The Delaware Department of Transportation plans major programs and projects in the next year, and is looking for the money to fund them.
DelDOT is pushing forward with several initiatives despite lower than expected revenues because of COVID-19.
DelDOT Secretary Nicole Majeski says toll revenues plummeted in the spring and remain down even now.
“Traffic across the state was down anywhere between 50 percent and 70 percent during the height of the pandemic," said Majeski. "Right now we’re seeing it down about 10 to 15 percent so we still have not fully recovered from where we were pre COVID.”
Majeski says it could take another two to three years to fully recover to previous revenue levels.
The list of initiatives on DelDOT's plate includes continuation of its $4 billion capital program and the Restore the Corridor project, performing needed repairs on bridges, ramps and roads along the I-95 corridor in Wilmington.
DelDOT is seeking over $62 million more than last year, but Secretary Nicole Majeski says the reason for that is to keep public transportation funding stable.
“It does look substantially larger than our current Fiscal Year’s budget, but that is mainly to restore the annual subsidy to DTC [Delaware Transit Corporation] that we did lower because of that CARES Act money.”
Without that restoration of public transit funding, the increase shrinks to around $9 million total. Nearly $4 million of that is to help DART transit operations cover a decline in toll revenue this year.
DelDOT starts its massive, 3-year I-95 rehabilitation project in Wilmington this spring.
Majeski adds she’d also like to begin studying congestion along the state’s east-west corridor after the success of the Five Points study in Sussex County.