CHAPTER 603

PROVIDING FOR LIMITED ACCESS HIGHWAY

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 17, ENTITLED "HIGHWAYS" OF THE DELAWARE CODE TO PROVIDE FOR THE PLANNING, DESIGNATION, ESTABLISHMENT, USE, REGULATION, ALTERATION, IMPROVEMENT, MAINTENANCE, AND VACATION OF CONTROLLED-ACCESS FACILITIES; THE ACQUISITION OF LANDS REQUIRED THEREFOR; THE RESTRICTION OF INTERSECTIONS AND CONTROL OF APPROACHES; THE ESTABLISHMENT OF LOCAL SERVICE ROADS; THE PROHIBITION OF CERTAIN ACTS THEREON AND PROVISION FOR PENALTIES THEREFOR; AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

SECTION 1. Chapter 1 of Title 17 of the Delaware Code is amended by adding thereto the following subchapter to be designated Subchapter V, "Controlled-Access Highways" containing the following sections to be designated as § §171 to 180 of Title 17:

§ 171. Declaration of policy

The legislature hereby finds, determines, and declares that this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, and for the promotion of the general welfare.

§ 172. Definition of a controlled-access facility

For the purposes of this subchapter, a controlled-access facility is defined as a highway or street especially designed for through traffic, and over, from, or to which owners or occupants of abutting land or other persons have no right or easement or only a controlled right or easement of access, light, air, or view by reason of the fact that their property abuts upon such controlled-access facility or for any other reason. Such highways or streets may be freeways open to use by all customary forms of street and highway traffic; or they may be parkways from which trucks, busses, and other commercial vehicles shall be excluded.

§ 173. Authority to establish controlled-access facilities

The Department, acting alone or in cooperation with any other governmental agency or political subdivision of this State or with any Federal, State, or local agency of any other State having authority to participate in the construction and maintenance of highways, is hereby authorized to plan, designate, establish, regulate, vacate, alter, improve, maintain, and provide controlled-access facilities for public use wherever the Department is of the opinion that traffic conditions, present or future, will justify such special facilities : Provided, That within cities and towns such authority shall be subject to such municipal consent as may be provided by law. The Department, in addition to the specific powers granted in this act, shall also have and may exercise, relative to controlled-access facilities, any and all additional authority now or hereafter vested in it relative to highways or streets within its jurisdiction. The Department may regulate, restrict, or prohibit the use of such controlled-access facilities by the various classes of vehicles or traffic in a manner consistent with § 172 of this title.

§ 174. Design of controlled-access facility

The Department is authorized to so design any controlled-access facility and to so regulate, restrict, or prohibit access as to best serve the traffic for which such facility is intended. In this connection the Department is authorized to divide and separate any controlled-access facility into separate roadways by the construction of raised curbings, central dividing sections, or other physical separations, or by designating such separate roadways by signs, markers, stripes, and the proper lane for such traffic by appropriate signs, markers, stripes, and other devices. No person shall have any right of ingress or egress to, from, or across controlled-access facilities to or from abutting lands, except at such designated points at which access may be permitted, upon such terms and conditions as may be specified from time to time.

§ 175. Acquisition of property and property rights

For the purposes of this act, the Department may acquire private or public property and property rights for controlled-access facilities and service roads, including rights of access, air, view, and light, by gift, devise, purchase, or condemnation in the same manner as such units are now or hereafter may be authorized by law to acquire such property or property rights in connection with highways and streets within its jurisdiction. All property rights acquired under the provisions of this act shall be in fee simple. In connection with the acquisition of property or property rights for any controlled-access facility or portion thereof, or service road in connection therewith, the Department may, in its discretion, acquire an entire lot, block, or tract of land, if, by so doing, the interests of the public will be best served, even though said entire lot, block, or tract is not immediately needed for the right-of-way proper.

§ 176. New and existing facilities; grade-crossing eliminations

The Department may designate and establish controlled-access highways as new and additional facilities or may designate and establish an existing street or highway as included within a controlled-access facility. The State or any of its subdivisions shall have authority to provide for the elimination of intersections at grade of controlled-access facilities with existing State and county roads, and city or town streets, by grade separation or service road, or by closing off such roads and streets at the right-of-way boundary line of such controlled-access facility ; and after the establishment of any controlled-access facility, no highway or street which is not part of said facility shall intersect the same at grade, except as a temporary expedient, for which a separate resolution for each individual location shall be approved by a duly executed resolution of the Department. No city or town street, county or State highway, or other public way shall be opened into or connected with any such controlled-access facility without the consent and previous approval of the agency having jurisdiction over such controlled-access facility. Such consent and approval shall be given only if the public interest shall be served thereby.

§ 177. Authority of local units to consent

The Department is authorized to enter into agreements with other States, counties, towns, or with the Federal Government, respecting the financing, planning, establishment, improvement, maintenance, use, regulation, or vacation of controlled-access facilities or other public ways in its jurisdiction, to facilitate the purposes of this Act.

§ 178. Local service roads

In connection with the development of any controlled-access facility the Department is authorized to plan, designate, establish, use, regulate, alter, improve, maintain, and vacate local service roads and streets or to designate as local service roads and streets any existing road or street, and to exercise jurisdiction over service roads in the same manner as is authorized over controlled-access facilities under the terms of this act, if, in their opinion, such local service roads and streets are necessary or desirable. Such local service roads or streets shall be of appropriate design, and shall be separated from the controlled-access facility proper by means of all devices designated as necessary or desirable by the proper authority.

§ 179. Unlawful use of controlled-access facilities; penalties

It is unlawful for any person (1) to drive a vehicle over, upon, or across any curb, central dividing section, or other separation or dividing line on controlled-access facilities ; (2) to make a left turn or a semicircular or U-turn except through an opening provided for that purpose in the dividing curb section, separation, or line; (3) to drive any vehicle except in the proper lane provided for that purpose and in the proper direction and to the right of the central dividing curb, separation section, or line ; (4) to drive any vehicle into the controlled-access facility from a local service road except through an opening provided for that purpose in the dividing curb or dividing section or dividing line which separates such service road from the controlled-access facility proper. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this section shall be punished by a fine of not less than five dollars ($5.00) nor more than one hundred dollars ($100.00), or by imprisonment for not less than 5 days nor more than 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

§ 180. Limit of Authority

The authority granted to the Department in this act at this time is to be restricted to New Castle County.

Approved June 22, 1956.