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Delaware Department of Transportation

Special Events Planning

Special Events Impacting Delaware's Roadways

Planned special events include sporting events, concerts, festivals and conventions occurring at permanent multi-use venues. They also include less frequent public events such as parades, fireworks displays, bicycle races, sporting games, motorcycle rallies, seasonal festivals and block parties which may occur at temporary venues. These types of events can have direct and indirect impacts on the transportation system. Events that have direct impacts to the transportation system are those which require full roadway or lane closures to accommodate the needs of the event. Events having indirect impacts to the transportation system or those types of events which attract large crowds and are likely to affect normal traffic flow on Delaware's roadways.

Permit Requirements

The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) requires the organizer of a special event that impacts the transportation system to get approval from the Department to hold such events and to review any temporary traffic control which is necessary for the event to occur. Event organizers are required to fill out DelDOT's Special Event Permit Application and submit the completed application to the Special Events Coordinator in the Traffic Safety Section. This form can be simply emailed by clicking the appropriate button at the top of the application. The Department's Special Events Coordinator will review the application and the location of the event and determine if additional traffic control measures or other requirements are needed to safely conduct the event, and to minimize the impacts to the transportation system. If additional information is needed, the Special Events Coordinator will coordinate that information with the event organizer. Once all requirements are satisfied, an approved copy of the Special Event Permit Application will be provided to the event organizer as well as the municipality in which the event originates, if applicable, and any law enforcement agencies involved with the event. An approved copy will also be held by the Traffic Safety Section.

DelDOT reserves the right to revoke this permit at any time if the special event creates major traffic problems or the safety of the event participants and/or the traveling public is compromised. If this permit is revoked by DelDOT during the event, the event activities shall cease immediately.

Traffic Control Requirements

Any roadway or lane closures which are required as part of the event’s Traffic Control Plan shall be conducted in accordance with the DelDOT Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, Part 6, Temporary Traffic Control Traffic Control Plans shall be reviewed and approved by DelDOT prior to receiving an approved Special Event Permit Application. If traffic control is required for an event, the event organizer should provide a completed application and traffic control plan no later than six (6) weeks prior to the start of the event. If the event organizer needs assistance with the development of a traffic control plan, the Department should be contacted no later than three (3) months prior to the start of the event.

Only qualified people specializing in temporary traffic control shall place traffic control devices on Delaware's roadways. An event organizer may be responsible for all costs of temporary traffic control in accordance with the approved traffic control plan, including any required portable changeable message signs. If the event organizer requests DelDOT assistance with traffic control, including labor and equipment, all costs will be borne by the event organizer unless conditions as defined in the January 12, 2019 Special Events Policies and Procedures- Traffic Management Regulation are met. In the event that costs will be billed to the organizer, an estimate will be prepared and a concurrence letter will be provided prior to the beginning of the event. The concurrence letter provides a binding contract between the event organizer and DelDOT for the costs associated with DelDOT provided traffic control. Billing for traffic control costs will occur after the completion of the event. When practical, the event organizer is encouraged to seek estimates from private companies that specialize in temporary traffic control or to seek donations of traffic control equipment for the purposes of the event.

If portable changeable message signs (PCMS) are used for the event, either provided by DelDOT (potentially at a cost to the event organizer) or by other means, the event organizer shall complete the Portable Changeable Message Sign Approval Form and submit the form to the Department for approval no later than 14 days prior to the start of the event.

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