Date: May 31, 2007
Time: 8:00 AM
Location: Blue Ball Dairy Barn
Re: Construction Working Group (Meeting Minutes) @ Construction Site Trailer

Mr. Daniel BockoverCCOBH
Mrs. Margaret BrambleDeerhurst
Mr. Donald CriscuoloAlapocas II Maint. Org.
Mr. Ralph BayrerCarillon Crossing
Mr. Jim BayardAlapocas
Mr. Hank BlackDelaware Digital Video Factory
Ms. Roseanna RichardsIndependence Mall
Mr. Jim ParksDelaforum
Mr. Vernon LawtonDelDOT
Mr. Nicholas HetrickDelDOT
Mr. Jeff Van HornDelDOT
Mr. Bruce KayDelDOT
Mr. Mark TudorDelDOT

Meeting was called to order at 8:10 a.m.

The miscellaneous signage and striping concerns from the last meeting were discussed, and the recommendations from each of the issues are found below (in bold):

  • Add right turn lane at Powder Mill Road Eastbound lanes at the intersection of Children's Drive. Striping will be done when other permanent striping is done for entire project.
  • Installing "No U-Turn" sign on US202 Southbound at Foulk Road underpass. Will be installed at all relevant locations along US202, both northbound and southbound, in project area.
  • Better signage on Powder Mill Road Eastbound lanes ahead of the Childrens Drive Intersection, to indicate Childrens Drive and Powder Mill Road, and TO Rockland Road. Initial recommendation from DelDOT was that signage was adequate, but group felt that the first sign on SR141 (outside of project limits), needed to be changed to be more reflective of the "TO Rockland Road" condition. DelDOT will continue to investigate.
  • Striping on Eastbound Powder Mill Road thru the US202 intersection to help guide drivers in the lane shift traveling to Murphy Road. Striping will be done when other permanent striping is done for entire project.
  • Looking at whether it is possible to swap the order of the SR141 and Foulk Road signage on the overhead signs along Southbound US202 (will at a minimum be very expensive). DelDOT has recommended not switching the signs, but the group has recommended additional signs on left side of ramp that would indicate turning left to get to Foulk Road. DelDOT will continue to investigate.
  • Removing a tree along Southbound US202 that blocks a newly installed sign north of AZ's entrance across from the Fairfax Shopping Center. DelDOT has been working with AZ on this issue, and has received permission to remove the tree, dependent on a comparable "specimen" tree being replanted within the AZ Campus. Still recommended but has not occurred yet.

A couple of other signage/striping issues were raised that will require investigation by DelDOT:

  • A speed limit sign on Murphy Road heading eastbound, just east of the US202 Intersection.
  • "Signal Ahead" Sign on SR141 Spur heading towards US202, just west of West Park Drive.
  • Problems of U-Turns in the Independence Mall Parking Lot, which may point to an overall concern of guidance of how traffic needs to access the opposite way on US202 (example if traveling northbound on US202, signage that would point traffic to how to get to southbound US202.
  • Reinstallation of Alapocas Community Sign that was damaged by contractor. It was agreed that DelDOT would provide a new post and that the Alapocas community would put the sign back together. More discussion was needed on what made the most sense and on who should reinstall the sign.

A discussion occurred on the recommendations for the Murphy Road striping at the US202 intersection. As noted in earlier meetings, the group questioned the proposed lane configurations on Murphy Road at the US202 intersection. As currently designed (and detailed in the Master Plan), there will be three lanes at the intersection: 1 left turn lane, 1 thru lane, and 1 shared thru/right turn lane. The group questioned whether it was a better configuration to instead have a separate right turn lane and no separate left turn lane. As noted in the reminder of the working group meeting, DelDOT had reviewed the issue and recommends keeping the proposed striping as designed and recommended in the Master Plan, which is 1 lane left only; 1 lane thru only; and 1 lane shared thru/right. The reasons were as follows:

  1. The separate left-turn lane allows better signal phasing, which is expected to be more efficient than the existing split phasing, and ultimately should create slightly less delay at the intersection during peak hour times. It also gives DelDOT more flexibility as traffic patterns change in the area, and better accommodates pedestrian movements.
  2. The separate left-turn lane allows the westbound Murphy Road approach to be better aligned with the westbound Powder Mill Road outbound lanes.
  3. The left turn volume is typically 1 to 2 times higher than the right turn volume during critical peak hours.
  4. During critical peak hours, right turn on red movements are going to be difficult/impossible to make, and may not be safe to make regardless. This would minimize the benefits on having the separate right turn lane.
  5. Changing design plans have to happen very quickly, and will not be without additional cost. The changes would need to be made by Friday, June 1 for them to be incorporated into construction.

