Route 26 Widening Creates Some Congestion - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Route 26 Widening Creates Some Congestion

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OCEAN VIEW, De. - In Ocean View, there were some lane closures Monday, creating some major congestion problems. By the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Central Avenue, construction crews limited the roadway to just one lane, as they started the process of relocating a pipe.

This is the first phase of a much larger widening project that will take three years to complete. The project will eventually widen the road over more than four miles of Route 26 in the Ocean View area. This first phase is expected to take up to six weeks, according to project managers. 

Ken Cimino, from AECOM the engineering firm overseeing the project said the deadline is May 15 for this phase. Between that date and September 30, Cimino said the construction company will not engage in any lane closures in order to avoid exacerbating the already heavy summer traffic. 

Cimino said that the first phase would only mean severe congestion problems for a couple of days. On Monday they had one lane open, in order to pave a temporary road on the shoulder of Atlantic Avenue.

Once that part of the project is finished, which he said could be as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday, he said they would open up two lanes. There would still likely be delays, but Cimino said it would be far less than on Monday. 

Bill Winkler, the owner of the Treasure Quest Shoppe said he was worried this congestion would hurt business. He said his drive of just a couple of miles took him 30 minutes Monday morning. 

"They may come one time and they're gonna say 'that's it,'" he said of his customers. "'I'm not gonna come down for the next 6 weeks or until it's over with.'" 

Cimino said these destructive periods are just a small segment of the $35 million project. He said overall, the process has been running smoothly so far. 

"The project is coming along," he said. "As everybody knows, we've had some issues with weather this winter, but we're getting geared up to have a really productive spring. So we're still shooting for 901 calendar days." 

WBOC caught up with Rich Cunty from Ocean View as he pulled off of Atlantic Avenue. He said the process of getting around through the traffic could be described in just one way.

"Slow," he said. "Just slow. That's all. You gotta have patience."

The one area that will see consistent closings is Central Avenue, where it meets Atlantic Avenue. The roadway will be accessible all the way to the intersection, so that drivers can enter businesses on the corners. However, those drivers will not be able to actually cross the intersection. 

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