TRAFFIC ALERT - Major Holiday Traffic Delays Expected at I-95 Toll Plaza in Delaware
Reconstruction Project Underway to Modernize Plaza
The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) warns motorists to expect major traffic delays throughout the Christmas and New Year's holiday week at the I-95 Newark Toll Plaza. The predicted impacts are expected to be greater than in recent years and could stretch for miles and take hours to clear.
Due to the on-going I-95 Newark Toll Plaza Reconstruction, reduced toll lane access and altered traffic patterns will greatly impact the Christmas and New Year's holiday week travelers. These factors, combined with the anticipated increase of holiday traffic, will result in serious backups and travel delays, starting as early as Thursday, December 23 and lasting through Monday evening, December 27, and Thursday, December 30 through Monday, January 3. Travelers should consider using alternative routes, using alternative modes of travel or traveling during hours with lower traffic volumes.
"We expect to experience a similar traffic situation as we did during the Thanksgiving holiday," Delaware's Transportation Secretary Carolann Wicks warns. "However, during the Thanksgiving weekend we were able to get the word out to the traveling public what to expect and to plan accordingly. Traffic through the I-95 Toll Plaza was actually down nearly 10% (68,899 vehicles less) than the same period last year. So the word is getting out and travelers are planning appropriately."
DelDOT's Traffic Management Center (TMC) will be monitoring the Plaza area closely to assist any stranded motorists and to help expedite the clearing of any accidents that may occur. Motorists travelling through the area can get updates by following Twitter @DelawareDOT, by going to our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/delawaredot, or by tuning to WTMC 1380AM radio. Those at home can check delays by viewing www.deldot.gov/traffic/map.ejs.
Available northbound and southbound toll lanes have been reduced as part of the construction. This reduction impacts both the manual cash lanes as well as the dedicated E-ZPass lanes. Additionally, due to the construction, the two open northbound E-ZPass lanes merge into a single lane just beyond the toll plaza creating a reduction in available lane space.
The I-95 Newark Toll Plaza Reconstruction Project will include significant improvements to the 47 year old site, with an expected completion of summer 2011. The changes will result in much better plaza operations when two non-stop, highway-speed E-ZPass lanes plus seven manual cash-lanes will be open in each direction. This $32 million modernization project is fully funded through the Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and was awarded to A-Del Construction Company of Newark, Delaware.
Some of the additional improvements include:
1. Widening of the approach lanes for the northbound plaza to create more vehicle storage space
2. Installation of new roadway signing and pavement markings
3. Upgrades to the plaza lighting systems
4. Reduction of fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by reducing congestion
5. Improvement of mobility for interstate truck traffic
6. Improving safety of traveling public by reducing queues and need for lane changes
7. Toll worker safety is addressed by creating an overhead passageway, new crash attenuators, and a dedicated equipment maintenance gantry
For more information, visit DelDOT's project Web page (i95.deldot.gov), or tune to WTMC-AM 1380.