Two long-running Delaware highway projects to be completed sometime in 2018

Work continued on the US 301 project near Route 1 Tuesday

What appear to be never-ending construction projects in Delaware do have an end in sight. 

Take, for example, the Route 301 project in southern New Castle County.

The tangle of lane restrictions and construction at the Route 1 interchange was Governor John Carney's first stop Tuesday as he visited several transportation projects. According to his office, Delaware plans to invest $3.4 billion into transportation projects over the next six years.

"I want to remind everybody that these projects cost money, and that requires not just the approval of the projects but the appropriation of the money for those projects," Carney said.

The southern New Castle County project was discussed for years even before construction began. The main purpose was to alleviate truck traffic that makes its way through downtown Middletown and surrounding streets. Project Public Outreach Coordinator Ken Cimino said it will be a 13-mile limited-access highway with three interchanges.

Also, it will be a toll road.

"We expect that there will be much more traffic than the tolls we need to repay the loans," DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan said. "It's also going to be an economic benefit to the Transportation Trust Fund so we can continue to putting in state-of-the-art infrastructure in this area of the county."

When the US 301 project is completed sometime around December 2018, it will come as a great relief to residents in the area as well as local elected officials.

"My constituents have been quite vocal about the project," State Representative Kevin Hensley, R- 9th, said. "Overall, I give them kudos because they've been extraordinarily patient with the inconveniences that have happened from time to time - road closures and things of that nature."

Governor Carney's tour also included the South Frederica Interchange along Route 1, a main corridor to the Delaware beaches. That project is expected to wrap up in the summer of 2018.