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Politics & Government

Federal infrastructure dollars directed to Sussex County transportation projects

Federal, state and local officials break ground on an infrastructure project near Georgetown.
Katie Grasso
Office of US Senator Tom Carper
Federal, state and local officials, including US Senator Tom Carper, DelDOT Secretary Nicole Majeski and State Sen. Brian Pettyjohn, break ground on a project outside Georgetown.

Sen. Tom Carper and Delaware Transportation Secretary Nicole Majeski toured Sussex County infrastructure projects slated to receive federal dollars Tuesday.

Those projects include the relocation of a truck route in Georgetown to make safety improvements and allow for an expansion of a runway at the Delaware Coastal Airport.

Majeski says the Georgetown project is the result of years of discussions with local partners. She argues adding a roundabout to a key truck route project can resolve long-standing concerns about driver safety.

“What’s great about this project is that it’s not only a safety project," she said. "It will help with congestion management, it will help us improve freight movement, and it is going to spur economic development. It is covering a lot of bases for us.”

State Sen. Bryan Pettyjohn (R-Georgetown) says one of those projects – expansion of a Delaware Coastal Airport runway that includes moving and making safety improvements to a truck route in Georgetown – has been in the works for years.

“I remember this being talked about back in the early 90s," he said. "I grew up about a mile and a half over that way, and I remember dad coming home from a workshop about this happening.”

Pettyjohn adds the project could enable Aloft Aeroarchitects, a local firm that outfits the interiors of jets, to attract new customers and hire more employees. The federal government will pay for 80% of the $25.5 million project, with the rest coming from Delaware’s Transportation Trust Fund and local partners.

The first phase of construction in Georgetown is estimated to cost $25.5 million; federal dollars will cover 80 percent of the total.

Another project will add new bus bays, electric vehicle charging stations and a solar-powered microgrid at the Rehoboth Beach Park and Ride.

That will cost an estimated $12 million - with a federal grant covering $5.4 million of that price tag.