The city of Delaware continues to provide information about its Moving Delaware Forward initiative that heavily depends on the outcome of an income tax levy in the Nov. 8 general election.
Delaware voters are asked to increase the income tax from 1.85 percent to 2 percent. The additional 0.15 increase would generate $2.2 million used solely to update the city’s transportation system, according to city officials.
The city has identified nine priority projects including updates at the intersection of U.S. Route 36 and state Route 37, known locally as The Point. The $23 million project would establish a four-lane capacity below a new railway structure, including pedestrian access on both sides of the roadway.
“Currently there’s 27,000 to 30,000 vehicles per day that run through there that traffic is only going to increase as Delaware continues to grow,” said Bill Ferrigno, city engineer and public works director, in a video on the Delaware’s Youtube page.
Ferrigno said 6.5 to 8.5 percent of total traffic in that area is truck-related and less than 1 percent is from the Kroger Distribution facility on routes 37/36.
“The majority of the traffic that leads to congestion is our local commuter traffic,” Ferrigno said.
He added improvements to The Point would cost about $5 million in local investment and take about five years to complete, while a bypass would require up to $15 million in local investment and take 15 to 20 years to complete.
In another video, Ferrigno highlighted road conditions. About 40 percent of local roads constructed before 1995 are in poor condition using figures, he said citing a pavement rating report drafted by the city’s public works department.
“We don’t have the funding to take care of the majority of those streets,” he said. “The majority of money we do have has to take care of our arterial streets, our collector streets, leaving the local streets unfunded right now.”
Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.