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The Rodney Square revitalization project enters its final phase

Sophia Schmidt, Delaware Public Media

The first phase of the Rodney Square revitalization project broke ground in 2019- now 4 years later it enters phase 2.

This phase will complete much of the work that was begun in the first half of the project, including creating more green spaces, improving masonry and paving, and upgrading lighting and electrical systems.

Tina Betz, Director of Cultural Affairs for the City, says that their ultimate goal is to make the center of the city a more welcoming and accessible place.

“People will find that when you need respite in downtown Wilmington, this will be a place that will be attractive for that kind of activity,” said Betz. “In addition to large scale activities like the jazz festival, where we repositioned the stage so that it will offer a much better viewing opportunity for people who will come to events such as that.”

The Clifford Brown Jazz Festival will be held in the square in June as planned during a break in construction.

In general, Betz says that they do not anticipate any long term disruptions to pedestrians or street closures around the square throughout the duration of the project.

“Now we will be taking the square offline for some events during the Spring, the Summer, and maybe a little into the Fall,” she explained. “But events such as the Wednesday Farmers Market will continue to happen. We've been able to figure out how to make that work on Wednesdays.”

The new phase will also include the refurbishment of DART bus shelters on both 10th and 11th streets- though that work is not expected to affect bus schedules or stops at this time.

Phase 2 of the Rodney Square project will cost an estimated $4 million, and will be funded by the State of Delaware.

And work is expected to be completed no later than this September.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, and graduated from the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021.