The group was comfortable with this recommendation, but was also focused on the issues that related to traffic exiting the gas station onto Murphy Road and making a left to get to US202 Southbound. The group wanted to be comfortable that any signal timing changes and lane striping would help address this movement because of concerns about potential accidents along this section of Murphy Road.

Roseanna raised the question about whether two existing light poles along US202 could be replaced to match light poles further south (black color) along US202. Mark will investigate and get back to Roseanna.

Nick reported to the group:

Contract 24-106-05: US202, I-95 to Augustine Cutoff

  • The West Park Drive roundabout is basically complete and open to some traffic. It would not be open to full traffic until West Park Drive is tied into Augustine Cutoff.
  • Augustine Cutoff Intersection Closure and Detour. The closure and detour is expected to occur Friday June 1st and reopen before rush hour on Monday June 4th. Notices have already gone out.
    • The closure is necessary to reconstruct the intersection of Augustine Cutoff and US202. Work includes new drainage, utility relocations, curb installation and paving.
    • Once Augustine Cutoff has been tied into West Park Drive, Augustine Cutoff will be reopened at Edgewood Road and traffic will then flow onto the newly constructed West Park Drive. At this point, motorists will no longer have access to US202 where the existing Augustine Cutoff intersection is at US202. Motorists are asked to follow the posted detour.
    • This detour will consist of the following:
      • Traffic on Augustine Cutoff will be routed onto the newly constructed West Park Drive down to the 141 Spur; once there, motorists can use the 141 Spur/US202 interchange to head north or south on US202 (to I-95).
      • Traffic from I-95 can take the 141 Spur/ Foulk Rd Ramp from US202 to the 141 Spur, make a left onto the Spur and travel underneath US202, then make a left onto West Park Drive, which will take motorist to Augustine Cutoff.
      • Traffic traveling south on US202 can take the West Park Drive Off ramp (near Independence Mall, also signed for the 141 Spur/ 261 Foulk Road). At the Traffic signal at the 141 Spur, proceed straight onto West Park Drive, which will take motorists to Augustine Cutoff.
      • Traffic traveling north on US202 out of the city should make a Right turn onto the Weldin Road Connector in between the Brandywine Plaza and Independence Mall. Take the Weldin Connector to the Foulk Road traffic signal, make a right turn and then bear off to the left, onto the 141 Spur. Once on the Spur, motorists will travel under US202, and make a left onto West Park Drive, at the West Park traffic signal. Motorists should then follow the road to Augustine Cutoff.
      • Traffic traveling East/North on the 141 Spur, should make a right turn at the West Park Drive signal, onto West Park Drive, and follow the road to Augustine Cutoff.
    • The entire detour is expected to take 105 days, pending any unforeseen circumstances or extended periods of bad weather.
  • It was clarified that the barriers along US202 will be moved to different places during construction, but ultimately will be removed after construction. A curbed median will be constructed to help provide channelization along US202.
  • Overall project completion is scheduled for mid-September, although this may change, based upon some previous construction issues, like a water main delay.

Bruce reported to the group

Contract No. 24-106-06; US202, Independence Mall to AstraZeneca

  • Paving and reconstruction work is continuing along US202, from Independence Mall to AstraZeneca's US202 entrance. While there are daytime lane restrictions, night work is also occurring over the next week to complete the paving operations, in order to minimize major disruptions to traffic.

It was noted that the construction offices along US202 might be dismantled near the end of June/beginning of July because construction is almost complete on the No. 24-106-06 contract (R.E. Pierson), and the desire to remove the offices before the planned dedication of the Can-Do Playground in mid-July. Therefore, it was decided that future Construction Working Group Meetings will be held at the Blue Ball Barn, the last Thursdays of each month at 8 a.m.