Fenwick Officials Discuss Future DelDOT Projects

FENWICK ISLAND – A discussion on state-led sidewalk and pedestrian projects highlighted a Fenwick Island committee meeting this week.

On Monday, the town’s Pedestrian Safety Committee met to discuss upcoming projects in Fenwick Island.

While the town is currently working on the first phase of its sidewalk construction project, Mayor Vicki Carmean, committee chair, told members this week the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) had included the remaining blocks into its 2024 Capital Transportation Plan.

“One of the things that has been promised for over 20 years is that the state would eventually come into Fenwick and do sidewalks on both sides of the road …,” she said. “The good news is DelDOT has a capital project planned for 2024 that involves doing whatever is left over on both sides of the street.”

In 2019, Fenwick Island initiated the first phase of its sidewalk construction project, which includes about five or 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 first phase of the project themselves.

Last month, the Fenwick Island Town Council signed off on a contract with Century Engineering to begin the first phase of construction next fall. When asked this week why the town would not wait for the state-led project to commence, Carmean said she was eager to make the town’s business community pedestrian friendly.

“At least if we have one area where pedestrians can feel safe, I would feel better,” she said.

Carmean told committee members this week that town officials had also met with DelDOT representatives to outline the town’s need for lighting along Coastal Highway.

“What DelDOT is proposing as a quick fix is to attach lights along the existing Verizon poles for now …,” Town Manager Pat Schuchman added. “Once they go up, we would assume the cost of maintaining them.”

Carmean noted that the town had also requested a crossing system at Coastal Highway and Houston Street, as well as for DelDOT to evaluate the intersection of Coastal Highway and Bayard Street.

“We wanted to know if it could wrap into the sidewalk project,” she said.

The town has also requested a transition zone on the north side of Fenwick to address speeding.

“Right now we go from 55 mph to 35 mph …,” she said. “If we had a transition zone, the thought was this would not only be a safety thing but well appreciated by pedestrians.”

Schuchman told committee members the proposed transition zone, as well as temporary lighting, could be implemented soon.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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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.