Lifetime CDL Ban for Human Trafficking Conviction Signed Into Law

Governor John Carney has signed Senate Bill 223 into law, bringing Delaware into compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s “No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act” by creating a lifetime disqualification for a commercial driver’s license if the individual engages in human trafficking while using a motor vehicle.

Human trafficking activities have often been facilitated using commercial trucks or buses. The commercial motor vehicle industry is uniquely positioned to assist in the fight against human trafficking, by detecting and reporting this abhorrent crime. By enforcing a lifetime ban on any commercial motor vehicle driver convicted of human trafficking, this bill will send a strong message and deterrent regarding this behavior.

“Sadly, human trafficking is real and can happen in any community,” said Governor John Carney. “It’s our responsibility to continue to bring it out of the shadows and take action to stop this horrible crime. Thank you to the members of the General Assembly for their unanimous support of this important legislation.”

State Senator Stephanie L. Hansen, the lead Senate sponsor of the bill said, “My colleagues and I in the Delaware General Assembly are committed to the fight against human trafficking and bringing to justice those who profit from the misery and enslavement of others. Senate Bill 223 gives our state yet another tool for combating this vile practice on our roadways and in our communities. I commend DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan for bringing this legislation to my attention and Governor John Carney for signing it into law.”

“Human trafficking is a reprehensible practice that needs to be eliminated from our society. We need to use every tool at our discretion to combat it,” said Rep. Ed Osienski, the lead House sponsor of SB 223. “By establishing a lifetime ban for commercial drivers who engage in human trafficking, we are sending a clear message that Delaware won’t tolerate this activity in our state. While I’m frustrated that such a law is necessary, I’m grateful that we are taking decisive action.”

Secretary of Transportation Jennifer Cohan added, “More than 11,000 cases of human trafficking were reported in the United States in 2019, and the number of cases not reported is surely higher. DelDOT is committed to the national effort to eradicate human trafficking and imposing severe penalties on those who participate in the exploitation of another person, period.”

Earlier this year, DelDOT also joined the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking (TLAHT), an initiative comprised of nearly 500 transportation and travel industry stakeholders working jointly to maximize their collective impact in combating human trafficking. To date, TLAHT has engaged with hundreds of organizations from across the transportation industry.

If you believe you may have information about a human trafficking situation, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline toll-free at 1-888-373-7888, text “BeFree” to 233733 or click on “live chat” at humantraffickinghotline.org.


New Christina River Bridge at Wilmington Riverfront Dedicated to Former State Senator Margaret Rose Henry

Governor John Carney was joined by state and local officials in dedicating the recently opened Christina River Bridge at the Wilmington Riverfront in honor of former state senator Margaret Rose Henry.

“Senator Margaret Rose Henry’s proud legacy of service to the people of the eastside of Wilmington and the State of Delaware has made a lasting impact,” said Governor John Carney. “The Margaret Rose Bridge that will now carry her name serves as an important connector for our communities, and as a welcoming symbol to the city.”

“Few public servants have had such a profound effect on the lives of the people of Delaware – and her Wilmington constituents in particular – as Senator Margaret Rose Henry, the first African American woman to serve in the Delaware Senate,” said Wilmington Mayor Mike Purzycki. “As a legislator, Henry was adept at building bridges, so it is only fitting that the City’s newest bridge now bears her name.”

“This new bridge is about more than simply helping people cross the Christina River. It’s about connection and opportunity. With pedestrian and bicycle lanes, this multi-modal bridge will expand access to new educational and job opportunities for drivers, bikers and pedestrians alike. By opening up the east bank of the Riverfront, this bridge will help to spur the redevelopment of the Riverfront to Southbridge and connect small businesses along the Christina River with a larger customer base. As we celebrate the ribbon cutting of this new bridge, we also celebrate what greater connection and more opportunity can do for the future of Wilmington and the people who call it home,” Senator Carper said. “For years, I fought to secure funding for this project, and I’ve been proud to watch its progress every step of the way. This is a great day for Wilmington.”

