Thompsonville Construction Project Breaks Ground - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Thompsonville Construction Project Breaks Ground

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MILFORD, Del.- A brand new construction project is on its way to Milford, to the tune of $11.5 million. State leaders claim it will save lives, but some residents argue other projects should be a higher priority.

The project is in Milford by the intersection of Thompsonville Road (Road 19) and Route One. Currently, a stop light sits at the intersection. The project will remove that light, and extend Thompsonville Road over Route One in an overpass, connecting it to the intersection of Church Hill Road and Tub Mill Road. When completed, Route One traffic will be able to continue at highway speed, without stopping.

The Delaware Department of Transportation said that this project would greatly improve safety. According to DelDOT, there have been 122 crashes within a tenth of a mile of the intersection over the last ten years.

Of those accidents, DelDOT said 80 percent were rear-end crashes. Currently, the signal by Thompsonville Road is the first place that "many southbound vehicles may encounter a stop after traveling at highway speeds from Dover," according to DelDOT.

At the groundbreaking Friday morning, state legislators, DelDOT officials, and others joined Gov. Jack Markell for the ceremonial digging of dirt. Gov. Markell said that the project was long overdue.

"When we consider where we ought to be investing our transportation dollars," he said. "Public safety is very high on the list. This is a place where there have been a lot of accidents."

Some residents have voiced concern with these projects being done, not for their lack of merits, but for their ranking in the prioritization list. Milford resident Emmett Vennett said that DelDOT should have prioritized other projects above this one.

Vennett collected data from DelDOT in between Sept. 2011 and Sept. 2014. During this time period, there were 26 accidents at Thompsonville Road. Meanwhile, there were 12 at the intersections of Route One and Front Street, and 16 at the intersection of Route One and NE Tenth Street.

Since the intersections of NE Tenth Street and Front Street would be addressed with one project, Vennett said that this project should have been prioritized over Thompsonville Road.

"It's a safety issue because a girl was killed crossing the intersection," he said. "A bus driver that services this community did not see a car on - at - the other intersection and killed a lady from New Jersey."

Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt said that the state stands by its selection, arguing that it could save lives.

"I didn't pick this intersection because I just liked, you know, the Thompsonville Road," he said. "We picked it because this is where the crashes were."

The contractor "Mumford & Miller Concrete," based out of Middletown, is expected to complete the project in 649 days.
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