One day ahead of schedule, and at the start of today’s busy rush-hour traffic, the Delaware Department of Transportation opened up two lanes of southbound traffic on Route 141/Centre Rd. between Route 100 and Lancaster Pike.
Travelers cheered and pumped their fists as TSD snapped the first pictures of DelDot’s rolling roadblock, which guided the first cars down 141 South beginning at 3:30 pm today.
Simultaneously, entrance ramps to 141 South from Route 52 North and South were also opened today. And maintenance and traffic officers also rolled the bright orange and white barrels out of the way at the Barley Mill Road intersection, which is now open right turns to and from 141 South.
This Tuesday, Nov 20th, marks one more milestone in Phase 4 of the Route 141 project. On that day the second lane of northbound traffic on 141 will be open to vehicular traffic, and drivers will be able to make left turns to/from 141 North to/from Barley Mill Rd.
DelDOT needs a few more days to adjust the traffic lights at the Barley Mill, Montchanin Road and Lancaster Pike intersections before all lanes of traffic are finally opened. “Our crews also need to make sure all signage is correct, striping is correct, and that the roadways have the necessary safety features,” said DelDOT spokesman C.R. McLeod.
DelDOT is happy they fulfilled their promise to drivers to open the busy road by November 15th. “The R.E. Pierson team has done an excellent job getting the first four phases of this project done, which has been challenging due to the high volume of traffic on this road and the very wet year we have had,” said Secretary Cohan.
In an average year, Wilmington receives 42.79 inches of rainfall. Through Nov 10th, Wilmington has already received 48.8 inches of rain.
While every day of construction has served as a reminder of the inconvenience, C.R. McLeod said the entire project has actually been expeditious. “This was absolutely the fastest way to do this project. There were other options we considered. But if we hadn’t taken this approach, we would have seen lane restrictions for 2-3 years,” he said.
As TSD has reported, the 1.4-mile stretch of 141 that has been under construction since last October is one of the most heavily traveled sections of roadway in New Castle County. The detours have caused headaches for commuters for 13 months.
Phase 5 of the project, which is projected to begin in March 2019, will include stormwater pond rehabilitation, landscaping along the median and alongside the roadways, rehabilitation and paving on the multi-use path along the roadway, and repaving the Lancaster Pike intersection and approaches to the new roadway in both directions.
This work will require intermittent lane and shoulder closures — but not during rush hour and not for more than a few hours each day — and is expected to take eight weeks.