The state Department of Transportation has proposed “Streetscape Improvements—Phase 2,” for a section of Main Street in Townsend where more lighting, safety, and pedestrian improvements would be installed.

An informational meeting was held May 23 at Townsend Town Hall where Denis Hehman of McCormick Taylor, a consultant for the project, presented the proposal on a map marked with the improvements and he took questions from the audience.

The phase 2 streetscape is proposed on Main Street, from South Street to Brook Ramble Lane, and is like phase 1 implemented on another section of Main Street.

In this next phase, 10 new streetlights are proposed, five on each side of Main Street from South Street to the town limits by town hall.

Main Street would be repaved from South Street to Brook Ramble Lane and five-foot wide sidewalks would be installed on both sides of the street to the east end of Townsend Elementary School.

Sidewalks of the same width would also be installed from the east end of the school to Brook Ramble Lane, Hehman said.

Also, there would be curb ramp improvements in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and drainage inlets along the curb line would be either modified and/or improved when the curbing is installed.

The cost of the project is estimated at $1 million for construction, but not including planning costs. Funding would come from a variety of program with a match from the Townsend government, estimated at around $200,000.

Next spring, construction is expected to start after bidding out the project this fall, Hehman said.

After the meeting, Townsend Town Council held its regular meeting where the streetscape proposal was discussed, but no action was taken. The council’s permission is needed for the project to proceed.

So far, council members have remained skeptical of the streetscape improvements phase 2 proposal. They talked about LED lighting or solar power lights as an alternative to the standard streetlights.

“The possibility of objecting is because the next phase only has 10 [streetlights] as opposed to 28 which was in the conceptual plan,” said Mayor Rudy Sutton.

Besides the issue of partial lighting in that area, Sutton said, “Is there a way to more energy efficient lighting in place of that type?...We want to look at our options instead of staying with that same style light.”

The project also brings up the issue of who will own the streetlight – the town or Delmarva Power. Currently, the town leases streetlights from Delmarva Power in other parts of the town.

“This may be an opportunity to not rent from Delmarva Power and instead the town owning” the streetlights, Sutton said.

Townsend’s next meeting is Wednesday, June 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Town Hall, 141 Main St., Townsend. As of press time, the agenda hasn’t been released yet.

For residents concerned about the streetscape project, they can express their views in writing to DelDOT Public Relations, P.O. Box 778, Dover, DE 19903.

For further information, contact DelDOT Public Relations at 1-800-652-5600 or 302-760-2080 (in Delaware).