DelDOT meets with Cecil County, state officials as trucks use country roads to evade tolls

Damaged road pieces were brought to the meeting. (Cecil County government photo)

Cecil County officials say trucks seeking an alternative to tolls on the new Route 301 bypass in Delaware are tearing up secondary roads.

Officials from the two states gathered in Cecilton, MD last week to discuss the issue that came with the opening of the toll road last month.

Brought to the meeting were pieces of damaged pavement.

Representatives from Delaware Department of Transportation, Delaware State Police and New Castle County Police, Cecil County Sheriff’s Office, Cecil County Government, the towns of Cecilton and Galena, and the Maryland State Highway Administration talked about truck traffic thataccording to a Cecil County release is destroying roadways, primarily in the Warwick-Cecilton area.

The Delaware Department of Transportation will re-evaluate three areas that feed into the county – Strawberry Lane (which becomes Wilson Street), Edgar Price Road, and Sassafras Road, according to a release from Cecil County government.

Possible solutions mentioned include a need for more signs on the Delaware side, increased patrols and fines, a reduced-fee EZ-Pass option and even barricades to block through traffic coming from Delaware.

(Delaware EZ-Pass users get a break on multiple trips on the Route 301 toll road).

Trucks evading tolls have long been an issue in Newark, DE. When the Chrysler plant was operating, funding was offered to Newark Police in an effort to stop trucks from getting around Delaware tolls.

The process of evading tolls is made easier these days through the use of GPS devices. However, technology does not flag roads that are unsuitable for heavy or oversized vehicles.

Law enforcement officials stated that a lack of staffing will make enforcement actions more difficult.

“We simply do not have the manpower to have an officer sitting down here around the clock to catch these people who are coming into the County creating the problems,” said Major George Stanko of the Cecil County Sheriff’s Office.

Cecilton Mayor Joseph Zang said the bigger worry revolves around public safety as big rigs traverse small town streets..

DelDOT and the Maryland State Highway Administration have agreed to meet with Cecil County Roads Division Chief Dan Webber to discuss possible funding for repairs and maintenance on County roads, as well as other ideas and alternatives.

DelDOT spokesman C.R. McLeod, said, “DelDOT and Delaware State Police are continuing to work with Maryland officials to address trucks that are attempting to avoid the US 301 toll.”

“County Executive McCarthy is very concerned about the adverse impacts on Cecil County roads,” said Al Wein, Cecil County director of administration. “We need to work together to seek solutions in a timely manner.”

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