Transportation bill in Washington in response to roadway flooding
LEWES, Del. – Delaware Senator Tom Carper, along with DelDOT officials, were on hand in Lewes Monday talking about America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act of 2019, an act that could help Delaware address roadways that frequently flood.
“We have to try to do a better job of making sure that the roads that we have, the bridges that we have, are in some cases modified in order to withstand the challenges that come from tougher weather, rougher weather, and climate change and sea level rise,” Carper said during the half-hour event.
The bill would provide another avenue of funding for DelDOT to address the issue of frequently flooded roadways.
“It just gives us another funding alternative to do a project like this,” said Shante Hastings, the chief engineer for DelDOT.
Funding that would allow them to fix up roadways that experience flooding. Roadways like New Road in Lewes.
Locals we spoke with say they’ve seen first hand what it looks like when this area sees an abundant amount of rain.
“It seems to flood out constantly when we have a couple days of rain,” Lewes resident Fred Wright said. “When that road disappears, they tell you not to go on it, because you don’t know where it is, and how deep it is.”
The problem for locals is that New Road is an evacuation route for Lewes residents.
“When we have a hurricane or a nor’easter, this is how people get out. And we need them to be able to get out over this bridge,” Carper said.
Officials and residents hope this piece of legislation will soon pass through congress, so projects like New Road can get underway as soon as possible.
The Environmental and Public Works Committee voted unanimously to advance the American Transportation Infrastructure Act earlier this summer.
As for the New Road project, DelDOT officials tell us the project is in the early design phase and they expect construction to begin in 2024.
DelDOT says that to fix all roadways in the state that are affected by frequent flooding, the price tag would be $1.5 Billion.