Rt. 113 Bypass

The ongoing question of whether or not Millsboro needs a bypass to reduce the congestion that results from Rt. 24 being a major east, west route to and from the beach area, has once again bubbled to the top recently.

If you have ever sat through the back-ups, trying to get into Millsboro from the east, then you know that this is not some made up reason for government to build a new road. And no, it is not just in the summer, though of course that only adds to the problem. I know this because I travel that road everyday, both going west and east.

So if the congestion is real, who would oppose relieving it with a bypass?

Well of course the farmers whose land would be used oppose it, and it seems that a certain element of newly discovered environmentalist are concerned about the impact on local ponds, depending on which route were to be chosen.

I will not presume to comment on the farmers, they have every right to want to protect their land, and I can only imagine how having a bypass running through the middle of your farm would negatively impact your operation.

As for the environmental impact on the ponds? Well we need to remember that the ponds in question are not natural occurring phenomenon, they are man-made trapped ponds. So if it weren’t for man’s impact upon nature, these ponds wouldn’t even exist. So that in my view is of little importance.

So where is all of the resistance to the bypass actually coming from?

I believe that the majority of opposition is coming from two factions. The one being NIMBYs, the “not in my back yard” crowd. These are the same people who oppose the new chicken processing plant in Millsboro, the one that would create something like 700 new jobs. And of course the other would be the people who oppose anything that the government proposes.

Okay, we know the usual cries of those opposed, the cost, the imposition upon the people living there, in some cases you might even hear how the bypass would hurt the businesses in the downtown area, I don’t think that would be an issue here, since there are no businesses that rely on passers-by traffic.

So what are the positives of a bypass?

Well it would first, and foremost relieve the congestion. Is that enough? Well if you have sat through the back-ups it just might be.

However there are other reasons to build the bypass. The number one is that it would create jobs for a number of years. Hopefully not the thirty years that Gov. Markell said the project would take.

Pres. Eisenhower ushered in one of the nation’s largest and longest lasting booms by building the nation’s Interstate system of roads.

Now the people who oppose all things government will tell us that it is just government waste to build roads. But we know that our infrastructure is an ongoing responsibility that must always be updated and kept in good repair. We have seen bridges that have fallen, and roads that turn into parking lots during rush hours.

But for this type of project to have a real impact on the economy in a positive way, and not just another drag on the tax payer, a couple of things would have to change in Delaware. The first, and most important would be prevailing wage laws. This would open up the bidding process and allow for the best deal for the buck.

The other thing is that Delaware would have to rethink its study process. Should it really take ten years before a single shovel of dirt is turned? I think not. This process of doing impact study, after impact study before actually beginning the work is what leads to the government waste that so many oppose in these projects. If we could streamline the process, we could cut the over-all cost, and decrease the pain and impact on the surrounding communities of these projects.

I would say that it is not these types of government infrastructure projects per say, that are bad, but it is the layers of bureaucracy that have been added to the process over the years. It is time that we all, that being Republicans, Democrats, liberals and conservatives to realize that the process is broken and needs to be fixed.

We need to reduce the amount of time and cost that has been built into these projects, then and only then might we reduce the amount of opposition to them.


19 Comments on "Rt. 113 Bypass"

  1. kavips says:

    One of the bones of contention with highway planning is that the planners and opponents are working off two different time frames. If you currently have to sit in traffic, then the planning stage already was too slow. It should have been done long before and the road built long before, so that the traffic never became an issue…

    Planners see things as they will be. People living in the neighborhoods see things as they are now..

    Hence this argument. ‘I don’t see why we need a new road, things are fine now.”

    How will they be with a 10% increase? A 20% increase? A 30% increase? Questions like these are along the lines of how planners think. If you have 30 cars at a light, then with those increases, the numbers will be 33, 36, 39, at that same light as the number of cars rises proportionally. .

