Neighbors Prepare for Day One of 404 Closures in Bridgeville - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Neighbors Prepare for Day One of 404 Closures in Bridgeville

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Route 404 is expected to be closed until as late as Dec. 23. (Photo: WBOC) Route 404 is expected to be closed until as late as Dec. 23. (Photo: WBOC)

BRIDGEVILLE, Del. - For the next five weeks, residents in the Bridgeville area will need to add a little time to their commute, if they're driving through the area of Route 404 west of Bridgeville. A construction project was set to begin Monday, which will continue until Dec. 23, to repair a pair of cross-road pipes. 

On Monday, there were no closures on Route 404, although The Delaware Department of Transportation said the disruptions will begin "any day." 

The closures will occur in between the intersection of Scotts Store Road and Epworth Church Road. DelDOT said the closures are being done so that they can fix a pair of cross-road pipes, each 5 to 7 feet in diameter.

Sandy Breeding, lives just off of Route 404. 

"It's going to be a big inconvenience," she said. "As far as getting into Bridgeville. And if you live close in the area then you know the back roads. But other than that (you don't)." 

The project will replace the cross-road pipes, which were first installed in the 1970's, according to Jason Hastings, the lead bridge engineer for DelDOT. He said that over time, the pipes have corroded to the point where repairs are needed. 

The 404 project is one of three in need of repairs to the cross-road pipes. The total cost for fixing all three is $980,000, with each costing approximately the same amount.

Breeding said more concerning than the project itself was the lack of notice about the closures. This is a notion shared by many neighbors, and even state Sen. Brian Pettyjohn, who represents the area. 

"My main thing was that nobody knew anything about it," said Breeding. "There were no letters or anything sent out to tell us what was going on." 

DelDOT said it publishes lists of upcoming projects on its website, and share those lists with lawmakers. However, the agency said more could have been done to spread the word. 

"Knowing the project was 404," said DelDOT spokesman Geoff Sundstrom, "We should have been more proactive in our public outreach." 

Sundstrom said the department has a tight window to work with. It wanted to wait until after last month's Apple Scrapple Festival, but if too much time passes, weather could become more of an issue. 

In order to deal with the closures, DelDOT will be detouring cars around 404, onto 36 East, through Greenwood. At Cafe Tamburelli in Greenwood, owner Giuseppe Randazzo said that this might be the silver lining.

"More traffic on Route 16 would be more business for me, of course," he said. "Unfortunately, repairs must be made."

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