By Jim Hilgen 9:23pm, July 9, 2013 - Updated 9:32am, July 10, 2013
Interview with Jim Pappas, DelDOT engineerMotorists using Route 40 in Bear should expect a tougher commute when the road closes next month.
DelDOT and Norfolk Southern will raise the rail bed and replace the deteriorated drainage system at the crossing on 40, east of Route 72.
DelDOT's Jim Pappas says motorists should expect Route 40 to be closed from August 9-26th.
"That's a maximum time period. That's where Route 40 will be completely shut down for the work to take place. In advance of that, we're looking at approximately August 5th, we will come in and probably start doing some work with some lane closures where we can start some of that drainage work," says Pappas.
Pappas says the upgrade has been under discussion for several years.
"Just because of all the coordination that is involved, about six months ago was when it all came together and we said, 'OK we're going to get signatures and everybody will be able to get this done.' So that's when we kind of ramped up our design work," Pappas says.
The work will raise the rail bed five to six inches and replace the rusted out corrugated steel drainage pipes with a system using concrete pipes.
DelDOT will also add ADA compliant sidewalks with crossing gates to provide a safe crossing for pedestrians.
According to Pappas, local detours will be posted.
"We are going to discourage as much as possible people going through residential areas. But we also know the locals are going to find their way around. But there are going to be specifically approved DelDOT detour plans available," says Pappas.
He adds that DelDOT will encourage motorists using I-95 to bypass the area completely.
Arrangements are in place to make sure local businesses can remain open during the construction.
The one-million-dollar project is being paid for with federal funds that have been set aside specifically for railway construction.
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