    Meaning that light will have to stay green longer to get the load through, meaning the side roads will have to remain red longer to get the load through, and they will have 10%, 20%, 30% more on them too.

    So obviously a new road is necessary. Without it, a 30 minute trip becomes 33, 36, 39 minute trip… Not just for you, but everyone else too.

    And if you pass through 30 lights on your trip, they turn into 33,36,39 lights over the same course… This of course slows down your trip even further. At 3 minutes extra per light, this addition would be added onto the above, costing you 9, 18, 27 extra minutes on top of the above delays…

    Effectively if you want to return to how life was, when you could just hop in your car and drive to town and return, you need these new roads desperately.

    That is the thought processes difference between planners and people living in the world of today.

  2. anonymous says:

    “The ongoing question? There’s no question – only planned delay.

    Well, so much for ‘Planners.’ The whole Rt 24 route from 113 to Rt 1, is a ‘lack of ‘Planning’ disaster. It’s the same old route that went for miles and decades, between woodlands from Midway to Millsboro. There’s a short stand of trees left. Now the road is over run with left, right and middle (suicide) turn lanes, whereby one has to concentrate more on where the road went, then where the traffic is. It’s like following a maze through intersections and all too many ingress, egress, over and over again. Night driving – good luck.

    Millsboro doesn’t slow you down. It brings you to a ‘nobody’s moving’ – standoff.

    As far as drive-by businesses, yes they are there, but don’t plan to go there and don’t expect to drive back at a safe or reasonable rate. Many accidents shut Rt 24 completely down until cleared. These conditions have been ongoing and growing worse for years and they call that – ‘Planning.’

    Mr. Knotts mentions ,” this process of doing impact study, after impact study before actually beginning the work…” – however, doesn’t hold up new access and overnight altering of the existing two lane Rt 24, to accommodate free-for-all over development.

    In the summer, at the Rt 1 end of 24, it’s a backup and 3-5 mph, bumper to bumper, Love Creek to Rt 1. Maybe those so-called “Planners” should ‘conduct their study’ at the local chicken plants, where millions of chickens and thousands of workers are moved in short order.

  3. Frank Knotts says:

    Kavips, makes a valid point, as does anon. Anon, I agree that the delays in actually making real changes that would alleviate some of the congestion are long over due, however, to believe that if only we could go back in time when there were less people here, and coming here, is just foolish. The people are here, and they are coming here, so it is up to us to decide how best to accommodate the traffic in a manner that best serves both our guest and those who live here hear round.

  4. Dave says:

    There is also the paradigm that if you build it they will come. The problem is, they will come regardless of whether you build it and to some extent, they are already here.

    I came from Fairfax County in Northern Virginia (more people than in the entire state of Delaware) and commuted daily to Washington DC. I also lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for many years. So I know traffic, congestion, etc. up close and personal. We don’t have that kind of traffic here. However, it is getting worse and it is shortsighted to not get busy with a bypass that will reduce the load on 24 and 1. Additionally, they should consider two lanes in each direction on 24 because even the bypass will not noticeably reduce 24 traffic.

  5. anonymous says:

    Local, intrastate and interstate travelers as well as emergency vehicle are forced to travel the same Sussex Roads, i.e. Rt 9, 24, 113, Rt 1. One could reference the woodlands and farms along these routes just a decade and two ago – to make the point – that yes, there was plenty of room for sensible development with interconnecting routes as well as new east/west and north/south alternative routes. Nothing but plain greed on the part of developers and the so called ‘planners’ have left these ancient routes with deadly consideration for those already using the routes as well as those to come.

    Rt 1 Rehoboth was farmland, as was Plantation Road – Rt 24, Rt 9, as well. Of course the people know DelDot failed. The people aren’t the ones wanting to live in the past; it’s the developers and DelDOT who have the people presently living along deadly overused two lane highways – that were suitable for traffic decades back. You seem to want to blame people – for the lack of County and State oversight and a Dept of Transportation system that favors developers by allowing development where the roads should have been placed to accommodate such growth.

