Sunday, December 5, 2010

DELDOT's Route 113 Bypass Land Deals Require Investigation

The Delaware Department of Transportation's decision to pay two land developers $60,000 per month not to build should be cause of concern for the Delaware taxpayer.  It does not take a rocket scientist to know that the U.S. and Delaware are still reeling from a protracted recession, of which includes the housing market.  DELDOT's decision to reward two land developers in this market are akin to bailouts doled out by the U.S. Department of Treasury to large firms suchs as General Motors, Chrysler and all of the national money-center banks.

The premise of rewarding the two land developers was brought to Delawareans' attention today.  But a News Journal article alone will not address the premise of the why the two developers are being rewarded.  And that is why Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden and State Auditor Tom Wagner must investigate.

  • Why were the two developers the only ones rewarded, of the 416 affected by the new bypass plans? 
  • Is the planned bypass through Dagsboro the best alternative to problems on Route 113?
  • What authority does DELDOT have to reward $60,000/month to two developers for something not to be built? (This is different that compensating homeowners affected by a road project on fair market value due to loss of property).
The State Auditor must also investigate DELDOT Secretary Carolyn Wicks' premise that the deals were responsible to the Delaware taxpayer.  Her own comment ""We are responsible with taxpayers' money," is simply not true.  Rewarding two developers to the tune of $60,000 each per month is not good stewardship of taxpayer dollars. 

Further investigation needs to be done to investigate Rte 113 alternatives as they fail to address the East-West congestion.  The congestion on Rte 113 is North-South, but the East-West congestion is due to traffic coming from Rte 113 where there are shopping opportunities east to the shore points.  The Bypass alternatives will not alleviate that traffic congestion as Rtes 24, 26, etc may be landlocked and may not be condusive to expansion.

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