Interstate 95 in Delaware
John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway
|Maintained by DelDOT|
|Length:||23.43 mi (37.71 km)|
|South end:||I-95 at Maryland border near Newark|
| DE 896 near Newark
DE 1 / DE 7 in Churchmans Crossing
US 202 / DE 141 near Newport
I-295 near Newport
I-495 near Newport
US 202 in Wilmington
I-495 in Claymont
|North end:||I-95 at Pennsylvania border near Claymont|
In Delaware, Interstate 95 runs diagonally from the border with Maryland northeast to the border with Pennsylvania. Between the Maryland state line and exit 5, I-95 is also designated as the Delaware Turnpike and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway. Along with its auxiliaries, I-95 is the only Interstate Highway in the state. Only two other states, Maine and Rhode Island, share this distinction.
The route, which links Philadelphia to the north and Baltimore to the south, is the most heavily-traveled highway in Delaware, with peak average daily traffic at 182,853 (DelDOT 2006 study). Traffic backups are common, with the Exit 4 interchange (Delaware Route 1) named the worst intersection in the state by the Delaware Department of Transportation.
Delaware is the only state in which I-95 passes through, but U.S. Route 1 does not. U.S. Route 1 bypasses the state through Pennsylvania while I-95 is mostly parallel to U.S. Route 13 and U.S. Route 40 in the state instead.
Interstate 95 crosses into Delaware from Maryland, where it is known as the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway, as a six-lane highway south of the city of Newark. Almost immediately after crossing the state line, there is a $4.00 toll plaza for both the northbound and southbound lanes. After the toll plaza, I-95 widens to eight lanes. It then features an interchange with Delaware Route 896, which runs northbound to Newark and the University of Delaware and southbound to U.S. Route 301, which heads south towards the Chesapeake Bay Bridge.
Interstate 95 continues east and features the Delaware House service area in the center median, with food, gas, restrooms, and an information center. The highway then intersects Delaware Route 273, which provides access to Christiana as well as to southbound Delaware Route 1. The highway then heads towards the cloverleaf interchange with Delaware Route 1 and Delaware Route 7 near the Christiana Mall. Access from I-95 southbound to Delaware Route 7 northbound is not provided directly, rather it is provided by way of a ramp to Delaware Route 58 westbound, which intersects DE 7 at an interchange.
Interstate 95 then widens to ten lanes and passes through the Churchman's Marsh before reaching a complex interchange with Delaware Route 141, U.S. Route 202, Interstate 295, and Interstate 495. The carriageways of I-95 split and the northbound ramp providing access to DE 141 southbound by way of Airport Road splits off first. Shortly after, the northbound ramp providing access to Interstate 295 and DE 141 northbound branches off from the main northbound lanes of I-95, paralleling the highway for quite a distance; then I-295 northbound veers east and heads toward the Delaware Memorial Bridge and the New Jersey Turnpike. Interstate 95 features cloverleaf connections with southbound collector-distributor lanes with DE 141 and US 202. It is here that U.S. Route 202 begins a concurrency with Interstate 95 that continues through the city of Wilmington. Interstate 95 then features a connection to I-495, which bypasses Wilmington to the east, passing through the Port of Wilmington.
Past I-295 and I-495, Interstate 95 / US 202 narrows to six lanes and heads toward the city of Wilmington. It passes over the marshes of the Christina River and then passes by Frawley Stadium, home of the Wilmington Blue Rocks baseball team. The interstate then passes over the Amtrak Northeast Corridor and then a part of the city of Wilmington on a high viaduct. It features ramps that connect to Delaware Route 4 and Delaware Route 48 in Downtown Wilmington.
Interstate 95 narrows to a four-lane highway and then dives into a below street level alignment. It features ramps which provide access to Delaware Route 52. The highway then crosses the Brandywine Creek and passes through northern parts of the city. It then heads to an interchange with the Concord Pike, where US 202 heads north, splitting from I-95, and Delaware Route 202 heads south into the city on Concord Avenue.