    The people know where the fault lies – it always comes back to the government officials, who offer up the public safety, in return for their integrity as compromised officials, pretend engineers and failed planners.

    Do you know how people who live in those areas “accommodate the traffic” Mr. Knotts? By staying at home. Unlike the unsuspecting travelers, they know it means getting trapped in 5 mph traffic.

    An intersection on Rt 1 has 17 different lanes at one intersection. Ever get stranded on Rt 1 median strips – no traffic breaks in sight; or at intersections without traffic lights – which means not even being able to get onto above mentioned killer roadways.

    It wasn’t that a safe highway and local road systems could not have been established – they could have been, but the fact is, government officials do not serve the public interest, but served special interests instead.

    Expect the typical dog and pony show, then the same old story called, “More Governmental Failure.”

  6. Frank Knotts says:

    Dave agreed, the bypass will only lessen the problem on the 113 end of 24, we will still see backups at Rt.1 in the summer, but it is a start.
    anonymous, you state all the problems of the past, and I agree with you, government failed. Does that mean that we stop trying to solve the problem? What is your answer, beyond speaking of the past? And yes, I do blame the people, the people who fight all improvements, or attempts at improvements. You rail against developers, can you tell us how many intersections and other improvements to our local roads were paid for by the developers, or more accurately, the buyers of the developments?
    I am sorry, but you sound like an isolationist, you long for by-gone days that will never return. Instead of talking about past mistakes, and the way things were, we need to be talking about how to now solve the current situation.

  7. anonymous says:

    No , Mr. Knotts, anonymous is not stating, “all the problems of the past.”
    The few of many traffic and roadway problems one mentions, are what ‘actually exist today’ and are ‘today’s problems,” as everyone who drives along these major roadways will experience.

    Knotts asks, “Does that mean we stop trying to solve these problems?” as if they are something unsolvable – which is not the case. Highway engineering is not rock science. The dangerous conditions were ‘created’ and to this day exist, because ‘special interests’ were and ‘still are’ being served – before public highway transportation and safety.

    Anyone who travels the area, could show Mr. Knotts the present day traffic pattern disasters, of accidents waiting to happen.

    What’s the answer Mr. Knotts asks? Perhaps holding the persons responsible who use the public local, intrastate and interstate roadways, as zig zag egress, ingress mazes created for the benefit of ‘special interest’ dollars. Perhaps hiring honest, competent highway engineers, planners who would work in the ‘public’ interest, when hired to serve ‘public’ transportation and safety.

    Also consider the idiocy of only having one north/south passage way, (Route 1 from Old Landing Rd to Rehoboth entrance) for example. Have a look at google map, at the build up of commercial and housing areas recently built where relief routes could have gone, that is, if ‘public’ local, intrastate and interstate highway interests were served instead of development interests.

    And then there are the overflowing intersection disasters of what were previously ‘back routes,” Plantation and Postal Road, Old Landing and Warrington Road; Old Landing and Airport Rd. where signal-less intersections can back up for fifteen minutes, quarter mile waits in the summer, to white knuckle free-for-all intersections.

    Mr. Knotts asks, “can you tell us how many intersections and other improvements to our local roads were paid for by the developers, or more accurately, the buyers of the developments?” Mr. Knotts, you refer to present egress and ingress lane additions as “improvements” instead of what they actually are – access to more development without consideration of the volume, the safety, the flow of local, intrastate and interstate traffic at an expected and safe rate.

    What does that say to you, Mr. Knotts, when the speed limit sign says 50 mph and the traffic is moving at 3-5 mph?

    When the ONLY AVAILABLE ROUTES, such as Rt 9, Rt 24, Rt 1, Rt 113, consistently come to 3-5 mph standoffs; when said highway “Planning” results in a total lack of travel options, crossroad gridlock, lack of emergency travel, not to mention the pollution of vehicles idled along these ‘roadways,’ one can be certain, it is not ‘public transportation’ that has been, is being served.

