Millsboro Bypass Back on the Table - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Millsboro Bypass Back on the Table

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MILLSBORO, Del. - Millsboro Mayor Bob Bryan joined WBOC on the side of Main Street in downtown Millsboro. As cars and numerous trucks speed by, Bryan said one thing is clear.

"Millsboro is for a bypass," he said.

Bryan said the town has been struggling with a congestion problem for years, and a new plan might be the solution. But the word "bypass" is one that sparks quite a bit of debate in the Millsboro area. In 2013, the initial proposal to spend $839 million on a 16.9 mile bypass was pulled, amidst vehement opposition from many residents in nearby communities.

On Monday evening, the Delaware Department of Transportation is pitching a brand new strategy to the town, which legislators are calling "scaled back" from the initial plan. DelDOT didn't want to comment on the project until the 7:00 meeting, but they said they would be talking about "alternative plans for construction of a bypass from Route 24 to US 113."

Rep. Rich Collins (R-Millsboro) said that the new plan would not be the "ultimate solution." Collins said that the meeting would be crucial though, in order to inform the public.

"We're not sure how it will be received," he said.

Bryan said he is hoping this bypass can be more successful than the last proposal.

"You can spend 20 to 30 minutes going three to four miles," he said. "In my opinion, that's L.A. or New York City. That's not Millsboro, Sussex County."

In 2013, the project was greeted by great concern from certain downtown businesses as well as farmers in the area, who would be displaced by the bypass. That included Lou Ann Rieley from the Rieley Brothers Farm on Route 30, north of Millsboro. She said that it would be important to limit the amount of intrusion into farms, in any bypass proposal. 

"I understand the need for a long term vision," she said. "But I also know that everybody who has a stake in this area wants to preserve our way of life."

John Eggleston of Millsboro Auto Supply said the bypass would likely create more debate in the area.

"It's a double edge sword," he said. "Because local businesses are going to say 'oh my God. We can't get anyone here.' But on the other hand the traffic and the congestion is just crazy."

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