INFORMATION

Project Limits:

0.7 mile long corridor from Concord Pike to Foulk Rd

Project Need:

Murphy Road is a major collector road in New Castle County. It is less than a mile long and connects Concord Pike to Foulk Road. It currently carries less than 10,000 vehicles per day and has a posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour. The surrounding land use is generally residential, although it becomes commercial near Concord Pike and also near Foulk Road. Traffic volumes have decreased from a peak of over 15,000 vehicles per day in the early 2000s to approximately 9,500 vehicles per day today. Note that although AstraZeneca has significantly downsized, it was also generating significantly less traffic when Murphy Road traffic was at its highest. The Route 141 Spur (now simply Route 141) has diverted significant traffic volumes away from Murphy Road.

Up until the late 1970s, Murphy Road included one travel lane in each direction and the outside lanes were used for on-street parking. By the 1980s, the on-street parking was eliminated and Murphy Road was converted to two travel lanes in each direction.

During the planning and design of the Blue Ball Properties Project in the early 2000s, DelDOT proposed to implement a “lane diet” on Murphy Road. This would have reduced the travel lanes in each direction from 2 lanes back to 1. There was generally public opposition to this proposal, so DelDOT agreed to put the idea on hold and wait for the completion of the remainder of the Blue Ball Properties Project, including the completion of the Route 141 Spur. Once complete, we would evaluate the impact of the new roadway to traffic flow on Murphy Road.

Since the completion of the Blue Ball Properties Project in 2007, DelDOT has continued to monitor traffic flow and conditions on Murphy Road. Traffic volumes have decreased from a peak of over 15,000 vehicles per day in the early 2000s to approximately 9,500 vehicles per day today. Note that although AstraZeneca has significantly downsized, it was also generating significantly less traffic when Murphy Road traffic was at its highest. The Route 141 Spur (now simply Route 141) has diverted significant traffic volumes away from Murphy Road.

At this time, DelDOT is again considering a “lane diet” on Murphy Road. The purpose of this project would be to improve the safety and mobility of all road users along this stretch of road – motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

Project Overview:

The proposed roadway would include one travel lane in each direction, a two-way center-turn lane, and one bike lane in each direction for most of the length of the project. The through and turn lanes at the critical intersections with Concord Pike and with Foulk Road would remain unchanged. The traffic volumes can be easily accommodated with the proposed lane configuration, even during peak traffic hours. In addition, traffic flow is expected to be smoother as motorists will not be continually delayed by turning traffic from the middle lanes as they are today. Crash rates are expected to decrease with the proposed lane diet. The proposed configuration would provide a defined space for bicyclists for most of the corridor. Pedestrian safety is expected to be improved as the buffer between motor vehicles and pedestrians would be increased.

Project Timeline:

Design Phase:

Design work is completed.

Construction Phase:

Construction work to begin in the Spring of 2018.