The Delaware Department of Transportation announced to motorists Phase 1 of the Cedar Lane Road, Marl Pit Road intersection improvements project in Middletown will begin Oct. 14.

The project will reconfigure the existing four-way stop controlled intersection to a roundabout. Specific improvements will consist of new asphalt roadways, curbs and gutters, shared-use paths, median islands, a drainage system and street lighting.

Phase 1 work hours are from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, through mid-December. No lane closures will occur during the day.

Work tasks requiring lane closures will only be permitted at night between the hours from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., seven days a week.

The project has two phases of construction. In mid-December, there will be a winter shutdown, with work resuming on Phase 1 in early April 2020. Phase 2 is anticipated to begin in May 2020 and will include a 21-day full closure of the Cedar Lane Road and Marl Pit Road intersection. Another notice will be sent out at that time to inform motorists of the closure and to provide detour routes.

A roundabout is a circular intersection that moves traffic counterclockwise around a central island. Often confused with traditional "traffic circles,” one way modern roundabouts differ in that they feature traffic calming qualities that encourage drivers to reduce their speed through the intersection. The design of a roundabout also reduces the need for direct left turns, which are a major cause of intersection crashes, thereby increasing the overall safety aspect of the intersection.

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