For decades it has served as a bottleneck for generations of Sussex County-bound beach-goers, but no longer.

State officials gathered Tuesday, August 13, 2019, to cut a ceremonial ribbon putting a bow on the $40 million Route 1 by-pass at Little Heaven.

Governor John Carney said this interchange improvement was a long time coming.

"One of the most important jobs of the governor and the state government is to make sure we have transportation systems that work for folks. Part of that is to eliminate traffic where it exists. Part of that is creating connectivity for businesses and communities and that's exactly what this improvement does.

"It's great for thru traffic but more importantly it's really good for this general area and the residents who live here."

The old Route 1 had limited the ability of local residents to move between Little Heaven, Bowers Beach and Magnolia, especially on beach weekends.

Ed Hallock has lived in Little Heaven since 1960 and he's seen beach traffic increase to the point where he said it was 'outrageous.'

He said the three-year construction project was worth it.

"It is much nicer, I have to admit. I do enjoy being able to come out and head to Magnolia. I had to do it this morning to get my paper. It's much nicer not having to wait for the traffic and all that."

Hallock said over the years the locals just learned to adapt.

"Try to get all your shopping done on Thursday and then hope you didn't have to go out."

State Senator Colin Bonini was even more succinct in his reasons to be glad the project was completed.

"The bottom line is it's now a lot easier to get to the Magnolia diner."

TrafficWatch & News Reporter for WDEL/WSTW 1989 - 1993 and back again for Round Two starting in February, 2015 after spending a decade in Chicago and another six years in Boston.