Sidewalk Project Advances, Public Meeting Next Up

FENWICK ISLAND – Officials say they will hold a public meeting to share plans for a sidewalk construction project.

Late last month, the Fenwick Island Town Council voted unanimously to proceed with a sidewalk construction project along Coastal Highway.

“The first step, once this is finalized, is to hold a public meeting, where these plans can be reviewed by the community,” Mayor Vicki Carmean said.

In 2019, Fenwick Island initiated the first phase of its sidewalk construction project, which included roughly six bayside blocks south of James Street. Instead of pursuing a state-led project – which had a cost estimate of roughly $10 million – town officials decided to handle the project themselves and worked alongside state legislators to secure bond bill funding.

While the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) has since included the project in its Capital Transportation Plan for 2026, Fenwick Island officials have decided to use $545,000 in state and reserve funding to begin the first phase of construction.

“I need permission from council to proceed with the project, since the monies are available,” Carmean said. “We are waiting on some final figures from Century Engineering, but I’m ready to push the go button.”

When asked if the expense matched the town’s reserves, Carmean said she believed it did.

“We think so …,” she said. “We’re going to ask DelDOT to go ahead and review the construction for us. It will cost us a little bit more, but I think it will be safer for all of us.”

Councilman Richard Benn noted the first phase of construction would focus on bayside blocks along Coastal Highway. He said the continuous sidewalk would start at Dagsboro Street, but would stop just short of James Street.

“So everything can be reached by sidewalk from Dagsboro northbound,” he said. “We still have some hurdles to pass going southbound, but this certainly addresses the majority of the town.”

A motion to proceed with the first phase of the sidewalk construction project passed 7-0.

“It’s a motion to proceed with sidewalks,” Carmean said, “with the understanding we’ll have a public meeting before the first shovel is turned over.”

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

Alternative Text

Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.