    Again, Mr. Knotts, one makes no silly reference to ” days-gone-by” – you do. Instead, one does refer to the present day public highway transportation situation, as has been purposefully ‘created’ by over development and lack of “highway infrastructure ” to accommodate said over-development.

    Being blocked off by endless bumper to bumper crawling traffic; or at a crossroad without a light; or being stranded on a median strip due to endless traffic without a break; or idling through several series of 10 minute ‘timed’ intersection red lights, or watching emergency vehicles trapped in traffic jams – is describing what DelDOT ‘has created’ and ‘continues to create’ for today’s traveler – instead of a public transportation system.

    Mr. Knotts concludes by saying, ” we need to be talking about how to now solve the current situation.” Exactly Mr. Knotts. “Now” that there is over-development without prior consideration of the consequences. In contrast, the definition of Planning is, “A scheme, program, or method worked out beforehand for the accomplishment of an objective” So one asks Mr.Knotts, who is it, that the “Highway Planners” serve – the developers or the traveling public?

    And let’s not forget, Rt 9, Rt 24, Rt 1, Rt 113 are major, emergency evacuation routes, that can’t properly handle typical summer traffic.

    What is your plan, Mr. Knotts – to stop the public Dept of Transportation from continuing to serve development, before public transportation and safety. Kindly answer. And do explain, Mr. Knotts, who pays the price, when there is continuing over-development without consideration of safe public highway infrastructure?

  8. Dave says:

    I wonder if the County Council should have approved all those developments without adequate consideration of the infrastructure. Perhaps a county planner might have been able to address those issues, if there was only a county planner that is.

    The Dept of Transportation has little recourse when the county is one who approves the building. Why not ask the council what their views are? The current council is not about put the county’s welfare ahead of the private property rights (including the right to build). They have demonstrated time and time again that they will approve nearly anything for landowners.

  9. Frank Knotts says:

    So, anonymous, I think we can agree that the roads are congested. And yes in large part due to the amount of development. But since we can also agree that we can’t turn back the clock on that development we must now decide how to best serve the people currently.
    You seek to blame, when what we need are ideas. Please read my post again and you will see that I have pointed out that the past process is broken and the future process needs to be different.

  10. Mike Protack says:

    Moot issue, thanks to incompetent Democrats the Transportation Trust Fund is $3 billion in the hole for the next ten years.

    Delaware government under one stupid Dem administration after another = long waits on bad roads.

  11. Dave says:

    DelDOT’s operational budget is drawn from the TTF, not the General Fund like other state agencies. This was started in 1993 in a Republican General Assembly to cover shortfalls in the state’s operational budget. Prior to this the TTF was only supposed to pay for capital costs of building and maintaining the transportation network.

    Additionally, the demands due to development have increased dramatically, while the primary way of financing the TTF – the fuel tax – has not been raised in 17 years.

    So, who do you think is mostly responsible for preventing any tax increase, while promoting development, and effectively robbing Peter to pay Paul?

    The Dems, opposed to a tax increase? The Dems promoting development? Somehow that doesn’t sound like the Dems you rant and rave about. Dems are tax and spend right?

    Your continuous diatribes fail, because they originate with your beliefs, not with facts, data, and information. Perhaps if you would stop letting those beliefs drive your opinions, the opening of your mind might just recognize that it’s not a Democrat or Republican issue, it is a system that promotes development without regard for infrastructure and a failure to recognize that every time we build something there are real costs that must eventually be paid, whether it means building schools, roads, power, etc.

    There is no free lunch. If you want to fix the transportation issue, you have to consider increasing fuel taxes, tolls, etc. if you wish to meet the demand. If you don’t want to meet the demand, then fine, but you can’t have it both ways.

