It’s late October but it will nevertheless be 80° (!) today at 2PM in Lewes for the official opening of the first phase of the Lewes-Georgetown Trail. This is the first 1.1-mile section – from Gills Neck Road to Savannah Road in Lewes – of what will eventually be a 10 foot wide paved trail that extends a total of 17 miles all the way to Georgetown.
- WHEN: Wednesday, October 19 at 2 p.m.
- WHERE: The event will be held on the grounds of the Lewes Public Library, 111 Adams Avenue, Lewes, Delaware
- WHO: Governor Jack Markell, DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan, DNREC Secretary David Small, Delaware Speaker of the House Peter Schwartzkopf, State Senator Ernie Lopez, and Lewes Mayor Ted Becker
While celebrating the opening of this first trail section, the greater significance of today’s milestone is perhaps the way it now sets up Phase II of the trail. Phase II will connect the increasingly populous communities west of Route 1 in Sussex County to Lewes and (via the Junction & Breakwater Trail) to Rehoboth. Crucially, Phase II of the Lewes-Georgetown Trail will also provide a much-needed and fervently desired safe, grade-separated crossing of the extremely busy and dangerous Route 1, going under the Nassau Bridge.
The Lewes-Georgetown Trail is an ambitious project which would not be possible without the support of the Delaware General Assembly, Sussex County Council and Governor Jack Markell:
- In May of 2011, the Delaware General Assembly passed Walkable Bikeable Delaware, which directed DelDOT to “create multi-use paths for pedestrian and bicycle user travel within and between cities and towns in Delaware on independent right-of-way outside of the right-of-way of existing roadways.”
- In September of 2011, Sussex County Council identified the Lewes-Georgetown Trail as a County transportation priority.
- In October of 2011, Governor Markell included the project in his huge and ambitious First State Trails and Pathways Initiative.
Ray Quillen, who grew up in Lewes, has long waited for progress on the Lewes-Georgetown Trail. In fact, he has been so impatient for the trail to get started – and especially for the Phase II of the trail that will go under the Nassau Bridge – that he personally roughed out an unpaved section of trail underneath the Nassau Bridge. The Cape Gazette called Quillen a cyclist on a “mission” for the trail.
“I hope that the second phase can be started soon,” said Quillen.
• Lewes cyclist on mission for new trail (Cape Gazette)