Governor Carney Announces New Projects, Protecting Transportation Network Part of Infrastructure Funds Focus

SOUTH BOWERS, Del. – Delaware will advance major planned projects, make road systems more resilient to climate change and apply for funding to serve traditionally disadvantaged areas using significant new federal funds for transportation over the next several years.

The federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) — championed by U.S. Senator Tom Carper, U.S. Senator Chris Coons, and U.S. Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester and signed by President Joe Biden in November 2021 — is a once-in-a-generation commitment to improving roads, bridges, transit, water and wastewater systems, broadband, energy and other infrastructure areas. 

Transportation is the largest area of new investment in the BIL. In a visit to South Bowers Beach Wednesday, Governor Carney and Delaware Department of Transportation Secretary Nicole Majeski highlighted some of the first decisions on construction and improvements to Delaware’s road network using the funding, which will stretch for the next five years.

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A portion of South Bowers Road will be raised up to 5 inches to protect it from both tidal and storm. The previously planned project is an example of the types of projects DelDOT will be able to do with $48.5 million over five years from the BIL for at-risk coastal infrastructure. DelDOT’s new Division of Resiliency and Sustainability will develop a prioritization process for other projects over the next several years.

“Delawareans will travel easier on major routes and have increased confidence in the roads they need to use every day and in emergencies with the projects DelDOT can now accomplish with this funding,” said Governor Carney. “In addition, we will apply for extra federal funding for improvements in New Castle and Laurel that would make a significant difference in the lives of residents in those areas.”

Among the projects the Department will be advancing with other BIL funds:

  • The planned widening of Route 1 between the Christiana Mall and Route 40
  • Improvements to Kenton Road in west Dover between Route 8 and Chestnut Grove Road
  • Long-planned construction of an overpass taking Route 9 traffic over U.S. 113 in Georgetown
  • The next phase of the Georgetown to Lewes Trail from Fisher Road to Airport Road

The Infrastructure Law is providing an additional $160 million over five years to Delaware main highway spending programs.

In addition, Delaware will submit applications in April for two concepts under the federal Local and Regional Project Assistance Grants (RAISE). This is a nationwide competitive program and the U.S. Department of Transportation will announce successful grant recipients by August 12, 2022. Both target traditionally underserved areas, which is a focus of the BIL.

  • Applying for $6.5 million in a federal grant to begin designing an ambitious plan in the Route 9 area near New Castle, reducing the through lanes on Route 9 with saved lane space used to improve pedestrian and bicycle and bus facilities and provide extra green space. The project would also include rebuilt intersections including roundabouts, a center-lane multi-use pathway over the I-295 Expressway and a pedestrian/bicycle path system to knit together the now largely disconnected neighborhoods along the corridor. If design funds are granted, DelDOT would apply to RAISE for construction funding in future years, with total cost estimated at $30 million.
  • Applying for $5.8 million to add bicycle lanes and a sidewalk safely along Discountland Road in Laurel, connecting two affordable housing communities (Holly Brook Farms and Carvel Gardens) to a shopping center that contains a grocery store, bank, pharmacies, physical therapy and other amenities.

“We continue to work to address the infrastructure needs we have across the state, and this landmark bill will bring more funding to Delaware that will have a positive impact on every mode of transportation,” said Secretary of DelDOT Nicole Majeski. 

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure law represents the single largest investment in our nation’s roads and bridges since the construction of the Interstate Highway System nearly 70 years ago — a historic win for Delawareans and all Americans,” said Senator Carper, who as Chair of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, drafted and negotiated the legislation. “When drafting this legislation, we prioritized investments in safety, especially for pedestrians and bicyclists, sustainability, and resilience, all while addressing the backlog of repairs in our nation’s transportation system. It’s great to see this historic funding making its way into communities across Delaware, rebuilding the roads that connect us in a way makes them more resilient in the face of climate change and that allows Delaware to grow our economy at the same time.”

