During August 1997, Conectiv (formerly Delmarva Power) utility crews were spotted installing new poles several feet southeast from the original ones (towards the right in the above picture).
At the eastern end of route 569, the utility poles formed a fine curve in order to remove the existing left-right jog (see marker on map) in the bypass.
In September, crews were spotted working on the storm drainage system.
During a mid-November pass-by, it was noted that the northeast shoulder of DE 404 was closed in order to create acceleration and deceleration lanes for turning traffic. Unfortunately, it does not appear that a dedicated left-turn lane enabling eastbound traffic to easily access this link is being added.
By January, the portion of the road which follows the old alignment had been completed. The part near the big jog remained a sea of mud.
In late March, the portion of the road which crosses the train tracks and connects with US 113 was being widened. The above noted jog was also incomplete. None of these obstacles prevented this reporter from actually using the road, despite the "Closed" signs.
In late April, the road is now definitely closed at the new jog. Final paving appears to be days away. You should believe the "Closed" signs.
In May, they'd paved the main stretch, and were doing serious regrading at the train track crossing.
In July, it looked pretty much the same.
In mid-August, the road was open for traffic, and has been renumbered DE 404.
It is a fine road with a graceful S-curve, and there is no significant hump at the railroad tracks.
The road leading through Bridgeville has been redesignated as Business 404.
There is a traffic light west of Bridgeville which requires eastbound travelers to wait for a left turn arrow to stay on DE 404.
This is at an intersection where the sight distance is at least one mile.
This light is adjusted to favor traffic which is NOT using the bypass.
In order to be an effective bypass, it should be faster than the main route through town.
Timing traffic lights so that it is slower to use the bypass is counterproductive.
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Last updated 9/11/99; visited times.