Delaware Department of Transportation
Savannah Road Transportation Alternative Project
Rossi Group was responsible for developing transportation related infrastructure improvement concepts to improve bicycle and pedestrian safety and to enhance aesthetics along Savannah Road, a busy commercial and recreational area near the beach. The project limits are from the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal bridge east to the Lewes beach parking lot for approximately 2,600 feet including American Legion Road.
Project Need and Funding
The popularity of adjacent trails coupled with the increasing number of pedestrians and bicyclists using the street network dictate the City’s consideration of walking and bicycling as a significant mode of non-vehicular transportation. The project purpose was to improve access for pedestrians and bicyclists, mainly families with children on their way to and from the beach; and to improve access to existing local and regional shared-use paths. The goal was to install new or enhance existing facilities including sidewalks, crosswalks and intersections to be ADA compliant and that enhance pedestrian and bicycle safety and mobility.
The project is funded through a Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant, applied for by the City of Lewes. All TAP grant requirements and guidelines were followed to maintain eligibility.
Rossi staff conducted field reconnaissance to observe current pedestrian and bicycle facility conditions and challenges; collected information regarding bicycle, pedestrian, and traffic conditions, existing historic and environmental features (tidal wetlands), and identifiable utility conflicts; and prepared the highway, property, and environmental base mapping from GIS data and aerial mapping. Additionally, Rossi reviewed previous bicycle and pedestrian studies, traffic studies, and relevant comprehensive and master plans and proposed development plans to ensure compliance and conformity.
Rossi developed an urban streetscape plan that follows the complete street principles and promotes bicycle and pedestrian safety and multi-modal non-motorized travel. A pathway spur concept was developed that connects Savannah Road with the proposed Georgetown to Lewes rail-trail network. Design elements proposed were based on the established roadway and urban design best practices and followed the local and state design criteria and manuals. The proposed improvements avoided and minimized impacts to environmentally sensitive areas (tidal wetland) and best accommodated environmental permitting regulations. The safety improvement and aesthetic enhancement plan were consistent with the Lewes Comprehensive Plan, the Historic Byway Plan, and the Transportation Alternatives Project (TAP) application submitted by the City.
Rossi developed the proposed improvements using traffic calming and complete streets techniques that promote safer routes for non-drivers, including children and older adults, and individuals with disabilities. Road diet design elements included reduced travel lanes; shared travel lanes with sharrows pavement markings and signs; new curb and gutter, driveways, and access points; intersection islands to delineate turn movements; improvements to storm drain facilities; upgrades to sidewalks, ramps and truncated domes that meet ADA requirements; new separated off-road pathway facility; improved vehicular parking facilities; mitigation to provide erosion control; and a landscape buffer that serves as a low impact bioretention area to capture and treat highway runoff.
The transportation infrastructure design utilized AASHTO Guide for Development of Bicycle Facilities, DelDOT Bicycle Policy and Design Guidelines, and the AASHTO Policy on Geometric Design of Highways and Streets. Review of maintenance of traffic and sequencing of construction/erosion and sediment control was completed to develop construction phasing plan. Rossi prepared an engineer’s construction cost estimate and Capital Transportation Program (CTP) estimate for TAP funding and phased project implementation.
Environmental Mitigation/Landscape Architecture
Rossi prepared a complete street and landscape design concept that is consistent with the Lewes Scenic and Historic Byway and Landscape Master Plan. The proposed streetscape/landscape elements include: crosswalks in thermoplastic materials and colored pattern; location appropriate landscaping strip and plantings as a vegetation management practice within the right-of-way to improve roadway safety and aesthetics; transit amenities including bus stops; street furnishings including benches, trash cans, and decorative bollards; bicycle facilities including bike racks and bike parking; new scenic ADA accessible boardwalk overlook for viewing wetland habitat; stormwater management best management practices (BMPs) to treat highway runoff; materials include permeable materials and planted landscaping strip; and gateway signs.
Rossi developed a landscaped buffer separation zone design that is utilized to achieve stormwater compliance and act as a safety zone between vehicles and pedestrians.