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Delaware Prepares For Hurricane Sandy
Written on: October 26th, 2012 in Alert Messages Weather Related Notices
Delaware Department of Transportation NEWS RELEASE
DelDOT Public Relations October 26, 2012
Contact: Jim Westhoff, Public Relations
Desk – 302-760-2160; Mobile – 302-943-3589; firstname.lastname@example.org
DelDOT is preparing for a possible major storm
Across Delaware, crews are working to minimize any possible traffic hazards if the storm strikes the area.
Dover – The men and women of the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) are spending today doing all they can to prepare for the possibility of a major storm striking Delaware, and many will be working over the weekend to ensure the state’s transportation system is as secure as possible. Below are bullet points detailing their efforts:
DelDOT storm preparation activities
- Maintenance crews are clearing storm drains of brush and debris along major roads that are prone to flooding.
- Construction crews have begun removing un-needed equipment that could become a problem during the storm. This includes traffic cones and barrels. They are doing this to eliminate any possible hazards resulting from high winds.
- In Sussex County near the beaches, crews and contractors are removing a number of overhead signs (a list of those locations is below).
- Crews are also securing temporary traffic signs at construction locations, so these will resist being blown over by wind.
- DelDOT is requesting that political campaigns do what they can to remove political signs along state roadways prior to the arrival of the storm; especially large signs that may become airborne.
- If wind speeds reach a sustained 40 mph, DelDOT will begin pulling its forces off state roads. If winds reach a sustained 50 mph, DelDOT will begin closing major bridges throughout the state.
Construction projects this weekend
- Work on the Route 1/I-95 interchange will proceed as planned this evening, but will be suspended tomorrow morning.
- Repaving work on some lanes on I-95 will proceed tonight as planned.
- The planned closing of I-95 at the Route 202 will not take place this weekend as previously announced. The work will be rescheduled for a future weekend.
- Other than in special circumstances, such as the previously described work on I-95 and RT 1, DelDOT contractors typically don’t work during the weekends.
DART and Paratransit
- DART First State operates in all three counties in Delaware, and is preparing for a possible storm event for next week. A special management personnel matrix has been developed to insure adequate staff coverage.
- Paratransit customers are urged to stay tuned to weather reports and be prepared for service interruptions should weather conditions deteriorate.
- If a State of Emergency is declared, fixed route and paratransit service will be suspended. However, if such a declaration occurs mid-day, DART will continue to operate as long as safe road conditions and resources permit. In the event of any service interruption, DART will issue Rider Alerts to riders who subscribe to the service, and to the media.
- DART Operations employees are considered essential personnel and DART maintains a list of operators who can be readily available for extra duty.
- Customers should stay tuned to Rider Alerts, DART’s website and local media for further updates
- DelDOT’s bridge staff is gearing up for inspection operations throughout the state. Both DelDOT and DNREC are lowering water levels at various dams to reduce the threat of flood waters.
Indian River Inlet Bridge and Route 1 at the beach
- Beach and dune erosion remains an ongoing concern for Route 1 throughout the inlet area. However, the new approach roads to the Indian River Inlet Bridge are approximately 100 feet further west than the approaches to the old bridge.
- Due to probable flooding and / or high winds, it is likely that Route 1 from Dewey to Bethany Beach, including the Indian River Inlet River Bridge, will be closed at some point during the storm.
- All state toll roads are operating as usual and there are no plans to waive tolls at this time.
Closures after the storm
- Once the storm is over, some roads and bridges may remain closed due to concern for their safety. The public is instructed not to remove DelDOT barricades on any roads and bridges, even if flood water subsides. These closures are necessary because they must be inspected and possibly repaired prior to reopening.
List of overhead signs being removed in Sussex County:
As a precautionary measure, DelDOT crews and contractors are removing 12 large, span-wire overhead signs in Sussex County.
- This work is scheduled to start Saturday morning and continue throughout the day until all of the identified large signs have been removed.
- The span wires and flashing lights will remain in place.
- In most cases, only the right shoulders will require lane closures that will last 30 minutes or less per sign.
- While we understand that there are multiple overhead span wire signs, these were deemed the most critical as they are located along the state’s coast line and are the largest in nature:
- Milford — Route 1 & Argos Corner –southbound and northbound lanes
- Milton — Route 1 & SR 5 (Milton –southbound and northbound lanes
- Route 1 & Nassau Park Road (north of Five Points) –southbound and northbound lanes
- Route 1 & Shady Road (Rehoboth) – southbound and northbound lanes
- Route 1 & Rehoboth Ave. – Fire Signs southbound and northbound lanes
- Route 1 & South Rehoboth Avenue – Overhead Guide Signs-southbound only
- Route 1 & South Rehoboth Avenue– Overhead Guide Signs—southbound only