DelDot to Provide Cecil County with Funds for Road Repairs Related to U.S. 301 Toll Diversion
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 22, 2019
ELKTON, MD. -- Cecil County Executive Dr. Alan J. McCarthy is pleased to announce that he has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Jennifer Cohan, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), pursuant to which DelDOT will provide the County with over $1.2 million dollars to mitigate damage to Cecil County’s local road network resulting from the opening on January 10, 2019 of the new U.S. Route 301 segment in Delaware.
As the MOU states, “Since the opening of the Delaware portion of the new U.S. Route 301 there has been a heavy increase in truck traffic diverting on to local roads in Cecil County from U.S. 301 as those trucks seek to avoid the toll that begins at the Maryland/Delaware border.”
Additionally, the MOU recognizes that “due to the increase in truck traffic diverting on local roads in Cecil County from U.S. Route 301, pavement on local roads in Cecil County including Wilson Street, Sassafras Road, and Edgar Price Road have been damaged.”
In addition to truck enforcement efforts and signage put in place by both DelDOT and the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), Cecil County Government requested that DelDOT provide funds to repair the damage caused by toll diverters to Wilson Street, Sassafras Road and a portion of Edgar Price Road. The executed MOU provides for DelDOT to make a one-time payment of $1,228,018.30 to Cecil County for these repairs. While some drainage work on Wilson Street will occur this Fall/Winter, the paving work will most likely not be initiated until spring 2020.
Cecil County has determined that Edgar Price Road will remain closed through the winter. During this closure, access will be permitted for emergency vehicles as well as agricultural equipment. The County will formulate a plan for the repair/restoration of Edgar Price Road that will be vetted as part of the FY 2021 Capital Improvement Program process.
Dr. McCarthy, through ongoing discussions with Secretary Cohan, is continuing to propose more long-term solutions for this matter such as the establishment of an expanded commuter plan similar to the plan in place on the Hatem Bridge that carries U.S. Route 40 over the Susquehanna River between Perryville and Havre De Grace. The reasoning behind the suggestion is that it would result in the majority of traffic remaining on U.S. Route 301 resulting in the concomitant reduction in toll diversion on the local roads in Cecil County.
Although Secretary Cohan has indicated that borrowing regulations underlying funding for the new U.S. Route 301 preclude imminent implementation of an expanded commuter plan, the concept is something that DelDot is amenable to taking a closer look at in several years after there is a clearer picture of the revenues required to pay the debt service on the new U.S. Route 301 project. DelDOT has also informed Cecil County that equipment will be installed within a year that will have the capability to photograph and cite truck traffic violating the restrictions on Strawberry Lane prior to entering Wilson Street.
County Executive McCarthy has stated that “I am greatly concerned by the detrimental impact that the opening of U.S. Route 301 has had on the county’s local road network and the effect toll diversion has had on the village of Warwick and the town of Cecilton, the regional community, and our agricultural operations in the vicinity. I pledge to work tirelessly to find a solution that is mutually beneficial to Cecil County, our residents, and to DelDOT. The present situation is untenable and we must all work together in a collaborative manner to ensure that our citizens have their quality of life restored.”
Public Information Officer
Cecil County Government