Until town officials meet next month with the Delaware Department of Transportation and state legislators, consideration of a restriction on truck traffic through Millsboro has been tabled.

Until town officials meet next month with the Delaware Department of Transportation and state legislators, consideration of a restriction on truck traffic through Millsboro has been tabled.

During last month’s Millsboro Town Council regular meeting, Councilman Greg Hastings proposed the restriction as a means to alleviate worsening traffic conditions on Del. Route 24 through the town. Hastings proposed the town redirect large trucks of a certain size caliber weight load north on Del. Route 30 to Zoar Road, where they will turn left and access U.S. Route 113 by making another left on Governor Stockley Road.

More than 20 Millsboro and Georgetown residents who live on Zoar and Governor Stockley roads submitted a joint letter to the town on Oct. 24 voicing their opposition to Hastings’ proposal.

In the letter, the residents say Zoar Road already sees an exorbitant amount of traffic due to its use by residents in nearby beach developments, vehicles traveling to Sussex Central High School, emergency responders housed at the Stockley Center and area farmers moving their large equipment from field to field.

“Transferring Millsboro traffic problems to an already busy Zoar Road then becomes a Zoar Road traffic issue,” the letter states. “No, thank you. Don’t make Millsboro traffic issues our traffic issues.”

Concerns have also been raised regarding businesses affected by the truck restriction. Councilman John Thoroughgood, owner of Thoro-Good’s Concrete Company in Millsboro, said he would have to drive 20 miles to reach one of his regular drop-offs located just two miles from his business.

At the Nov. 4 regular meeting of the council, Hastings said unless the “blue alternative” bypass proposed by DelDOT as a result of the U.S. Route 113 Millsboro-South Area Study is approved, restricting truck traffic through town is “the best we can offer.”

“If this is a problem, and if DelDOT finds it to be a problem, then we need to fast track this blue route,” Hastings said to residents. “You folks need to get on board and contact our legislators to approve that bypass.”

The blue alternative is one of several state proposals under consideration to alleviate current and future traffic congestion along the U.S. Route 113 stretch in Millsboro. This option is a 16.5-mile, four-lane, limited access highway that bypasses Millsboro, Dagsboro and Frankford on the east. The plan includes connectors on Del. Routes 24 and 26, as well as interchange access points at Del. Routes 30, 24, 25 and 20, east of the existing U.S. Route 113.

All of the alternatives, apart from the no-build alternative and yellow on-alignment alternative that widens the existing highway, involve private property acquisition and over-water construction.

State legislators representing the Millsboro area have made it clear they are not on board with the blue alternative.

At a Sept. 18 public hearing in Millsboro hosted by DelDOT, Rep. John Atkins (D-Millsboro) said he does not support any alternatives that involve the state acquiring private property. He said it’s his recommendation that the bypass be moved about a mile north of U.S. Route 113, where most of the land is currently state-owned.

However, Hastings said throwing out all of the alternatives would render useless the work conducted over the last near decade in the U.S. Route 113 Millsboro-South Area Study, pulling the state and the town back to square one.

Councilman Tim Hodges said if the state decides to throw out the blue alternative, Millsboro will be left to its own agenda.

“Stopping the trucks is not the end-all solution, however it will help,” Hodges said. “Somehow we need to get some traffic solutions for the town.”

The meeting between the council, DelDOT and state legislators is scheduled for Dec. 2 in the South District Building in Georgetown. The meeting is closed to the public.