Fenwick Exploring Design Proposals For Median Work

FENWICK ISLAND – A Fenwick Island Committee has agreed to forward its proposal for a median project to the town council for further discussion and approval.

Last week, the Fenwick Island Pedestrian Safety Committee voted unanimously to bring a design proposal for the town’s median improvement project back to the Fenwick Island Town Council for further approval. Following a discussion with the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), committee members agreed to replace some of the proposed shrubbery with native plants but to keep the crepe myrtles that were originally in its design.

“This may be a way to build in a native plant in that area and check that box while still maintaining that wow factor in the medians,” Mayor Natalie Magdeburger said.

Earlier this fall, a group of Fenwick Island residents came before the Fenwick Island Town Council seeking support for a median improvement project that includes new landscaping along the north end of Coastal Highway. The council ultimately voted to provide funding for the project and to assist the group in seeking approval from DelDOT.

Magdeburger told committee members last week that she had presented the landscape design to DelDOT representatives, who had shared their desires to see more native plants in the median instead of the proposed crepe myrtle trees. While she suggested changing some of the shrubbery with native plants, she said she still wanted to include the crepe myrtles.

“The idea with Complete Streets is you want to create a median setting that distinguishes you from the highway you are coming from, so when you cross this border into town you are immediately setting this visual, that this is a neighborhood …,” she said. “You want to visually stimulate the driver to slow down … What was presented had that wow factor.”

Magdeburger told committee members DelDOT’s comments on the median project were simply a suggestion, not a requirement. She noted, however, that DelDOT would need to approve the final design.

“I need to get approval from DelDOT,” she said. “That would be the key.”

Magdeburger said the town would also need to decide if it was going to plant sod or grass seed in the median. She suggested the council discuss it further.

To that end, the committee voted unanimously to forward the median design, which will include both native plants and the crepe myrtles, to the town council for further discussion and approval.

“I think the implementation we would defer until the spring,” Councilman Ed Bishop said.

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.