Oppose the Hudson-Hughes Highway in Georgetown-Lewes.

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The proposed Georgetown Lewes rail trail is planned and funded. Many residents of Lewes benefit from the trail in their backyards. Although traffic is a real concern in our area, we need viable infrastructure improvements that are helpful, not detrimental to the residents, especially children of Lewes. Adding a highway creates problems, not solutions. Roads divide, trails unite. 

The proposed Hudson-Hughes Highway would run alongside the trail, through many residents’ current back yards. This is a quality of life issue for many of us. We must protect the safety and integrity of our beautiful small town. 

Summary: Georgetown - Lewes Rail Trail Status and Alternate Highway Plan

• The Delaware State Legislature has approved and funded (this year to Minos Conaway Rd) a hiking/biking trail on the Delaware Coast Line RR right-of-way between Georgetown and Lewes, and named it the Georgetown-Lewes Rail Trail. Motorized vehicles will not be permitted on the right-of-way. 

• Track has already been removed from the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal west to Fisher Road.

• The DelDOT Construction Project Manager for this project has told us that construction bids will be solicited in August, 2018.  Construction will start in October, 2018, and barring unforeseen weather, should be complete by March, 2019.

• In December, 2017, DelDOT formed the 5Points Working Group of 18 local citizens, office holders, civic leaders and business persons to brainstorm ideas to alleviate traffic congestion at the intersection of Coastal Highway and State Route 9 in Lewes. 17 members remain in the Group.

• At 6 pm on July 30 at Beacon Middle School, 19483 John J. Williams Highway, Route 24, Lewes, the 5Points Working Group will finish deciding which suggestions to submit to DelDOT.

• One suggestion, #76, is to construct a bypass highway on the same abandoned railroad right-of-way that has been proposed, funded and is under construction for the dedicated non-vehicular Georgetown-Lewes Rail Trail. The rail trail would be relegated to a bike path along a highway of speeding cars and trucks. The current natural tunnel of trees would be obliterated.

• The proponents of this proposal are real estate developer and businessman Christian Hudson and his architecture, engineering and surveying firm Davis, Bowen and Friedel of Milton, Salisbury and Easton, represented by traffic engineer D.J. Hughes. Hudson and Hughes are members of the DelDOT 5Points Working Group. They have modestly titled their proposal the “Hudson-Hughes Highway.”

• The design is depicted on an aerial photograph, with cross-section illustrations. The cross-sections imply that paved areas will be small and that vegetation areas will be large. But the opposite will likely be true. The right-of-way is only 66 feet wide. Most of the right-of-way would be paved in order to accommodate 2x12’ drive lanes, 2x8’ shoulders, 1x10’ bike path, 2x2’ wide guard rails and 2x6’ wide drainage ditches.  Cars are shown occupying 1/3 of a 12 foot wide driving lane. But full size cars are 5’6” to 6’ wide, not 4 feet wide. Full-size pick-ups and tractor trailer trucks are 8 1/2 feet wide. None are shown on the illustrations. The illustrations do not faithfully depict what ultimately will likely be built.

• If this proposal becomes a reality, imagine speeding trucks, noise, exhaust fumes, and headlights 24/7/365. Keep your doors locked, your children in the yard, and your pets tied up. Plan on owning your house for a long time because it will have dropped in value.  And worst of all, your quality of life, and that of generations to come, will be substantially compromised.

email comments to: 5points.deldot.gov.                                                                                                        Select: “Public Involvement” tab and comment on the electronic comment form.  
                   Come together at Beacon Middle School Monday night July 30, 6 PM.
           Georgetown-Lewes Rail Coalition      Contact us at: savetherailtrail@gmail.com