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DelDOT waiting to clear final hurdle to starting Route 301 project

Delaware Public Media

Delaware Department of Transportation officials say a federal decision on a loan application to start expanding Route 301 further north is expected soon.

DelDOT says it’s a matter of weeks before they learn whether or not they can start construction on the most significant road project the state has seen in years.

Right now, the expressway portion of Route 301 currently ends just before Middletown.

If a $211 million loan from the federal government is approved, a highway will eventually connect with Route 1, a major artery that connects the state to the rest of the northeast corridor.

“Everything looks good. We’ve provided them with everything they need. We’re just hoping to get the approval letter from [U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx] because it’s not over and it is not approved until we get that letter,” said DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan.

The more than $400 million project heavily relies on tolls – mostly from truck traffic – to bankroll itself, but Cohan says traffic projections can fluctuate up to 20 percent without affecting the state’s capital budget.

She says she expects to have a final decision on the loan application in about two or three weeks.