MILFORD — Converting a downtown intersection ahead of a bridge replacement and redistricting city wards were among the items on the busy agenda of the Milford City Council meeting Monday.
Ahead of the upcoming replacement of Bridge No. 504 on Southwest Front Street — anticipated to begin in 2024 — the road will need to be temporarily converted into a two-way street, said Mark Whitfield, Milford city manager, at the meeting. That is because trucks hauling granite are currently being forced to cross the bridge, despite being over the 3-ton weight limit, he said.
That in turn will necessitate temporarily changing the intersections of Southwest/Southeast Front Street and Causey Avenue with South Walnut Street to accommodate the new traffic flow. To that end, city engineer James Puddicombe presented council members with the results of a previously commissioned study looking into the feasibility of different traffic control options.
The study, completed by Century Engineering, recommended turning the intersection into an all-way stop, finding it to be both cost effective and suitable as a short-term measure. The study also recommended that the city consider making the all-way stop permanent, as long as it does not cause any problems.
In January, Milford Mayor Archie Campbell requested that city staff work with engineering firm Davis, Bowen & Friedel to work on a new map of the city’s wards after the release of data from the 2020 census, Mr. Whitfield said.
Each of the city’s four wards have grown significantly since the last census in 2010, said Ring Lardner, president of the engineering company. Ward 1 grew the most — from 2,442 to 3,207 people, an increase of more than 31% in 10 years.
Because the population growth has been uneven between wards, the city must redraw district lines to balance the wards to remain in compliance with the city charter, Mr. Lardner said.
The new maps will take into account growth estimates so hopefully when 2030 rolls around, the maps will not have to be changed again, he said.
The city must pass the new maps six months before the next city election, which will be April 22, 2023. That means the city has until late October to finish the redistricting process, including public hearings.
Other items from the city council meeting:
The city will be getting two electric vehicle charging stations at the parking lot adjacent to Arena’s after the city’s grant application was approved by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
The council awarded a grant to replace more than 13,000 square feet of sidewalk to Jaquez Concrete, a Middletown business, which turned in the lowest bid of the three that were submitted, at $380,760.