Kenton Road improvement project to kick off Monday in Dover

By Mike Finney
Posted 2/29/24

Department of Transportation officials say people who travel daily on Kenton Road in the west part of Dover are about to face some “short-term pain for long-term gain.”

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Kenton Road improvement project to kick off Monday in Dover


DOVER — Department of Transportation officials say people who travel daily on Kenton Road in the west part of the city are about to face some “short-term pain for long-term gain.”

Construction to improve a mile-and-a-quarter portion of the thoroughfare will begin Monday and is expected to last 18 months.

When complete, Kenton Road — from the Del. 8 intersection to Chestnut Grove Road — will feature wider lanes, additional lanes, shared-use paths, sidewalks, bike passages, lighting, a roundabout for the intersection of Kenton and Chestnut Grove roads, added turn lanes and drainage/stormwater facilities.

Work will be broken into six phases, with the first one focusing on utility relocation and installing temporary fences, which will operate under intermittent lane closures.

Charles “C.R.” McLeod, director of community relations for the Transportation Department, said he thinks drivers will find the temporary frustrations worth it in the long run.

“We think this is really going to improve overall operation and efficiency of the road out there,” he said. “Anyone that travels it on a regular basis knows that it’s much more heavily used, as opposed to many years ago, so it’s something that we’ve been looking at to make sure that we upgrade the road and those intersections to make it as safe as it can be.”
Numerous meetings have taken place over the past months to let residents know what to expect.

“We’ve done a lot of public outreach and had public meetings about it, and overall, I think people understand the needs and what the issues are because they’re driving it every day,” said Mr. McLeod.

At City Council’s Committee of the Whole meeting Oct. 25, 2022, Century Engineering senior engineer Laura Haxton offered insight about the project.

“We will be adding pedestrian and bicycle facilities, so there will be a 10-foot shared-use path along one side of Kenton Road at Route 8 to College Road,” she said, “and then, it will cross the street and get to the entrance of Fox Hall (Carnoustie Road). It’s a low-stress network for your everyday bicycle rider and pedestrians.”

In addition, she said, “we’ll be improving drainage, lighting. We have two stormwater management ponds going in, and then, we will be doing a roundabout at the Chestnut Grove intersection — a single-lane roundabout — that will mimic the roundabout at (Del.) 10 and (Del.) 15 in Camden, and there will be pedestrian crossing within that.”
Bus stops, coordinated with DART, are also included and will help meet the project’s purpose, to be a safe and efficient corridor for all road users.

The Kenton Road effort was recommended by the Dover/Kent Metropolitan Planning Organization several years ago, and transportation officials have been working on it since about 2015.
Mr. McLeod added that ever-increasing traffic volumes necessitated the improvements.

“We’ve got a little over a mile-and-a-quarter of road here between Forrest Avenue (Del. 8) and Chestnut Grove Road, so just with the traffic volumes out there, it’s just time to upgrade the road and make it safer for the amount of volume that it’s carrying,” he said. “Also, right now, we don’t really have good pedestrian and bicycle facilities out there, so making it safer for all modes of transportation is clearly the overarching goal.

“Obviously, there (are) differing thoughts on roundabouts, but our experience has been (that) there may be apprehension before they go in, but once they’re in, and people get comfortable with them, they work as they should and keep traffic moving, and that’s ultimately what we’re trying to do here.”

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