As DelDOT Wraps Work at Little Heaven, Some Hope Excessive Devel - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

As DelDOT Wraps Work at Little Heaven, Some Hope Excessive Development Won't Follow

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LITTLE HEAVEN, Del. --- Alicia Arrington is happy the years-long project at Route 1's former intersection with Bowers Beach road is complete, believing the roads around her neighborhood are safer.

But Arrington, like a number of residents who live in communities in the Little Heaven area, are concerned the new interchange will lead to development --- and end to their quiet, rural lifestyles.

"Country living is relaxing. It is de-stressed and you want to keep that," she said.

Arrington lives just down the road from where state officials on Monday held a ceremonial ribbon cutting for DelDOT's $114 million construction project that lifted Route 1 onto a grade-separated interchange above Bowers Beach Road.

The change is a big one for drivers this time of year because Route 1 formerly had an intersection with Bowers Beach Road that had a traffic signal, a frequent choke-point for beach-related traffic on its way to and from Sussex County.

Now, Bowers Beach road travels directly beneath Route 1, allowing for people to get to homes or businesses on either side of State Route 1.

DelDOT Secretary Jen Cohan said one of the remaining things to work on with the project has been the service roads that connect exits from Route 1 to Bowers Beach Road. She noted that the new roadways would allow for safer travel and easier accommodations made for development in the area.

"It's great to have the service roads because it will mean less traffic on route 1. It's good for the communities. It improves safety," she said.

Kent County is working to finalize its Master Plans for both Little Heaven and South Frederica, both of which have seen significant infrastructure projects in recent years.

Among the proposed changes under that master plan is designating areas as "Employment Centers" that will be targeted for redevelopment, building off momentum from infrastructure improvements and projects like the DE Turf sports complex.

Ed Hallock, a Little Heaven resident who has lived in the area for 60 years, is part of a panel looking at the county's master plan for his community and said people need to participate in public forums about the matter to voice their opinions.

"Some of the committee members have heard if it gets developed then farming is gone --- and that's not necessarily a good thing," he said, while also noting that development looks to be inevitable for the area.

County Commissioner Eric Buckson (R-Magnolia) said people need to voice their opinions during public hearings next week.

“We believe in the project but we need folks to have save," he said.


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