  12. Tuxamus Maximus says:

    House Tuxamus Maximus offers the following to all. TM’s make their own ‘bypass’ around some towns. They already exist if you are willing to drive the roads less traveled. When it was found that Millsboro had traffic issues on 24 a real ‘map’ (remember those folded paper devices) was consulted. The next time a TM was traveling from the beach area west on 24 the following route was taken. Once across the spillway bridge a right was taken (?name?of?road?) and the TM drove around Betts Pond, across 113 and then took RT 20 to where it met 24 just before getting Laurel. Nice enough drive really. Might be a mile or two longer but waiting time wasn’t an issue. Pretty much a no brainer and if anyone consults an old fashion MAP there are other ‘bypass’ type roads around other towns in Sussex.

    In the 10 years to come it’s only going to get worse. Travel your own bypass. Let those that must travel the roads most traveled wait in line. TM’s like to roll and that’s how it’s done.
    (Note to Mr. Knotts: even your work vehicle will handle rt.20)

  13. Tuxamus Maximus says:

    May all except the usual suspects have a great weekend!

  14. Frank Knotts says:

    Dave, you are correct, that to keep up with the development, we must be willing to pay the cost of keeping up with the infrastructure. I personally do not have a problem paying for better roads, as long as the money is not simply spent on long studies that have become nothing but money pits and delaying tactics of environmentalist. Maybe we conservatives would be less resistant if our tax dollars were not also being spent on needle programs and other programs that should never be the responsibility of government. Roads on the other hand is the responsibility of government.
    Also to address the point made about county council approving new developments with no regard of the impact on surrounding roads, well maybe if the county were still responsible for the county roads, there would not be this conflict of interest.

  15. Laffter says:

    If the developers want to develop and cause infrastructure to change, then why don’t the developers pay the IMPACT fees?

    Why is the delaware taxpayer footing the bill for developers ?

    Why doesn’t the county impose infrastructure fees on developers based on residential occupancies and increased traffic flows.
    I’m not anti- business or anti- development, but if what they are doing is causing the problem…them they should pay the cost of it

    Seems kinds reasonable to me….if I want to put an addition n my home,my neighborhood doesn’t pay for me to pull the permits….I do, as I am the one making the changes, therefore it’s my cost.

    It’s very simple, maybe too simple, the state and the county need to get on the same page for the betterment of everyone, including future generations and our quality of life.

    Peace out all!

  16. Tuxamus Maximus says:

    House Tuxamus Maximus awaits the day that Laffter writes something that isn’t agreed with here. It’s going to happen one day. Might involve something completely irrelevant to life, happiness and prosperity but one day it’s bound to happen. Until that day happens just know that when you comment the crowd roars “Laffter!” Laffter!” Laffter!”.

  17. mouse says:

    The proposed bypass is a defacto truck route for the chicken trucks to go to the plant. We could easily create a truck route with existing back roads and not allow them through Millsboro. Eliminate the parking on the street, widen the road and get rid of the traffic light on the east side of town. And maybe an overpass at 24 and 113. As far as crossing the man made ponds, these are called wet lands and the pond along with associated forest is one of the largest green areas in the state. Pave that over to move traffic to another choke point on 24 doesn’t seem to be a good solution to me. We need to preserve the natural green space, wetlands and forests that we have. The whole east side of the county is already like a giant generic plastic house refugee camp for out of state folks escaping taxes in other states..

  18. mouse says:

    Sussex County needs to have some skin in the game. The county collects a 1.5% transfer tax for every cookie cutter generic plastic treeless housing development that spread like cancer but pays nothing into roads, police, parks or schools..

  19. mouse says:

    The POS parasitic developers throwing up plastic abominations to the earth pay nothing. They come in LLC, hire illegals and build a house where if they can capture 5 cents by replacing a 2 by 4 with an engineered beam, they got it. They deliver these ugly generic plastic houses on flat bed trucks and throw them up in a few weeks. These aren’t local guys building homes, they are national real estate development companies and they could give a shit what their impact is.

Got something to say? Go for it!