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Dewey hopes to make resort safer with public safety projects

Delaware Public Media

A series of public safety projects are underway in Dewey Beach.

The Town of Dewey and DelDOT are already installing a center island barrier on Route 1 from Saulsbury Street to Read Street.

“It’s to enhance the look of the center island and at the same time put up a safety-type of barrier to keep people from jaywalking," said Town Manager Bill Zolper. "When I say barrier, it’s not a fence or anything. They’re going to be nautical looking posts like you’d see in a marina, with two, tick ropes running from  post to post.” 

Zolper says if the post-and-rope barrier system proves successful, it could be extended in the future.

The project started the last week of November and will take a little over 2 months to complete. Mulch, trees and plants will be added next spring.

Zolper says when he came on board in February improving safety was one of his main goals.

“I wanted to slow everybody down from 35- to 25-miles-per-hour. So with the help of DelDOT, Dewey Beach Police and with our Commissioners, we were able to bring the speed from 35 (mph) down to 25 (mph) through the Town; so that’s helped. You can tell folks are driving slower when they come through Town," said Zolper. "The other thing we’ve done is - all the crosswalks are marked now; we had them painted with “pedestrian crossing” for each one of the crosswalks.” 

Other public safety projects include adding more light poles in the median, putting in additional street lights and adding a single white line before the crosswalks to try to keep motorists from changing lanes as they approach crosswalks.

The town is also replacing some stop signs with larger signs and updating parking and other road signs for a more uniform look.

The projects cost a combined $478,000, with a large portion coming from DelDOT. Dewey is kicking in $35,000 and additional money is coming from the State Community Transportation Fund (CTF).

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.