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DART begins work on new Lewes transportation hub

Delaware’s beachside residents will soon have access to alternative transportation options.

State officials broke ground Wednesday on a new project that will help ease the congestion along Route 1 that happens every summer.

The Lewes Transit Center will be built along the highway, just south of Five Points. Delaware Transit Corporation CEO John Sisson says that placing this service north of Lewes will help folks avoid dealing with  beach traffic.

"So people coming from the west or the north can get on a bus at the park and ride and take advantage of the bike/bus lane to get down to the outlets, the avenue or the boardwalk, which will be faster than cars sitting in bumper to bumper traffic,” said Sisson.

The construction of the project will unfold in three phases. The first will create a Park-and-Ride area that contains 248 spaces that will be completed by summer 2017. That area will also come with security cameras and a bicycle rack and repair station.

The other two projects involve a bus maintenance area and a public space that includes a waiting area, tourist information and restrooms.

Sisson says these services are necessary as the population in and around the beach towns continues to grow -- and with it traffic.

“That area, which used to be more of a seasonal congestion issue, is turning into year-round congestion," said Sisson." You have a lot more retirees, a lot more people living down in that area, so this will give them more options to get around than just driving around in a car.”

The project was funded by DelDOT and a $5 million dollar grant from the Federal Transit Administration.

It is just one piece of DART’s ongoing efforts to ease congestion and help connect the beaches to other parts of the state.  DART added a route between Rehoboth Beach and Millsboro last month and has plans to create one between Dover and Lewes in 2017.

And this year DART will kickstart its weekend resort transit service three weeks early. The service operates along Route 1, between Five Points and the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk. 

Delaware Transit Corporation CEO John Sisson says these services are necessary as the population in and around the beach towns continues to grow -- and with it traffic.

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“That are, which used to be more of a seasonal congestion issue, is turning into year-round congestion. You have a lot more retirees, a lot more people living down in that area, so this will give them more options to get around than just driving around in a car.”

The new transit center is one piece of DART’s ongoing efforts to ease congestion and help connect the beaches to other parts of the state.  It added a route between Rehoboth Beach and Millsboro last month and has plans to create one between Dover and Lewes in 2017.

And this year DART will kickstart its weekend resort transit service three weeks early. The service operates along Route 1, between Five Points and the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk.