Jennifer Cohan

House of Representatives

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Governor-elect John Carney has tapped the legislature's deputy controller general to become his budget director.

Mike Jackson, who spent 11 years in the budget office before moving to the controller general's office, is one of only a handful of people fitting Carney's criteria of someone who is experienced in Delaware government and who understands the details of cobbling together an annual spending plan.

Jackson would succeed Brian Maxwell, who is leaving to become chief financial officer for New Castle County.

Don Rush

DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware's Department of Transportation has received a $1.49 million federal grant for a pilot study regarding the feasibility of charging drivers a mileage-based user fee to help pay for road projects.

The Federal Highway Administration on Tuesday announced $14.2 million in grants for several states to explore alternative revenue mechanisms to help sustain the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund.

Don Rush

There is a proposal backed by the Delaware Department of Transportation to substitute a mileage tax for the current gas tax to fund road construction and repair.

Delaware along with four other states on the East Coast have suggested that motorist pay a fee based on the distance that they drive.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that the proposal is a response to a request by federal transportation authorities to come up with alternative ways to pay for road construction.

The request comes in the wake of stagnant funding form the current gas and diesel tax.

Don Rush

In January construction should begin on the U.S. 301 toll road relief route.

It should be done by the end of 2018.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that this comes as a result of the approval by a federal program to provide $211.3 million for the project.

Delaware Transportation Secretary Jennifer Cohan called this a key moment for transportation construction in Delaware.

The paper says this will cover about a third of the total cost of $643 million.

The First State has not seen a new toll road in years.

The Delaware Department of Transportation will be spending at levels not seen since the Great Recession began.

There will be $3.4 billion shelled out from the capital transportation plan that runs from 2017 through 2022.

It will spend nearly $600-million on paving and road rehabilitation.

Other projects range from $261-million to widen Delaware Route 1 near the Roth Bridge to $41 million on ramps at the I-95 and SR 141 interchange.

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The Delaware Department of Transportation says it plans to spend most of the $55 million allocated by the state legislature on fixing bridges and repairing roads next year.

DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan said that the money will help fill a six-year $180 million shortfall.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that almost all of the money approved by the state legislature came from 13 vehicle fees along with $25 million in bonds.

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DOVER, Del. (AP) - Delaware transportation officials and the ride-hailing service Uber are finalizing an agreement to allow the company to operate in the state.

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Delaware transportation officials say they would like to speed up several major road projects despite this year’s tight budget.

These include $5.6 million for an auxiliary lane along Delaware Route 1 easing the merging of traffic from northbound US Route 40 to Delaware Route 273.

The new Transportation Secretary Jennifer Cohan laid out their plans for state legislators yesterday afternoon.

Due to a lack of funds amounting to $600-million Cohan said that the department had to cut back on needed projects.

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Delaware is hoping to be the first to state in the country to allow drivers to use an app on their smartphones as their official driver's license.
The Daily Times reports that the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles is studying the issue after the Legislature adopted a resolution last week.
State officials say digital driver's licenses won't eliminate hard plastic licenses, but would give drivers more options and convenience.

DelDOT website

Delaware Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt is leaving his post after nearly 4 years to head up the Colorado Department of Transportation.

He will take over the position in mid-February.

Bhatt told the Wilmington News Journal that he wanted to deal with the revenue package for DelDOT before he leaves the agency.

Governor Jack Markell has nominated Jennifer Cohan, head of the Division of Motor Vehicles, to take over the job.

Cohan has managed nearly all of the agency’s divisions when vacancies came up while still running the DMV.