Back in January of 2012, we published this inquiry from a Bike Delaware reader:
Dear Bike Delaware,
I have been bicycling as an adult since 1969, was on the original Governor’s Bicycle Task Force in the late 1970′s and early 1980′s, and in 1985 founded Delaware’s premier bike event, the Delaware Double Cross. After living in Newark for over 30 years, I moved to New Castle 3 years ago. Late this summer I discovered the Wilmington-New Castle Industrial Trail. It wasn’t easy. It is partially obscured from the road and to access it one has to go down to the school lot entrance and loop around. Sometimes this lot is closed with chains across the entrance. After driving by many times, I biked over to see what was there. As there was a football game going on, I had to fight my way through parked cars and a crowd of people. Finally I was able to get to the entrance of the trail and rode it end to end and back.
I truly don’t understand how they can build such a delightful trail and then proceed to hide it from view and make accessing it so difficult. A direct entrance from the road with a baffled ramp to keep vehicles out would make the trail so much more useable.
In January of 2012, not only was the entrance to the trail on the north side of Frenchtown Road in New Castle obscured but another section of the trail on the south side of Frenchtown Road (known as the “New Castle Heritage Trail” and heading into downtown New Castle) was almost completely impossible to access (at least without a mountain bike and an appetite for very steep dirt hills!) Here’s what it looked like then:
We asked DelDOT back then if and when they were planning to fix this. DelDOT said they were
“in the process of initiating the design on a project that will construct a multi-use trail facility along Rt. 273 (north side) from Rt. 13 to Ferry Cut-Off Road. The project is also proposing an at-grade crossing of Rt. 273 at the intersection point of the industrial track greenway. A lot of in-house coordination and design is needed to make this idea a reality.
If we are able to get the design started within the next couple weeks and funds are secured for the construction phase we would be looking to start construction around summer 2013.”
Here’s what that orphaned trail looked like on Tuesday:
It’s happening! Our congratulations both to DelDOT and to the city of New Castle! The two trail segments are getting stitched together, with an appropriate crossing of Frenchtown Road, all part of a great vision to connect the downtowns of New Castle and Wilmington by bicycle.