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Delaware Department of Transportation

Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO)


What is a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO)

  • In 1962, the Federal-Aid Highway Act dedicated funding that would eventually create the Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) that were to be the planning organizations for urbanized areas of 50,000 or more persons. Congress gave federal transportation officials the legal mandate and financing to transform the various regional planning groups across the country into multi-modal planning agencies. Both highway and transit funding was merged into one planning document. Currently, there are about 340 such urbanized areas with MPO’s in the U.S.
  • The MPO planning process is required for “urbanized areas” that are designated after each decennial Census. The U.S. Census Bureau defines “urban areas” as those having population densities of 1000 persons per square mile. These urbanized areas can extend across State and County boundaries. New Castle County has been a part of the “Wilmington urbanized area” managed by the WILMAPCO MPO which also includes Cecil County, Maryland, since 1970. Kent County has been part of the “Dover urbanized area” managed by the Dover-Kent County MPO, since 1990. As part of the 2010 Census the Salisbury Wicomico urbanized area extended up the US13 corridor to Seaford. This area will be included in the planning area for Salisbury Wicomico in starting in 2015.

MPO Functions:

  • Maintain Long Range Transportation Plan (and Air Quality Conformity).
  • Carry out "3-C metropolitan planning process".
    • Continuing (updated at least every 4 years).
    • Comprehensive (include land use projections for housing and employment linked to local land use plans).
    • Cooperative (Technical involvement process / TAC and Public involvement process / PAC)

MPO Links:

Wilmapco Website

Wilmapco Website

Wilmapco MPO Planning Area Map


Dover/Kent MPO

Dover/Kent County MPO Website

Dover-Kent MPO Planning Area Map


Salsbury MPO

Salisbury - Wicomico MPO

Salisbury -Wicomico MPO Planning Area Map


Information on the expansion of the Salisbury/Wicomico MPO into Delaware



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