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Sussex Countian
  • State rejects truck traffic restriction through Millsboro

  • Town officials have been sent back to the drawing board after the state rejected a proposed restriction on truck traffic on Del. Route 24 through Millsboro.
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  • Town officials have been sent back to the drawing board after the state rejected a proposed restriction on truck traffic on Del. Route 24 through Millsboro.
    In a recent letter to Sen. Brian Pettyjohn (R-Georgetown), Mark Luszcz, chief traffic engineer for the Delaware Department of Transportation, outlined the state’s position and said there are no “practical or reasonable alternative east-west roadways or routes that trucks would be diverted to if a truck restriction were applied to Del. Route 24.”
    The restriction was proposed in early October by Millsboro Town Councilman Greg Hastings as a means to alleviate worsening traffic conditions in 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.
    Hastings said truck and general traffic “basically comes to a gridlock every afternoon, affecting our town, our business, our growth, our cleanliness and public safety.”
    The councilman also said his proposal would not only alleviate traffic, but also force DelDOT to make upgrades to the roads on the alternate route.
    According to Luszcz, the Delaware Code gives municipalities local authority related to truck restrictions; however if the roadway in question is maintained by the state, the town must receive approval from DelDOT. Luszcz said upon learning that Millsboro officials planned to prepare an engineering study to justify the truck restriction, DelDOT evaluated the local roadway network and the expected impacts of such a restriction.
    “DelDOT will not approve the prohibition of trucks or the limitation of vehicle weights on Del. Route 24 within Millsboro,” Luszcz said. “While an engineering study may be undertaken, DelDOT does not expect there to be any compelling reasons found that would permit the approval of truck restrictions.”
    Luszcz said DelDOT is willing to work with the town to evaluate design modifications to roadways and intersections that would mitigate the impacts of trucks. Also, he pointed out that a bypass of Del. Route 24 is included in the preferred alternative proposed by the U.S. Route 113 Millsboro-South Area Study. However state legislators are fighting against this alternative because it involves the state acquiring private property.
    The Town Council has formed a committee to continue discussions with DelDOT regarding Millsboro’s traffic problems.
    “I’m suggesting the committee set up a meeting with DelDOT and say, ‘You didn’t like our suggestion, now tell us what we can do,’” said Mayor Bob Bryan. “We’ve got to do something. We can’t just sit here any longer. If DelDOT says we can’t restrict truck traffic, they should tell us what we can do.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Hastings said he has not given up on his proposal; but he’s unsure how the committee will move forward.
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