Hurricane Irene has caused state transportation planners to hold off on toll road plans that were planned for Wednesday. By the middle of 2012, officials hope to be working on the $747 million highway that is between west of Middletown, the Roth and Summit bridges. Last year the state lawmakers told the agency that they could start working in phases on the project. For awhile now, attempts to build the road have gone up and down. Originally, the focus was on safer conditions, reduced traffic congestion and pressure to separate local traffic from longer-distance travelers such as transporters. In more recent years, the main focus is on the support of economic development and to reduce congestion-related air pollution. Some businesses and people are supporting this project and have grown interested on seeing how it will turn out, but others don’t agree with it. Some property for the roadway has already been bought by DelDOT, but there are still 110 properties that still need to be bought. In the beginning, purchases started off with the state and buying part of an elementary school, later being turned into 236 acres of property. To complete the land purchases, the state sold $125 million in bonds along with future federal transportation subsidies. Last year, land purchases got put on hold because of controversies. A new date for the meeting has not been set yet by the state officials, but there have been a few sessions that have been scheduled at Middletown Fire Hall.
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