“The Senator Margaret Rose Henry Bridge will have a lasting effect on the city of Wilmington, and I’m so glad that we can honor Margaret in this special way,” said Senator Coons. “This bridge is the product of years of work, planning, and building from Senator Carper, from DelDOT, and from people across Delaware. This project improves access for walkers and bikers, and, in turn, makes Wilmington a more vibrant and safer city for all.”

“Senator Margaret Rose Henry is a personal role model and icon in the State of Delaware. Her groundbreaking work and accomplishments in the General Assembly have touched and improved the lives of countless Delawareans and the impact of that work will be felt for generations to come,” said Rep. Blunt Rochester. “Today’s unveiling of the Senator Margaret Rose Henry Bridge in Wilmington is a fitting tribute to her work and an exciting addition to the city of Wilmington. Senator Henry spent her entire career building bridges to connect Delawareans and I’m confident this bridge in her namesake will do the same.”

Secretary of Transportation Jennifer Cohan commented, “The Senator Margaret Rose Henry Bridge and new approach roads are a game changer for the south side of Wilmington, improving access and traffic flow and making the entire area safer and more user-friendly whether you are on foot, bike, or in a car. It is a beautiful bridge named after a beautiful lady!”

The nearly $82 million project, which broke ground in June 2017, includes a 470-foot multi-modal bridge over the Christina River that includes two 12-foot travel lanes and a separated 14-foot wide bicycle and pedestrian path, and more than 1.5 miles of new and improved roads, sidewalks, parking, and drainage. The new access road for the Russel W. Peterson Wildlife Refuge will begin construction later this summer.

Senator Henry became the first African American woman to serve in the Delaware Senate in 1994, and has a decades-long career of public service, working in nonprofit administration and championing legislation for causes such as education, autism, health, housing, gun control, mental health, medical marijuana and expanded services for seniors. She last served in the General Assembly in 2018.


DelDOT Marks Completion of Multiple Projects in First Half of 2020

The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) is pleased to share that it has completed a variety of infrastructure projects across the state in the first half of 2020 totaling nearly $100 million in infrastructure investments.

“This has been an unusual year, but we continue to press forward on the largest infrastructure program in Delaware’s history,” said Governor John Carney. “Investments in our public infrastructure create good jobs, make our roadways safer, reduce the time we all spend in traffic, and generally improve quality of life for all Delawareans. Thank you to DelDOT and workers across our state for continuing to make progress.”

“While the pandemic presented unexpected challenges, our employees and contractors continued to innovate and find ways to not only continue working but expedite work by taking advantage of the significant decline in traffic volumes statewide,” said Secretary of Transportation Jennifer Cohan.

Brian Bolender, President of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)/Delaware offered, “Infrastructure in our state is critical to the economy. We are grateful to the leadership at DelDOT for being innovative during unprecedented times. Working hand in hand with the Department, we have been successful in getting many of these projects completed ahead of schedule.”

“Although this spring presented unprecedented challenges to Delaware, DelDOT saw opportunity to expedite public works projects while keeping Delawareans employed,” commented Bryon Short, Executive Vice President of the Delaware Contractors Association (DCA). “Working together, DelDOT and DCA’s highway contractors pushed to ensure projects were expedited for the convenience of the travelling public while protecting both the safety of workers and taxpayer investments.”

Projects completed to date this calendar year include:

