Alfonso del Cristo Hilsaca Eljadue
Ground has been broken to enter the construction phase of the Park Avenue relocation project in Georgetown. DelDOT officials have been working on this project for a number of years – taking public comment at multiple workshops – including choosing the preferred design option out of six that were presented. This project has been a priority for the Sussex County Council which has spent the past 20 years acquiring property for the eventual relocation of Park Avenue.
The relocation has dual purpose – to make a safer and wider bypass road for trucks traveling from Route 9 to Route 113 and to allow the final expansion of the main runway, 4-22, at the Delaware Coastal Airport. Runway 4-22 was extended to 5000 feet long – a 500-foot extension in 2012-2013. The goal is to extend the runway another 500-feet to bring the main runway to 6000 feet and able to safely handle larger planes. This will also include continued upgrade of airfield lighting systems, improving aircraft storage options and increasing aircraft apron space. However, the relocation of Park Avenue was necessary in order for the second runway expansion to 6000-feet to occur.
Once the County Council listed the relocation of Park Avenue as a top priority, DelDOT began public workshops on this project in 2016. The preferred design option was selected in 2019. For the past 20 years, the Council Council has been working to acquire property for the relocation. Park Avenue will eventually connect with South Bedford Street in the area of Arrow Safety Road, where a roundabout will be constructed to better handle traffic. At the opposite end of Park Avenue the roadway will be widened with shoulders to better handle the trucks using the bypass from Route 9 to Route 113.
DelDOT Secretary Nicole Majeski says that funding for the relocation project is 80% from the federal government and 20% from the state. State Senator Brian Pettyjohn said this project has been a long time in the making – when it was being discussed back in the 1990s.
Since the first expansion of Runway 4-22, then Councilman Sam Wilson had one question to ask when DelDOT appeared before the Council – When are you going to do Park Avenue? Wilson was at the groundbreaking and Council President Mike Vincent told him. “We’re gonna do Park Avenue!”
While construction work is just beginning – the earth-movers and other large hardware have been arriving on the property over the past week or two. Construction on Phase 1 is expected to be completed sometime in 2023.