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DelDOT seeks to ensure it stays on top of maintenance

Delaware Public Media

DelDOT is looking to return parts of its budget to normal, with federal COVID relief funds running out.

State budget officials are preparing Gov. John Carney’s recommended budget for 2023, and heard from the Department of Transportation Wednesday.

DelDOT is seeking over $16 million added to its operating budget from last year, but Secretary Nicole Majeski notes almost all of that is restoring state debt responsibilities that were lifted last year with the help of federal funding.

Majeski highlighted other funding requests, including several new positions to help with the maintenance of roads and traffic systems.

“We are seeing about 60 new devices added each year. So we’re gonna continue that inventory, that’s going to continue to increase — and the number of on-call maintenance trips that they are required to do is starting to increase as well,” said Majeski.

Staffing requests also include new positions in the Public Works department in southern Delaware, and more help on the special events team.

Majeski also presented DelDOT’s capital funding requests, focusing on greater road maintenance and sustainability projects.

DelDOT is nearing the end of its federal COVID relief funds, but new federal infrastructure money is coming to help repair the state’s aging highways and bridges.

Majeski adds some of those federal dollars are also tagged to help advance state environmental goals.

“We’re expecting about $3.5 million a year for five years for that specific EV infrastructure," she said. "So we’re really excited to again, use that in conjunction with our new division and with DNREC to kinda fill in the gaps within our transportation networks.”

Majeski is talking about DelDOT’s new Resilience and Sustainability division, which will also look at the impacts of sea level rise on Delaware’s infrastructure.

Overall, the state will receive $500 million over the next five years from the federal infrastructure bill.

Roman Battaglia is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Roman Battaglia grew up in Portland, Ore, and now reports for Delaware Public Media as a Report For America corps member. He focuses on politics, elections and legislation activity at the local, county and state levels.
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