Major Improvements Completed on I-95/SR-I Interchange
Both Flyover Ramps Northbound and Southbound Now Open
Dover -- Delaware Governor Jack Markell, Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt, other dignitaries, and members of the media gathered this morning near the intersection of I-95 and Route 1. to celebrate the 12:30 p.m. opening of the new elevated flyover ramp off northbound Route 1 onto northbound I-95. Opening the ramp is the final major step in the $147 million project; jointly financed by the state and federal governments.
Effective today, traffic will no longer be required to merge across five lanes of interstate traffic to position themselves for the drive north toward Wilmington. A similar flyover ramp permitting traffic heading southbound along I-95 exiting onto Route 1 southbound was opened last August. Both traffic movements allow for the safer and smoother flow of vehicles through one of the state's most vital commercial corridors. The area is home to the Christiana Mall, an assortment of other retail and professional centers, the Christiana Hospital and several major employers. The route also facilities travel to and from Delaware's famous beach resorts.
"In order for our state to continue to grow economically, to continue to create jobs, we need an efficient transportation system. Good roads are critical to a good economy," said Governor Jack Markell. "These improvements will make it easier and safer to move goods and people who are traveling to work, school, the beach and our tax-free shopping."
Speaking to those assembled, Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt said, "The need for this work was driven by increasing traffic volumes and development pressure south of I-95, which has led to reduced levels of service within the area of the Christiana Mall and the I-95 & Route 1 Interchange. Historically morning and evening traffic volumes has had to struggle. For many years this area has had deteriorating traffic conditions at many other times of the day and often throughout the weekends, now with these two ramps open, the flow of traffic will ease considerably with no merging or crossing lanes of highway speed traffic."
"This federally-funded improvement project will now allow travelers to quickly and easily drive through what was once a congested part of the highway for those traveling up and down our state to Delaware's tax-free shopping and beach attractions," said United States Senator Tom Carper. "Infrastructure projects like these strengthen our economy, decrease traffic congestion and harmful air pollution, and increase highway safety. That's what I call a win-win-win for Delaware's residents and businesses who rely on these vital highways."
"When we invest in our infrastructure, we're investing in the strength of our communities and the growth of our businesses," Senator Coons said. "Anyone who has sat in I-95 or Route 1 traffic understands the value of investing in our infrastructure. The completion of this interchange is a reminder of why it is so important to continue modernizing Delaware's roads, highways, and ports, creating jobs and strengthening our communities. To all who were involved in making this project a success, I offer my sincere congratulations as a senator and my hearty appreciation as a driver."
"This part of I-95 is one of the busiest intersections in the state with an average of 220,000 vehicles per day, nearly half of them exiting onto Route 1 southbound," said Congressman Carney. "For too many years, Delawareans and visitors alike knew that the intersection just couldn't support the high volume of traffic. But the construction over the last several years has not only eliminated the frequent backups and made merging patterns smoother, it created much needed jobs for Delaware workers. I'm very pleased to see this important project come to completion."
While several months of work still remain to complete the overall project, all related entrances and exits near the I-95 / Route 1 interchange are expected to be functional prior to the start of the holiday shopping season. The work needed to finish the project includes paving, striping, and other construction activities necessary for completion of the interchange.
This work is the last phase of a multi-year, multi-project Interstate Improvement Program that has included; the replacement of the Churchmans Road Bridge over I-95, the fifth-lane widening project, and the reconstruction of the I-95 Newark Toll Plaza.
Details on these and all the proposed projects can be found online at www.deldot.gov. For information on all I-95 related projects and how they impact each other can also be found at www.I95.deldot.gov.