  • Milton Rails to Trails Phase II Project This project included the installation of 1,600 feet of trail and the conversion of a railroad trestle to a pedestrian and cyclist bridge.
  • Marl Pit Road Roundabout – This project reconfigured the previously existing four-way stop controlled intersection to a roundabout. Improvements included new asphalt roadways, curbs and gutters, shared-use paths, median islands, a drainage system and street lighting.
  • Main Street Newark The entire roadway between Washington Street and the Trabant Parking garage was rebuilt, as well as constructing new bump-outs, needed drainage improvements, as well as traffic and pedestrian signals upgrades.
  • Wilmington Transit Center The new transit center, which opened in May, has the capacity to have up to 10 buses stage at one time allowing bus layovers without blocking city streets, and offers riders a smoke-free covered, seated waiting area, real-time bus displays, ticket sales, WiFi, USB charging stations, vending machines, and bike racks with a bike repair station.
  • Paper Mill Road Bridge Rehabilitation – Replaced a failing bridge culvert ranked fourth worst by the Department over the Middle Run Tributary with a new precast concrete box culvert.
  • SR 1 Lewes-Rehoboth Canal Bridge Rehabilitation – This was a significant rehabilitation project that involved replacing the bridge’s concrete decks, approach slabs, joints and bearings; correcting the vertical alignment; realigning the beams; repairing concrete chipping; strengthening concrete piers; sealing concrete abutments and piers; and stabilizing the canal banks.
  • Dewey Beach/Forgotten Mile Route 1 Paving and Improvements – This project included repaving Route 1, from the canal bridge to just south of Dewey and pedestrian improvements at intersections.
  • SR 1 Paving from Odessa to Smyrna – A ten-mile section of Route 1 between Middletown and Smyrna was paved in both directions to improve the road surface.
  • Christina River Bridge and Approach Roads – This project built a new 470-foot multi-modal bridge over the Christina River that includes two 12-foot travel lanes and a separated 14-foot wide bicycle and pedestrian path, and more than 1.5 miles of new and improved roads, sidewalks, and parking.


DelDOT Announces Opening of New Christina River Bridge and Approach Roads at Wilmington Riverfront

The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) announces that the new Christina River Bridge and approach roads at the Wilmington Riverfront has opened to pedestrian, bicycle, and motor vehicle traffic as of 2:00pm today. The new access roads and bridge improve multimodal traffic flow around the Wilmington Riverfront and provides direct access to Route 13 and the southeastern side of Wilmington.

The nearly $50 million project, which broke ground in June 2017, includes a 470-foot multi-modal bridge over the Christina River that includes two 12-foot travel lanes and a separated 14-foot wide bicycle and pedestrian path, and more than 1.5 miles of new and improved roads, sidewalks, and parking. The new access road for the Russel W. Peterson Wildlife Refuge will begin construction later this summer.

An opening event will be announced in July.


Main Street Newark Project Completed

The Delaware Department of Transportation is pleased to announce that the Main Street Newark rehabilitation project has been completed ahead of schedule by the project’s contractor, A-DEL Construction.

The nearly $12 million project began construction in April 2019 and involved 10 phases of work to perform a complete reconstruction of a mile-long section of Main Street from Washington Street to the Trabant parking garage.

“The finished product we have today will ensure Main Street is a safe and modern thoroughfare for many years to come,” said Secretary of Transportation Jennifer Cohan. “I know this was not an easy project for businesses and residents, and I am grateful for the cooperation and patience of everyone over the past year. While complex, this project went extremely well.”

State Representative Paul Baumbach offered, “At the start, we knew two things–this was a project that was absolutely necessary now, and it would be massively disruptive. Fortunately, DelDOT and its contractor AECOM worked very hard to listen to the Main Street merchants, Newark city staff and residents, incorporating the best ideas and make adjustments where they could, to control the painful impact of such a massive project. We all really appreciate the true partnership behind this project, which we all celebrate today.”

“Few of Delaware’s downtown thoroughfares are as commercially vibrant or as heavily trafficked by vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists alike,” said Senator David Sokola. “That’s what made this project so desperately needed and incredibly complex. Secretary Cohan and the Delaware Department of Transportation deserve a lot of credit for working with the community to get this project finished ahead of schedule. The look and safety of our Main Street has been dramatically improved by this project and, like most Newark residents, I’m thrilled it’s finally over.”

City of Newark Mayor Jerry Clifton commented, “I’m really proud of the businesses that demonstrated fortitude and kept their faith in the City and also of the exceptional work that was done by the DelDOT team. Newark’s Main Street will continue being the pride of Delaware when it comes to main streets.”

In addition to rebuilding the roadway, the project added 31 curb extensions commonly known as “bump-outs,” improved drainage infrastructure, upgraded traffic and pedestrian signals, addressed ADA compliance issues, made necessary utility repairs and upgrades, and the installation of a new kiosk parking system to replace meters.

For more information, visit mainstreetimprovements.com