Fenwick Sidewalk Design Efforts Advance

FENWICK ISLAND – Fenwick Island’s mayor said residents can expect to see engineers on town streets as plans move forward for a state sidewalk project.

During last week’s meeting of the Fenwick Island Town Council, Mayor Natalie Magdeburger detailed plans for a state-led sidewalk project along Coastal Highway. Following a meeting with the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) earlier this year, Magdeburger said the town was able to convince the state to accelerate its timeline.

“They are going to have engineers out in the next couple months looking at all the areas in town and coming up with a design,” she said. “If all goes well, they will move forward with a plan to build in the 2026 time period.”

This spring, the town began construction on a long-awaited sidewalk project. Using $600,000 in allocated funding, crews spent weeks installing sidewalks along five bayside blocks, beginning in front of Warren’s Station restaurant at Indian Street and moving south toward Dagsboro Street.

With the project now complete, officials say they continue to work with DelDOT to install walkways along the remainder of Coastal Highway.

In last Friday’s town council meeting, Magdeburger noted that funding for sidewalk design was initially proposed in the 2028-2029 budget cycle. After meeting with DelDOT officials, however, the agency agreed to assign money for design in 2026.

“The issue is while they have money now for the design, we are still in the schedule box for actual earmarked money for build in the 29-30 budget cycle,” Magdeburger added. “So again, we are pushing DelDOT to move us forward. They are going to make every attempt to do that. It’s going to depend on a lot of different factors. So if everything hits well, they would be expected to build in the fall of 2026.”

Magdeburger noted that DelDOT plans to build sidewalks along both sides of Coastal Highway, in both the incorporated and unincorporated sections of Fenwick Island. She said the town would work closely with Sussex County to coordinate efforts.

“In the unincorporated section of Fenwick, there may be some difficulties imposed there because there’s not a lot of room to put sidewalks. But they have the right-of-way,” she said. “So they allow businesses to use the state’s right-of-way until they want to use the state’s right-of-way. And they are going to want to put those sidewalks in.”

Magdeburger noted that while the sidewalks constructed this spring were a welcome addition to town, she was eager to see a continuous sidewalk on Coastal Highway.

“You can see we have bits and pieces on the east side and more bits than pieces on the west side,” she said. “Our goal is to have it contiguous throughout town so that our folks can walk and get to our businesses and get safely through our town.”

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.