“Passing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law was a commitment to revitalize our roads and bridges and put transportation projects in Delaware at the forefront of our agenda,” said Senator Coons. “These upcoming projects will put millions of dollars in critical federal funds towards increasing the resiliency of coastal communities, prioritizing climate action, and reaffirming our commitment to upgrading Delaware’s infrastructure.”

“Delawareans rely on our state’s surface transportation infrastructure to live, work, and travel every day,” said Congresswoman Blunt Rochester. “With funds secured through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – the largest long-term investment in our nation’s infrastructure in nearly a century that I voted to pass last year – the First State can continue to invest in critical projects to repair and revitalize its roads, highways, and bridges that will improve quality of life and create good-paying jobs at the same time.”

In addition to road and resiliency projects, federal infrastructure funding coming to Delaware in the next several years includes programs for bridges, public transit, electric vehicle charging, carbon reduction, safety improvements and more. 

For more information on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, visit: de.gov/infrastructure

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Governor Carney Announces Retirement of DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan After 31 Years of State Service

Cohan transformed the Division of Motor Vehicles before leading largest-ever capital program as DelDOT Secretary

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Friday announced the retirement of Jennifer Cohan, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Transportation, following 31 years of service to the State of Delaware.

Cohan will serve through October, when she will join Leadership Delaware as Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

“Secretary Cohan has been a tremendous asset to our team and to the State of Delaware for more than 30 years,” said Governor Carney. “Jen modernized the Division of Motor Vehicles as the first woman to ever lead the division, and oversaw the development of the state’s largest-ever public infrastructure program as DelDOT secretary. Her experience, intellect and depth of knowledge about how state government works will not easily be replaced. Jen also has a unique ability to lift the spirits of those around her and rally a team around a common cause. We will miss her in state government. But I’m positive she will continue to do great work on behalf of the people of Delaware.”

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve the citizens of Delaware for the last 31 years,” said Secretary Cohan. “I am excited to take on this new challenge as CEO of Leadership Delaware to help grow our state’s up-and-coming leaders.”

Governor Carney intends to nominate Deputy DelDOT Secretary Nicole Majeski to replace Cohan. The Delaware Senate must confirm Governor Carney’s nomination.

Majeski has served as the Deputy Secretary for DelDOT since 2011. Previously, Majeski worked for New Castle County government, serving as Chief of Staff to then-County Executive Chris Coons. She is a graduate of the University of Delaware. Majeski lives in Middletown with her husband, Ari Messinger, and their two sons.

“I am truly humbled and incredibly honored to be nominated by Governor Carney as the next Secretary of the Department of Transportation,” said Majeski. “I am grateful to the Governor for the trust and faith he has in me to lead this agency and to serve in his Cabinet. It has been a privilege to work with Secretary Cohan and I am grateful for her leadership, guidance and for the inspiring way she has led our Department for the past six years with an enthusiastic spirit, a passion for innovation and an incredible commitment to customer service and our employees.”

Cohan was appointed by then-Governor Jack Markell in January 2015 – and confirmed by the Delaware Senate – to lead DelDOT, becoming the third woman to serve as Secretary in the department’s 100-year history. As Secretary, Cohan oversaw the development and execution of the largest roadway infrastructure program in Delaware’s history.

Previously, Cohan served as the Director of the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles for eight years, where she led a transformation of the DMV through investments in technology and a focus on customer service.

Cohan’s state public service career has spanned more than three decades. She previously managed the state’s clean water program at the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, and worked as a budget analyst for the General Assembly in the Office of the Controller General.

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DNREC to extend popular Clean Transportation Incentive Program through 2020

Rebates help reduce cost of purchasing environmentally-friendly vehicles

DOVER – In response to Delawareans’ growing demand for cleaner fuel and electric vehicles, DNREC’s Division of Climate, Coastal, & Energy announced today that Delaware’s Clean Transportation Incentive Program will continue to offer rebates to drivers and businesses statewide toward the purchase or lease of electric and alternative fuel vehicles and charging stations through Dec. 31, 2020.

