Salisbury Trouble Spot Improved

SALISBURY — Over a decade since first appearing on the planning radar, a major renovation of a trouble spot intersection in Salisbury near the university was officially completed last week, thanks in large part to the partnership between the city, the school and other state and local agencies.

Salisbury Mayor Jim Ireton last week announced the successful completion of the Bateman Street project, which has been ongoing for over 13 years. The intersection of South Division Street, Onley Rd. and Bateman Street has long been a source of numerous accidents over the years, prompting the town of Salisbury to work with Salisbury University on an extensive renovation project for the known trouble spot. The intersection is heavily traveled by vehicles, pedestrians and bikes and the safety of college students utilizing the roadways was of particular concern at the onset of the project 13 years ago.

The city and the university partnered with the State Highway Administration (SHA), Wicomico County, the Wicomico County Board of Education and multiple private engineering and architectural firms to come to an agreement on how best to alter the intersections. The project included a major renovation of traffic patterns, a new bike lane and a new traffic signal. Salisbury Police also installed a speed camera in the area to curb high speed driving.

The Bateman Street project, after 13 years in the making, came in on time and under budget. The entire cost of the project was expected to cost $351,540, but it came in with a final price tag of $329,576, representing a savings of $21,964. Salisbury University’s estimated contribution to the project was $180,265, but the school’s final price tag for its share came in at $133,603. Ireton praised the contributions of the various partners on the project.

“Thank you to all who worked to make this a safer intersection,” he said. “This is a testament to what we can do if we remain steadfast in our purpose.”

Salisbury University officials expressed relief the project was finally completed.

“Safety is a top priority of our campus and the increased traffic at the intersection had been a long-time concern,” said SU Vice President of Administration and Finance Betty Crockett. “We are grateful that the renovated street was able to open before the start of classes.”

SU’s contribution helped fund new sidewalks, additional lighting and other streetscape improvements.

“As a green campus committed to sustainability, we are particularly pleased by the city’s inclusion of a bicycle lane on Bateman, a significant segment in place for its ongoing bike lane plan,” said Crockett.