Neighbors Frustrated With Manhole Covers as Route 26 Project Nea - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Neighbors Frustrated With Manhole Covers as Route 26 Project Nears Completion

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Manhole covers like this one just east of Old Mill Road have created some frustration among neighbors (Source: Evan Koslof) Manhole covers like this one just east of Old Mill Road have created some frustration among neighbors (Source: Evan Koslof)

MILLVILLE, Del. - It's been nearly two-and-a-half years since the Route 26 widening project first began in the area west of Bethany Beach. Now as the construction company is entering into the homestretch, some neighbors are expressing frustrations with the recent lifting of manhole covers.  

The widening project, which has a deadline of Sept. 7, is expected to be completed by mid-July, according to Project Manager Ken Cimino from AECOM. Cimino said that the manholes were raised in certain areas in preparation of their paving efforts scheduled for June.

Over the next two weeks, George and Lynch will be doing procedures called "Profile Milling" and "Wedge and Leveling," in order to flatten out the road. The construction company will then pave two inches across the entire four-mile stretch. 

"They basically constructed the road 800 feet at a time," he said. "Almost like a patch-work quilt. So with that you're going to have some low spots and high spots. And that's where the milling and wedge and leveling comes in." 

Many neighbors who have been frustrated by the large bumps in the road told WBOC that this construction couldn't come soon enough. Robert Bochanski from Atlantic Auto Repair said that he's heard a lot of complaints. 

"I've had customers coming in with tire repairs and undercarriage problems," he said. "And everyone wants to blame Route 26. Whether it's actually causing the problems or not I'm not sure. But some of these temporary manhole covers are pretty tall so people definitely need to avoid those." 

Cimino said that mother nature has been a factor in construction delays. He said the road flattening process may have been completed already if it weren't for the rain over the last three weeks. Nonetheless, Cimino said that the project is expected to be completed by mid-July, which is approximately two months before the September deadline. 

"We're in really good shape," he said. "This project is moving along and moving toward a finish."

The initial completion date set in 2014 was June 24, 2016. This deadline was extended multiple times due to inclement weather in past winters. 

The construction company said that it needs to pave approximately 12,000 tons of blacktop in this project. At a pace of approximately 1,000 tons per night, the company said this process would take approximately two-and-a-half weeks. The initial flattening of the road would also take approximately two weeks, according to Cimino.

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