• Public Prefers Rail-With-Trail for Lewes-Georgetown Route at DelDOT Workshop

    by  • August 26, 2011 • Walkable Bikeable Delaware • 0 Comments

    Despite at least a 30% greater construction cost and the likelihood of impacting adjacent properties along the route, participants in a DelDOT sponsored Public Workshop in Lewes on Monday, spoke in favor of retaining the current rail line alongside a new 10 feet wide multi-use path that will be built between Lewes and Georgetown. The new Trail was enthusiastically endorsed by all the Workshop participants, but comments indicated a strong interest in future economic development possibilities that might develop if the rail line is kept.

    Senator Gary Simpson, Lewes Mayor Jim Ford and Delaware Transit Corporation Development Director Ken Potts all attended and spoke at the Workshop.

    Mike Rothenheber, Senior Vice President of JMT, presented the results of JMT’s study of the route. The estimated price for removing the current rail line and building a multi-use path between Lewes and Cool Springs in its place was $10M. The rail-with-trail option was estimated to cost $13M, not including possible additional cost for some right-of-way acquisition in places.

    The Lewes-to-Georgetown path will be one of the first two big Walkable, Bikeable Delaware projects statewide to benefit from the unprecedented state bike route money voted by the General Assembly on June 30. The other big project poised to benefit immediately is the New Castle Industrial Track.


    James Wilson is the executive director of Bike Delaware. He is a member of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (by whom he was named the 2014 Professional of the Year, Nonprofit Sector), the Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Delaware Bicycle Council. He serves on the board of directors of Delaware Greenways and as the co-chair of the policy committee of the Advisory Council on Walkability and Pedestrian Awareness. He holds engineering degrees from Yale University and the University of Texas at Austin and is the only registered lobbyist for cycling and walking in Delaware. He helped create, and continues to lead Bike Delaware's participation in, the Walkable Bikeable Delaware campaign. During his tenure as Bike Delaware's executive director, Delaware advanced in the national Bicycle Friendly State rankings for five years in a row, farther and faster than any other state, ever. Delaware is now officially ranked as the #3 Bicycle Friendly State in America.

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