“Reducing transportation-related emissions is key to reaching our greenhouse gas reduction goal,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Electric vehicles are a smart choice for citizens and businesses alike, and the Clean Transportation Incentive Program is helping Delaware drivers change from fossil fuels to cleaner alternatives that reduce air pollution.”

Since 2015, the program has provided rebates totaling $4.6 million to more than 1,500 purchasers of electric vehicles, propane and natural gas-fueled vehicles, and electric vehicle charging stations.

Electric vehicle charging station rebates cover between 75 to 90 percent of the cost of a Level 2 charging station. These rebates apply to businesses, workplaces, and publicly-accessible charging locations and multi-family residences, including apartment complexes, townhomes and condominiums operated by a commercial entity, and government or nonprofit organizations. In 2020, the program will no longer offer rebates for single-family home charging stations.

Rebate amounts for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, updated for 2020, include $2,500 for battery-electric vehicles, and $1,000 for plug-in hybrid vehicles. Rebates for electric vehicles are available only to battery and plug-in hybrids with a purchase price of $60,000 or less.

The program also offers rebates for the purchase or lease of propane or natural gas vehicles. Rebates include $1,500 for dedicated propane or natural gas vehicles, $1,350 for bi-fuel propane or natural gas vehicles, and $20,000 for heavy duty dedicated natural gas trucks.

Funding for the Clean Transportation Incentive Program is made possible through Delaware’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The program was designed to help with the initial cost of transitioning to lower-carbon, lower-pollution vehicles, making it easier for Delaware drivers to choose vehicles that produce less or no tailpipe emissions, reducing both unhealthy pollution and the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

Delaware has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 28 percent by 2025 from 2005’s baseline. Transportation is now the largest single source of emissions in Delaware, responsible for 35 percent of our carbon emissions in 2016, the latest year for which data is available.

For more information on Delaware’s Clean Transportation Incentive Program, contact Breanne Preisen, Clean Transportation Project Specialist, at 302-735-3366, or visit de.gov/cleantransportation.

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902


Ribbon cut on Little Heaven intersection project

Project eliminated traffic signal on Route 1

Bowers Beach — With help from Governor John Carney, Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long, members of the State General Assembly, members of the project team, and others, Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) Secretary Jennifer Cohan cut the ribbon on the SR 1 Little Heaven Grade Separated Intersection project today.

“The completion of the Little Heaven grade-separated intersection marks another step toward making Route 1 safer and easier for the local community and travelers,” said Secretary Cohan. “We have now eliminated all of the traffic signals along Route 1 in Kent County, easing the flow of local traffic to, from, and across the highway. And, for people traveling along Route 1, frustrating and time-consuming backups at lights along Route 1 in Kent County are now a thing of the past. We look forward to continuing similar improvements statewide.”

“The investments that our state continues to make in its transportation infrastructure are paying off for Delawareans and our visitors alike,” said Governor John Carney. “Projects like the Little Heaven grade-separated intersection not only ease the flow of traffic, but they also make our communities more livable and attractive to business. The money that we spend on our roads is a direct investment in our quality of life.”

“With the completion of this project, we’re ensuring both the local community and visitors to Delaware will enjoy safer travel, while reducing traffic congestion,” said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “I’m thrilled to see the positive impact of this project, as well as all of the recent projects DelDOT has successfully completed, to make Delaware stronger and healthier.”

“I’m thankful for everyone’s efforts in completing the project and thanks to local residents for their patience,” said State Senator Colin Bonini.

The new overpass replaced the intersection and traffic signal at Route 1 and Bowers Beach Road to improve safety and traffic flow on the Route 1 corridor. In its previous configuration, the intersection caused lengthy backups on Route 1 during summertime beach traffic while exposing turning traffic to the risk of side-impact crashes. Route 1 now crosses over Bowers Beach Road, allowing traffic to continue north and south without stopping, while pedestrian and local traffic is maintained on the new ramps and service roads. Additionally, six other intersections were eliminated as part of the project.

