DelDOT Secretary Cohan on current and future road projects
It’s been just over a year since DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan was sworn into office And the start of her tenure has coincided with a string of new transportation projects.
Some were long-awaited projects, like the 301 toll road and the I-95/Route 141 interchange. Ground has also been broken on the Lewes Transit Center project and a bridge to help reduce flooding in the Prime Hook community.
Cohan says the increased funding for state’s capital transportation program helped move these projects forward. DelDOT’s revenue package last year brought in $390 million. And the recently passed federal FAST Act to improve transportation infrastructure provided the state agency $75 million over the next five years.
Cohan says getting that kind of federal funding is crucial.
“It’s kind of hard to a multi year project if you’re not sure if the federal funding is going to be there. Most of our projects are 80 percent federally funded and 20 percent state funded," said Cohan.
These projects are all, in some way, a response to state’s growing population. And Cohan says it’s an issue that’s not going away, especially in the southern parts of the state.
“Down in Sussex County specifically, we got the cart before the horse with development," she said. "We’re trying to make up for lost time down there.”
The new projects now underway are possible thanks to increased funding in the state’s capital transportation program.
Cohan says there’s more to come. Later this year, DelOT is slated to start on the state’s first diverging diamond interchange, which will be constructed at Route 72 and Route 1. This innovative intersection is designed to allows motorists to make free left turns without having to cross opposing traffic, resulting in less congestion, a faster flow of traffic and increased safety.