Maryland, Delaware Officials Meet To Discuss 301 Traffic Diversion
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2019
CECILTON, MD. – Officials from agencies in Maryland and Delaware gathered in Cecilton Wednesday to discuss the ongoing traffic diversion issues in the southern portions of Cecil County as a result of the opening of the new U.S. Route 301 bypass in Delaware in mid-January.
Representatives from Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDot), Delaware State Police and New Castle County Sheriff’s Office, Cecil County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), Cecil County Government, the towns of Cecilton and Galena, and the Maryland State Highway Administration (MdSHA) openly talked about the increased problematic truck traffic and attempts to avoid the new tolls that are destroying Cecil County roadways, primarily in the Warwick-Cecilton area, not designed to handle the volume or size. Car traffic has also increased significantly on county roads in the area.
DelDot illustrated the decades-long history of the project in a presentation and offered reasoning and travel statistics deduced from various studies over the years prior to construction. Public outcry from many Cecil County residents has prompted the agency to re-evaluate three areas that feed in to the County: Strawberry Lane (which becomes Wilson Street), Edgar Price Road, and Sassafras Road.
Possible solutions mentioned include a need for more signage on the Delaware side, increased patrols and fines, the implementation of a reduced-fee EZ-pass option and even barricades to block through traffic coming from Delaware. While law enforcement agencies from both states agree that increased patrols and fining would be helpful, and an eventual deterrent, lack of staffing was the major factor.
“We simply do not have the manpower to have an officer sitting down here around the clock to catch these people who are coming into the County creating the problems,” explained Major George Stanko, CCSO.
Cecilton Mayor Joseph Zang adamantly stressed to the group that while road conditions and traffic volume are obvious concerns and need to be addressed, the bigger worry revolves around public safety.
Mary Cooper, Town Administrator for Cecilton, urged DelDot and MdSHA to hold a public meeting to allow residents to voice their concerns and both parties were amenable to the idea.
County Councilman Al Miller, speaking on behalf of the ag community, noted that the increased truck traffic is giving farmers immeasurable issues to contend with when operating their equipment and maintaining their land.
DelDot and MdSHA have agreed to meet with Cecil County Roads Division Chief Dan Webber to discuss possible funding for repairs and maintenance on County roads, as well as other ideas and alternatives in the coming weeks.
“County Executive McCarthy is very concerned about the adverse impacts on Cecil County roads,” said Al Wein, Cecil County Director of Administration. “We need to work together to seek solutions in a timely manner.”
More information and a notice of public meeting will be announced as details become available. In the meantime, motorists and citizens are encouraged to contact DelDot (https://www.deldot.gov/information/projects/us301/) and MdSHA (https://www.roads.maryland.gov/Home.aspx).
Photo: Portions of Edgar Price Road, recently destroyed by increased truck traffic diverting from U.S. Route 301 in Delaware, were on display at Wednesday’s meeting.
Public Information Officer