but that it doesn't mean they should raise gas taxes to pay for a new overpass. 

"I don't think they should raise the gas tax," he said. "And the over-passes are good for beach traffic and people but it's not good for local traffic." 

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