The Little Heaven project constructed service roads to the east and west of Route 1 as well as a Route 1 bridge over Bowers Beach Road. Ramps now allow traffic to exit and enter Route 1 northbound and southbound.

A-Del Construction, Inc., of Newark, led the construction of the $44 million project, which began in November 2015. The work area consisted of more than 650 acres along nearly three miles of SR 1.

For more information about the SR 1 Little Heaven Project and other SR 1 projects, please visit http://www.deldot.gov/information/projects/sr1/


Governor Carney Signs Legislation Establishing Infrastructure Fund to Create Jobs

Delaware is investing $3.9 billion to modernize transportation infrastructure through 2025

WILMINGTON, Del. – In front of the Christina River Bridge, Governor John Carney on Wednesday signed Senate Bill 61, legislation that establishes the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Fund (TIIF) to allow businesses to make roadway infrastructure improvements that will support job-creating projects in Delaware.

TIIF aims to attract new businesses to Delaware, expand existing Delaware businesses, and create jobs. Governor Carney called for the creation of a new Transportation Infrastructure Investment Fund in his 2019 State of the State Address. Senator Stephanie Hansen and Representative Ed Osienski sponsored the legislation in the Delaware Senate and House.

“This legislation is really about creating good-paying jobs for Delaware workers and their families,” said Governor Carney. “As I said in my State of the State Address in January, TIIF will allow us to react quickly to important economic development projects that require upgrades to roads or other infrastructure. This new fund is just part of our efforts to modernize Delaware’s transportation system – and to fix roads, bridges, and potholes across our state. Investments in our transportation infrastructure make it easier and safer to travel across Delaware, and help us attract development from new and existing businesses. I want to thank members of the General Assembly for their partnership on this important issue.”

“Under Governor Carney’s leadership, DelDOT has been committed to streamlining our review process for businesses that want to locate and expand in Delaware,” said Secretary of Transportation Jennifer Cohan.  “TIIF is another tool in our toolbox that will assist us in attracting businesses and grow our economy.”

Through 2025, the State of Delaware will invest $3.9 billion to modernize Delaware’s roads and bridges, improve safety, alleviate congestion on Delaware roadways in all three counties, and attract new business development and good-paying jobs.

The Fiscal Year 2020 budget includes $10 million for the new infrastructure fund. The fund will be managed by the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Fund Council, a nine-member council established by the legislation. The council will consider applications and make funding recommendations to Delaware’s Transportation Secretary and the Secretary of State.

“Senate Bill 61 meets the needs of businesses looking to bring jobs to Delaware in a way that balances the interests of all parties,” said Senator Stephanie Hansen, D-Middletown, prime sponsor and chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. “It is part of a smart growth strategy that we have been envisioning since I was on County Council and I am excited that we are taking this step forward today. In the past, small hurdles in upgrading existing infrastructure near already developed areas forced new businesses to leapfrog out into green and undeveloped spaces – a practice that didn’t suit anybody particularly well and which caused a lot of friction in our long-term planning process. With this new tool, we can catalyze infrastructure improvements and smart development in the places where businesses want to be, attracting new jobs and building a better state for everyone along the way.”

“When developers and businesses choose Delaware to grow or locate, their primary capital infrastructure concerns are their facilities even though there may be road impacts in the area. The fund created by SB 61 will bolster economic development by helping to address those roadway impacts faster, at the same time businesses address their infrastructure needs,” said Representative Ed Osienski, Chair of the House Transportation/Land Use and Infrastructure Committee. “I am proud to be a sponsor of this legislation, which will enhance infrastructure, support economic development and make a difference in the First State.”

“On behalf of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Delaware and its nearly 1,000 practicing engineers in Delaware we are thrilled to support infrastructure investment in our state,” said ACEC President, Dave DuPlessis. “Infrastructure connects households to higher quality opportunities for employment, healthcare and education. It is critical to the success of our state. We look forward to designing the next wave of projects that will benefit from the TIIF.”

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