At this point, Interstate 95 leaves the city limits of Wilmington and enters the suburban Brandywine Hundred area. It heads northeast, closely following a CSX rail line for the next few miles. It first follows the line to the west, but then crosses over it and runs to the east of it. I-95 then interchanges with Delaware Route 3 (Marsh Road). It continues to head to the northeast and meets Harvey Road at a partial interchange, with only a northbound exit and a southbound entrance.
Interstate 95 continues towards Claymont, where it features a diamond interchange with Delaware Route 92. Interstate 495 also merges into northbound I-95 within this interchange. A short distance past this interchange, Interstate 95 crosses the border into Pennsylvania.
- Interstate 295 is the connector from I-95 to the Delaware Memorial Bridge and the New Jersey Turnpike, and a bypass route of Philadelphia. Once in New Jersey, I-295 continues northeast to Trenton.
- Interstate 495 is a bypass of Wilmington. I-495 runs from I-95 south of Wilmington near Newport, along the Delaware River north, before merging back in with I-95 at the Delaware/Pennsylvania state border. US 13 runs parallel to the highway, crossing I-495 at both the north and south ends.
The Delaware Turnpike portion of Interstate 95 was first planned in the 1950s following the completion of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, Delaware Memorial Bridge, and New Jersey Turnpike. The state of Delaware originally wanted to build a toll road that would follow U.S. Route 13/U.S. Route 40 and connect to a proposed tolled Maryland Expressway that would follow the present-day U.S. Route 301 corridor to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. However, the plan was changed for Maryland and Delaware to construct a toll road that would provide a more direct connection to Baltimore and Washington, D.C. that would be part of Interstate 95. Unlike other toll roads, such as the Pennsylvania Turnpike and New Jersey Turnpike, it would be built to present day Interstate standards. DelDOT built the Delaware Turnpike between 1960 and 1963 with a dedication by President John F. Kennedy on November 15, 1963, just one week before his assassination in the Dallas motorcade. As a result, both the Delaware Turnpike and connecting Northeast Toll Road in Maryland were named the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway.
The Wilmington Expressway section of Interstate 95 was first planned in 1955 along with what would become Interstate 495. Construction on this segment began in 1963, around the time the Delaware Turnpike was completed. The road was completed between the Delaware Turnpike and U.S. Route 202 (Concord Pike) in 1967 and from the Concord Pike to the Pennsylvania border in 1968.
Since the completion of Interstate 95 in Delaware, many changes have occurred to the highway. The original four-lane Delaware Turnpike was widened to six lanes in 1972 and to eight lanes in the early 1980s. In 1976, tolls at interchanges along the Delaware Turnpike were removed.
The Wilmington Expressway section has undergone two major reconstruction projects in its history. The first one was between 1978 and 1982, in which the Wilmington Viaduct was reduced to two lanes for reconstruction. During this time, I-95 was moved to a newly constructed bypass to the east of Wilmington running between Newport and Claymont and the segment of I-95 between these two points became Interstate 895. Following the completion of construction in 1982, I-95 returned to its original alignment, replacing I-895, and the eastern bypass of Wilmington became Interstate 495. Another reconstruction project took place between 2000 and 2003. The first stage called for reconstruction of the highway between US 202 and the Pennsylvania border. The southbound lanes were closed from April to July 2000 and the northbound lanes were closed from July to October 2000, with traffic detoured to I-495. Construction on the section through Wilmington took place between 2001 and 2003.
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 Interstate 95 Business, like that on Interstate 83 in York, Pennsylvania. The mayor of Wilmington staunchly rejected the proposal.
In 2007, the Delaware Department of Transportation announced that they would be widening a part of I-95 to five lanes in each direction for a total of ten lanes. Northbound, the new fifth lane will run from the SR-1 interchange at exit 4 to the I-495 split just south of the city of Wilmington. Southbound, the new fifth lane will run from the SR-141 interchange at exit 5 to just south of the Churchman's Road bridge where I-95 crosses SR-58. Construction began in May 2007 and was completed in November 2008.
