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Route 286 (Delaware–Maryland)

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Delaware Route 286 marker Maryland Route 286 marker

Route 286
Route information
Maintained by DelDOT and MDSHA

3.82 mi[1][2] (6.15 km)
DE 286: 1.73 mi (2.78 km)

MD 286: 2.09 mi (3.36 km)
Major junctions
West end: MD 537 in Chesapeake City, MD
East end: DE 15 near Summit Bridge, DE
Counties: MD: Cecil DE: New Castle
Highway system
DE 279 DE 286 I‑295
MD 285 MD 286 MD 287

Delaware Route 286 (DE 286) and Maryland Route 286 (MD 286) is a 3.82-mile (6.15 km), two-lane roadway in New Castle County, Delaware, and Cecil County, Maryland. The route begins as MD 286 at George Street, which is one of the segments of unsigned MD 537C, and heads east within Chesapeake City to the Delaware state line. Here, the road becomes DE 286 and continues east to DE 15 near Summit Bridge. The road roughly parallels the south side of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal through and passes through development in Chesapeake City and rural areas.

It is called 2nd Street in Chesapeake City, Bethel Road between Chesapeake City and the Delaware border, and Bethel Church Road within Delaware. MD 286 was constructed around 1930. The roadway in Delaware was paved in the 1930s. MD 286 originally served the lost community of Bethel near the state line, but was rerouted to the Delaware state line in the early 1960s due to expansion of the canal. DE 286 was designated in the 1990s.

Route description[edit]

MD 286 runs between MD 537C in Chesapeake City and the Delaware border along 2nd Street through Chesapeake City and Bethel Road east of Chesapeake City. MD 286 has an annual average daily traffic count (AADT) of 1,380 vehicles.[2] DE 286 runs from the Maryland border east to DE 15 along Bethel Church Road. DE 286 has an AADT of 3,519 vehicles.[1] Neither route is part of the National Highway System.[3][4]


Shield for MD 286 in Chesapeake City

MD 286 begins at an intersection with George Street (unsigned MD 537C) on the south side of Chesapeake City. The state highway heads east as two-lane 2nd Street through the South Chesapeake City Historic District. At Bohemia Avenue, MD 286 becomes Bethel Road and curves around the Back Creek Mooring Basin. After crossing Back Creek, the state highway makes a right-angle turn at the entrance to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Museum. MD 286 leaves the town limits of Chesapeake City and passes through a forested area along the south boundary of the Canal Wildlife Management Area. Shortly after the intersection with Bethel Cemetery Road, the old alignment of MD 286, the state highway reaches its eastern terminus at the Delaware state line.[2][5]


DE 286 westbound past DE 15

DE 286 begins at the Maryland border and continues east on two-lane, undivided Bethel Church Road through farmland. A short distance later, the road runs between residential developments. The road then passes between homes to the north and rural areas to the south before becoming lined with farms on both sides. DE 286 reaches its eastern terminus at DE 15, which heads south on Choptank Road and east on Bethel Church Road, at a roundabout.[5][6]


MD 286 originally connected Chesapeake City with Bethel, a small community on the south side of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal just west of the state line. The state highway was paved from George Street, which is the original alignment of U.S. Route 213 (US 213, now MD 213), east along Bethel Road and then north along what is now Bethel Cemetery Road in 1930.[7] MD 286 was disconnected from US 213 when the Chesapeake City Bridge was completed in 1948 and George Street was designated MD 537C. In 1954, the United States Congress approved for the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal to be widened to 450 feet (140 m) and the depth increased to 35 feet (11 m). The canal was expanded as it was not big enough to accommodate large ships and there were frequent collisions between ships and bridges.[8] The community of Bethel was evacuated shortly before the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal was expanded in the 1960s. Most of the buildings in the community, including the church, were demolished.[9] As a result of the canal expansion, MD 286 was removed from Bethel Cemetery Road and extended east to the state line in 1961.[10] Bethel Cemetery Road presently leads to a dead end at the canal where Bethel once existed.[9]

By 1920, what is now DE 286 existed as an unimproved county road.[11][12] The road in Delaware was paved by 1936 and served as part of the route between Summit Bridge and Chesapeake City.[13] Bethel Church Road from the state line east to DE 15 was designated DE 286 around 1994, extending the number from MD 286.[14]

Major intersections[edit]

State County Location mi[1][2] km Destinations Notes
Maryland Cecil Chesapeake City 0.00 0.00 MD 537 (George Street) to MD 213 / 2nd Street west – Elkton, Cecilton Officially unsigned MD 537C
Maryland–Delaware state line 2.09
Eastern terminus of MD 286, western terminus of DE 286
Delaware New Castle Summit Bridge 1.73 2.78 DE 15 (Choptank Road/Bethel Church Road) Roundabout
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Staff (2011). "Traffic Count and Mileage Report: Interstate, Delaware, and US Routes" (PDF). Delaware Department of Transportation. Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Highway Information Services Division (December 31, 2014). Highway Location Reference. Maryland State Highway Administration. Retrieved October 13, 2010. 
  3. ^ National Highway System: Delaware (PDF) (Map). Federal Highway Administration. 2012. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  4. ^ National Highway System: Maryland (PDF) (Map). Federal Highway Administration. 2012. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Google (January 16, 2014). "overview of Maryland Route 286 and Delaware Route 286" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved January 16, 2014. 
  6. ^ Delaware Department of Transportation (2008). Delaware Official Transportation Map (PDF) (Map). Dover: Delaware Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 24, 2015. 
  7. ^ Maryland Geological Survey (1930). Map of Maryland Showing State Road System: State Aid Roads and Improved County Road Connections (Map). Baltimore: Maryland Geological Survey. 
  8. ^ "Chesapeake and Delaware Canal History". United States Army Corps of Engineers. Retrieved January 24, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Cecil County Historical Society (February 24, 2013). "Cecil history: Bethel, a county village lost to progress". Cecil Whig. Retrieved January 23, 2014. 
  10. ^ Maryland State Roads Commission (1961). Maryland: Official Highway Map (Map). Baltimore: Maryland State Roads Commission. 
  11. ^ Delaware State Highway Department (1920). Official Road Map (PDF) (Map). Dover: Delaware State Highway Department. Retrieved November 24, 2015. 
  12. ^ Delaware State Highway Department (1924). Official Road Map (PDF) (Map). Dover: Delaware State Highway Department. Retrieved November 24, 2015. 
  13. ^ Delaware State Highway Department; The National Survey Co. (1936). Official Road Map of the State of Delaware (PDF) (Map) (1936–37 ed.). Dover: Delaware State Highway Department. Retrieved November 24, 2015. 
  14. ^ Delaware Department of Transportation; Division of Planning Cartographic Information Section (1994). Delaware Official State Map (PDF) (Map). Dover: Delaware Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 24, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Bing / Google