- Associated Press - Friday, February 5, 2016

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Gov. Jack Markell joined Delaware’s congressional delegation for a groundbreaking ceremony Friday on a long-awaited road project to ease traffic congestion in southern New Castle County.

Federal Highway Administration Administrator Gregory Nadeau also was among those on hand for the launch of the U.S. 301 project.

The new 301 will be a limited-access, four-lane toll road stretching from the Maryland/Delaware state line to State Route 1 north of the Biddles Corner Toll Plaza.

Officials say the project, estimated to cost about $650 million, will improve safety, reduce congestion on the existing two-lane stretches of U.S. 301, support economic development, and create jobs.

Earlier this week, state transportation officials announced the awarding of the third and fourth contracts for the three-year project. The contracts awarded to date total more than $230 million.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Colin Bonini, a Dover Republican, called on Delaware Transportation Secretary Jennifer Cohan to track the ZIP codes of any worker who generates income during the highway project so that Delawareans can determine where the money from the estimated $705 million impact ends up.

Bonini says requiring contractors and subcontractors to report the ZIP codes of their workers would not add a substantial compliance cost or invade anyone’s privacy.

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