Interstate 495 (abbreviated I-495) in Delaware is a six-lane bypass of Interstate 95 around the city of Wilmington, Delaware. As a major bypass, officials in the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) has encouraged through traffic (by placing the "Baltimore" and "Philadelphia" control cities on its green signs) to use I-495 instead of I-95, as it has six lanes and a higher speed limit (65 mph instead of 55 mph (89 km/h) on I-95).
I-495 begins at an interchange with I-95/US 202 and I-295 near Newport, heading to the east on a six-lane freeway. (At the southern terminus, southbound I-495 also has a ramp that provides easier access to the DE 141 interchange along I-95.) The route runs between the Christina River to the north and a landfill to the south prior to reaching an interchange with US 13 to the north of Wilmington Manor. Past this, the highway enters industrial areas and reaches the DE 9A exit near the Port of Wilmington, turning to the northeast. I-495 crosses over the Christina River into the eastern part of Wilmington and passes near another landfill as it comes to the Twelfth Street exit. The road runs through some marshland before coming to an interchange in industrial Edgemoor that connects to the southern terminus of DE 3 as well as to US 13. Following this interchange, I-495 runs between US 13 and suburban areas to the west and Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor and the Delaware River to the east. I-495 continues along this configuration until it reaches Claymont. US 13 heads farther west from the freeway and I-495 makes a turn to the north away from the railroad tracks and the river near the Claymont SEPTA station. The road comes to another exit for US 13 before merging into I-95 at the DE 92 interchange near the Tri-State Mall and the Pennsylvania border. Southbound, the I-495 splitoff from I-95 actually starts in Pennsylvania, but crosses into Delaware before the exit to DE 92.
Built in the mid-1970s and opened as the "Wilmington Bypass", the highway became, between 1978 and 1982, the route of I-95 around Wilmington, while the original highway through the city, redesignated as Interstate 895, was reconstructed at the Wilmington Viaduct. In 1982, I-95 was rerouted back onto the original highway, and the bypass became I-495 again. A similar occurrence happened in 2000 when I-95 was closed off for a total rebuilding project between U.S. Route 202 and the Pennsylvania state line.
Although it is the most recent of Delaware's three Interstate Highways, I-495 was rebuilt in the mid-1990s when the concrete surface, developed in France, failed prematurely and had to be totally replaced in sections, resulting in one-lane operations for nearly four years (a similar total rebuilding project had to be done on Delaware Route 141 in Newport in the early 2000s). In addition, the bridge over the Christina River, at the Port of Wilmington, suffered severe damage when a truck went over the side of the bridge and exploded on impact, damaging support beams, and forcing traffic onto I-95, creating traffic snarls on the four-lane highway.
Since 2000, DelDOT officials have proposed rerouting I-95 back onto I-495 in the same arrangement used between 1978 and 1982, and renaming the current I-95 through Wilmington as Business 95, like that on Interstate 83 in York, Pennsylvania. The mayor of Wilmington staunchly rejected the proposal.