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Federal funding will help infrastructure on Wilmington Riverfront

Sophia Schmidt
Delaware Public Media

Wilmington will receive federal funding for a major piece of infrastructure work.

The Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity or RAISE discretionary grants program is sending $17 million to Wilmington’s Riverfront Transportation Infrastructure project.

That’s for work on the east side of the Riverfront, including traffic signals along South Market Street, more stop signs, and improvements to stormwater management to prevent flooding.

The project will also create an expanded network of roads branching from South Market Street as well as new pathways, extending the grid system for cars, cyclists and pedestrians.

Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki says this all needed to move forward with any development there.

"If you look right across from where the 76ers Fieldhouse is, the Chase Fieldhouse, right across the street from where the restaurants are we've got all that land over there that we want to develop, but the smart way to do it is to build the infrastructure first so that the road network is in place and you don't wind up with a developer going over there and kind of messing up the whole grid system because they're not committed to that grid system," said Purzycki.

The project will also include more on-street parking spaces, multi-use recreational piers along the Christina riverfront, and two greenways.

DelDOT’s director of community relations C.R. McLeod says it’s the next step after completing the Margaret Rose Henry Bridge that connects the two sides of the riverfront.

"Ensuring that we've got upgraded roads and approaches to this new bridge and then also making a lot of investments there along South Market Street along where the new 76ers Fieldhouse is also ensuring that we've got the appropriate drainage in place that's been a long-standing issue to address any flooding concerns,"

This project in Wilmington is one of 90 funded in 47 states, DC and Guam. Overall, RAISE is investing a total of one billion dollars in infrastructure during FY 21.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.