DOVER –– The look of two U.S. 13 intersections soon will soon be changing for the better through the U.S. 13 Beautification Project.
The project is the brainchild of the Greater Kent Committee in partnership with Kent County Tourism and the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce.
Two months ago, Landscape Architectural Services of Dover was chosen for the job and Tuesday night it presented its beautification plans to the project’s public sponsor, Kent County Levy Court.
Landscape Architectural's Matt Spong will head up the project and said Tuesday the landscaping will include native plants and wildflowers and signage. Displays for American and Delaware flags will be added in the future.
Mr. Spong said the project does more than focus on aesthetics. The improvements will assist with stormwater management by reducing runoff and will change the environment for the better by offering a space for plants and pollinating insects to thrive.
“It will be something that is both beautiful and effective,” he said.
The current plans are intended to be relatively low maintenance, opting for meadow grass – grass that grows to a maximum height of four to six inches – over ordinary lawn grass to reduce upkeep.
Mr. Spong said that the first two years will be the most important to ensure the design's longevity and each site will require a monthly visit for care. In the event of a dry spell, water will need to be brought in by truck to keep the plants and flowers alive.
The intersections included in the project's first phase are at U.S. 13 and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Dover and Simons Corner and U.S.. 13 in Smyrna.
The beautification project already has secured $150,000 in funding through the Delaware Community Transportation Fund. Mr. Spong said the estimated cost of both intersections is nearly $142,000.
“The plan in the long term is to get more funding and keep improving all along Route 13 in Kent County,” GKC Executive Director Shelly Cecchett said at the presentation. “We see this as the starting point in making a beautiful Route 13.”