Major changes coming to Thompsonville intersection: DelDOT to close part of road and permanently remove traffic signal

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THOMPSONVILLE – On Monday, Delaware Department of Transportation officials announced plans to close Thompsonville Road and remove the traffic signal at SR 1 soon so that it can move forward with the construction of a completely new intersection there.

At 7 a.m. on Sept. 14, the state and its contractor, Mumford & Miller Concrete will close Thompsonville Road between Route 1 and Reynolds Road.

“The closure is required for bridge approach and embankment work required for the bridge that will go over Route 1, eventually tying Thompsonville Road to Church Hill Road,” said Greg Layton, DelDOT community relations officer.

The closure will require detours that will be posted in the area.

In association with the road closure, the traffic signal at Route 1 and Thompsonville Road will be permanently removed from service on the same day.

The changes need to be made so that work can continue. DelDOT officials believe that despite the detours, local residents and area travelers won’t feel much of an impact.

DelDOT officials are aware that removing the traffic signal at Route 1 and Thompsonville Road will adversely impact residents further south – namely those that live in the Woods Haven community – but transportation leaders don’t believe that will be true.

“Many Milford residents believe that the light is necessary, because they believe it creates the gaps in traffic that they need to exit Woods Haven,” said Mr. Layton.

DelDOT engineers don’t believe that is true.

“To try to verify this, we monitored traffic and recorded the frequency and length of gaps both northbound and southbound on Route 1 at Northeast Front Street and Northeast 10th Street, but we were unable to correlate the presence of gaps to the light at Thompsonville,” Mr. Layton said.

“Instead, we found that about 30 percent to 40 percent of southbound traffic exits at U.S. 113, and this is the predominant generator of gaps in southbound traffic at Northeast 10th and Northeast Front Streets,” he added.

According to Mr. Layton, they saw similar results in the northbound direction.

“The nearest light is at Route 16, Broadkill Road, 12 miles away, yet gaps exist in northbound traffic. The key generator of gaps is exiting traffic at Route 1/Route 30 south of Milford and the natural platooning of vehicles behind slower moving vehicles,” he said.

This move should allow the construction to finish before the 2017 summer season.

“Based on these findings, we believe the traffic signal at Thompsonville has minimal influence in creating gaps in traffic, and its removal will not create a noticeable change in the conditions on Route 1 at Northeast 10th Street or Northeast Front Street. This is important as we need to proceed with the closure of Thompsonville Road in order to build the embankments for the approach roadways to the bridge.

Thompsonville Road Detour Routes:

From Dover: Route 1 southbound, left onto Milford Neck Road, right onto Pritchett Road, left onto Paris Kirby Road and return to Thompsonville Road.

From Milford: Route 1 northbound, right onto New Wharf Road, left onto Big Stone Beach Road, left onto Paris Kirby Road and back to Thompsonville Road.

From Big Stone Beach and Points East: West on Thompsonville Road, left onto Paris Kirby Road, right onto Big Stone Beach Road, right onto New Wharf Road, right onto Route 1 northbound, U-turn to Route 1 southbound.

Managing Editor Logan B. Anderson can be reached at landerson@newszap.com. Follow @LoganBAnderson on Twitter.

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