The Delaware River and Bay Authority will spend $6.6 million to improve and expand the Wilmington Airport terminal, according to its five-year capital investment plan.
That is one of 120 major improvement projects costing $132.7 million at the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, the Forts Ferry, the Millville Executive Airport, the Cape May Airport, the Delaware Air Park and the Civil Air Terminal.
The most expensive project involves designing and building new ferries, budgeted at $109,130,000.
The two capital projects planned at Wilmington Airport, which include demolishing a nearby hotel, will delight the passengers of Avelo, an airline that expanded its routes out of Delaware twice last year.
Consumers may also notice two projects to improve the roadways near the Cape May Ferry terminal, plus restoration of the war memorial near the Delaware Memorial Bridge.
The plan includes the following major capital projects, with costs assigned to 2024 and “the out years,” meaning 2025-28.
Wilmington Airport’s capital plans
Hotel demolition: The authority has acquired control of a hotel adjacent to the Wilmington Airport terminal building, which it does not plan to operate. The project will demolish existing hotel buildings and provide for immediate temporary parking. This project has an estimated authority cost of $2,847,000 in 2024 and $502,000 in the out years.
Terminal improvements: This project programs the cost to finalize design of the improvements to expand and modify the terminal, including hold room capacity, frontage improvements and customer service. This project has an estimated authority cost of $1,951,000 in 2024 and $4,659,000 in the out years.
Delaware Memorial Bridge
Annual bridge steelwork repairs: This project makes miscellaneous steelwork repairs to preserve the bridge’s steelwork while maintaining safety and operational service levels. Work typically includes replacement of worn bearing assemblies, access platforms, maintenance of steel connections, installing new safety features, suspender rope replacement, and other items. This project has an estimated authority cost of $6,200,000 in 2024 and $47,000,000 in the out years.
Annual maintenance bridge span painting: The annual bridge inspection report recommends continued repairs to the coating system. The project will strip affected areas to bare metal and recoat with a three‐layer protective overcoat system. This project has an estimated authority cost of $8,338,000 in 2024 and $25,525,000 in the out years.
Ship collision protection: This project provides a protection system meeting current standards and consists of eight 80-foot diameter dolphin structures, two at the approach of each tower pier. Through 2023, the authority has expended nearly $44 million on this project. It has an estimated authority cost of $25,240,000 in 2024 and $18,016,000 in the out years.
War memorial refurbishment: The project programs the design and restoration of the existing War Memorial. It will also add the names of all military personnel from Delaware and New Jersey who were killed in the Vietnam War and subsequent conflicts to the main monument. This project has an estimated authority cost of $4,500,000 in 2024. This effort has no anticipated annual operating cost impact.
Cape May-Lewes Ferry
Annual vessel maintenance and dry docking: The project programs annual capital expenditures for the three vessels, particularly in areas that preserve these assets and improve passenger safety and operational reliability. Planned projects include vessel shipyard dry dockings, purchase of life saving equipment, seating replacements, systems efficiency upgrades, generator overhauls, and miscellaneous improvements. This project has an estimated authority cost of $3,305,000 in 2024 and $43,913,000 in the out years.
Beach Drive improvements: Beach Drive is presently a narrow two‐lane road, owned by Lower Township, with no shoulders or dedicated pedestrian access. Improvements consist of widening the lanes, adding a protected pedestrian walk and bikeway, and street lighting. This project has an estimated authority cost of $250,000 in 2024 and $1,250,000 in the out years.
Cape May approach roads rehabilitation: Pavements at the toll approach in Cape May are deteriorating. The project proposes the design and construction for roadway reconfigurations at the terminal entrance, improvements to the approach roads and the replacement of highway signage. This project has an estimated authority cost of $3.1 million in 2024 and $1.9 in the out years. The project is partially funded in the amount of slightly more than $2.4 million by the New Jersey DOT.
Fender replacements: High-strength fiberglass fender panels were installed during the late 1990s at both terminals to resist vessel impact along the bulkhead. These panels have reached the end of their service life and are being replaced with steel panels similar in shape and size. This project has an estimated authority cost of $874,000 in 2024 and $936,000 in the out years.
New vessel design and construction: This project includes the design and construction to replace vessels in the ferry fleet. This project has an estimated authority cost of $2,000,000 in 2024 and $107,130,000 in the out years. It is anticipated that the project will be partially funded with federal assistance.
Millville Executive Airport
New box hangars: There is a need for additional hangars at the Millville Airport. The capital project programs the design and construction of new box hangars to address this demand. This project has an estimated authority cost of $500,000 in 2024. The project is partially funded in the amount of approximately $1.5 million by the Federal Aviation Administration.
New multipurpose building: his project programs for the construction of a new multipurpose building in a more optimal location for future expansion. This project has an estimated authority cost of $50,000 in 2024 and $5,950,000 in the out years.
Cape May Airport
Third multi-tenant building: The authority has constructed and fully leased two multi‐tenant buildings, and there is demand for more. The capital project provides for the construction of an additional multi‐tenant light industrial building to accommodate new tenancy requests. This project has an estimated authority cost of $1,000,000 in 2024 and $4,341,000 in the out years.
Delaware Air Park
Hangar Bank “F” construction: The project programs the construction of additional box hangars to address demand. This project has an estimated authority cost of $578,000 in 2024. The project is funded in the amount of $844,000 by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The authority’s plan is funded by $116.7 million in authority resources and nearly $16 million in federal, state and local grant funds.
“A healthy, reliable infrastructure network is vital for economic growth and prosperity,” Vince Meconi, chief operations officer for the authority, said in a statement. “Millions of people rely on our family of transportation services to move goods and services, get to a family vacation or to commute to work every day. This CIP is an investment in our collective future.”
Share this Post