The city of Delaware has identified and publicized nine priority projects as part of its “Moving Delaware Forward” initiative that will require a voter-approved increase in the city’s income tax rate.
But the proposed road and maintenance improvements just make up a fraction of the more than 60 tentative projects that city is working towards finalizing before the November election. Bill Ferrigno, director of public works/city engineer, provided The Gazette a draft list of the 2016 transportation plan’s roadway improvement projects.
“The document is under review by staff and council committee at this point so I can’t say what the final version will look like once all comments have been received and addressed,” he said. “Several projects have been removed that are either completed, in process of being completed, or deemed no longer necessary due to changing network connectivity requirements. There are also a few new projects added.”
The city’s plan to revamp its transportation system depends on City Council to place 0.15 percent rate increase of its income tax on the ballot in November. Council is expected to have its fourth reading of the legislation at its next meeting.
If the legislation moves forward with council and voter approval, the income tax rate would jump from 1.85 percent to 2 percent to generate an additional $2.2 million annually. That money would be spent on top of the $1.92 million the city now spends each year on road resurfacing and maintenance.
“The remaining projects could be funded through a combination of levy, gas tax, state, federal and private development dollars,” Ferrigno said. “We should have the final draft before either council or back to the [public works] committee in the next two to three months, with a goal of adopting before fall elections.”
Projects were broken down by region.
The southwest side of Delaware has the most tentative projects at 19, including improvement of the West William and Curtis streets intersection, a priority project that would establish dedicated left-turn lanes. Other projects include extensions at Jegs Boulevard, Colomet Drive, Boulder Drive, McWherter Court and intersection improvements at U.S. 23 and Hawthorn Boulevard; U.S. 23 and Stratford Drive; and Section Line Road and Pittsburgh Drive.
The city’s northwest side has 18 projects, including priority extensions of Valleyside Drive and Merrick Boulevard and Troy Road realignment. In addition, there are proposed reconstructions of West Central Avenue and West William Street; and extensions of North Houk Road, Rutherford Avenue and Heritage/Hope Lane.
There are 15 projects proposed for the southeast side. The U.S. 23-Stratford Road connector is a priority project for that area. Proposed projects for the area also includes improvements for the South-East Bypass improvement; throughout Glenn Parkway; reconstruction of Glenn Road from Curve to Mill Run roads and extension of Nutter Lane.
The northeast side has 10 tentative projects that includes improvements to The Point, or the intersection of routes 36 and 37, which would establish a four lanes below a new railway structure, including pedestrian access on both sides of the road. There are also proposed improvements for Glenn Road and extensions of Britanny Drive, Vernon Avenue, Ferguson Drive and Biltmore Drive.