The Delaware House service plaza closed for a ten-month reconstruction in September 2009.
DelDOT reconstructed the cloverleaf interchange with DE 1/DE 7 (exit 4) to include flyover ramps, intended to reduce merging and congestion at the interchange. The ramp from southbound I-95 to southbound DE 1/DE 7 opened on August 27, 2013 and the ramp from northbound DE 1/DE 7 to northbound I-95 opened on October 17, 2013, with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Governor Jack Markell and DelDOT secretary Shailen Bhatt.
The entire route is in New Castle County.
|Newark||0.00||0.00||I-95 south (John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway) – Baltimore||Continuation into Maryland; southern terminus of the Delaware Turnpike|
|0.54||0.87||Delaware Turnpike Toll Plaza: $4.00|
|2.34||3.77||1||DE 896 to US 301 – Newark, Middletown||Split into exits 1A (south) and 1B (north) southbound|
|5.10||8.21||Delaware Welcome Center|
|6.63||10.67||3||DE 273 to US 40 – Newark, Dover||Split into exits 2A (east) and 2B (west) northbound|
|Christiana||7.89||12.70||4A||DE 1 / DE 7 south – Christiana, Dover||Access to the Delaware beaches the Christiana Mall|
|8.13||13.08||4B||DE 1 / DE 7 north to DE 58 – Churchmans Crossing, Stanton||New flyover ramp opened recently; old exit demolished|
|Newport||10.56||16.99||5A||DE 141 south / US 202 south – New Castle, New Castle County Airport||Southern terminus of concurrency with US 202|
|11.50||18.51||5B||DE 141 north – Newport|
|5C||I-295 / Del. Tpk. north – Delaware Memorial Bridge, New York, New York||Southern terminus of I-295; northern terminus of concurrency with the Delaware Turnpike|
|12.65||20.36||5D||I-495 north – Port of Wilmington, Philadelphia||Southern terminus of I-495; northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|6||DE 4 (Maryland Avenue / MLK Jr. Boulevard) / Fourth Street||No northbound access to Fourth Street|
|15.68||25.23||7||DE 52 (Delaware Avenue)||Split into exits 7A (south) and 7B (north) southbound|
|16.97||27.31||8||US 202 north / DE 202 south (Concord Pike) – Wilmington, West Chester, PA||Northern terminus of concurrency with US 202; split into exits 8A (DE 202) and 8B (US 202)|
|19.12||30.77||9||DE 3 (Marsh Road)|
|Claymont||21.30||34.28||10||Harvey Road||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|11||NB: DE 92 (Naamans Road) – Claymont
SB: I-495 south – Port of Wilmington, Baltimore, MD
|Northern terminus of I-495|
|23.43||37.71||–||I-95 north – Chester, Philadelphia||Continuation into Pennsylvania|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- http://www.deldot.gov/information/pubs_forms/manuals/traffic_counts/2006/pdf/rpt_pgs1_38_rev.pdf DelDOT 2006 Traffic Count and Mileage Report
- Delaware Turnpike (I-95) URL accessed 2 July 2008
- Wilmington Expressway (I-95) URL accessed 2 July 2008
- Eichmann, Mark (2009-08-12). "I-95 service plaza closing". WHYY. Retrieved 2009-09-20.
- "Pain now, gain later near mall". The News Journal (Wilmington, Delaware: Gannett Company). July 5, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
- Chang, David (August 27, 2013). "New Flyover Ramp Provides Easier Commute for Del. Drivers". Philadelphia, PA: WCAU-TV. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
- "Major Improvements Completed on I-95/SR-1 Interchange". Delaware Department of Transportation. October 17, 2013. Retrieved October 24, 2013.
Media related to Interstate 95 in Delaware at Wikimedia Commons