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Old Baltimore Pike

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Old Baltimore Pike
Route information
Maintained by DelDOT
Length: 8.35 mi[1] (13.44 km)
Major junctions
West end: MD 281 near Newark
  DE 896 in Glasgow
DE 273 in Christiana
DE 1 near Christiana
East end: Dead end near Christiana
Counties: New Castle
Highway system

Old Baltimore Pike is a road in the U.S. state of Delaware. The road, known as New Castle County Road 26, runs from Maryland Route 281 (MD 281) at the Maryland state line south of Newark, Delaware and continues east to Christiana, ending near Delaware Route 1 (DE 1). The road is paralleled by Interstate 95 (I-95, Delaware Turnpike) to the north and U.S. Route 40 (US 40, Pulaski Highway) to the south. The Old Baltimore Pike was built before 1720 and connected Elkton, Maryland to Christiana. It was a turnpike called the Elk and Christiana Turnpike between 1817 and 1838. In the past it served as a major connection between Philadelphia and Baltimore.

Route description[edit]

Old Baltimore Pike begins at the Delaware–Maryland state line near Newark, Delaware, where the highway continues west into that state as MD 281. The road heads northeast from the state line through wooded residential areas as a two-lane undivided road, intersecting Otts Chapel Road before passing south of Iron Hill Park. Old Baltimore Pike crosses DE 896 and enters rural areas. Here, the roadway crosses the Christina River and passes Cooch's Bridge, a historic battle site of the American Revolutionary War. It then crosses Norfolk Southern's Delmarva Secondary railroad line and encounters DE 72.[2][3]

After this intersection, Old Baltimore Pike continues past suburban neighborhoods, gaining a center left-turn lane and intersecting Salem Church Road. Farther east, the highway reaches a junction with DE 273 in a wooded area. At this point, the road narrows to two lanes again and heads into the community of Christiana. Here, the highway intersects DE 7, where it turns north and follows that route through residential areas. The road comes to an interchange with DE 1 to the west of the Christiana Mall, where DE 7 continues north along with DE 1 and Old Baltimore Pike reaches a dead end.[2][3]


The Old Baltimore Pike was built before 1720. The road was known as the Great Road and ran between Head of Elk (now Elkton, Maryland) and Christiana Bridge. It was later known as the Christiana-Elkton Turnpike before becoming Old Baltimore Pike. This path served as a major connection between Philadelphia and Baltimore in addition to providing access between the shipping area of Christiana Bridge and agricultural areas in northern Delaware, northern Maryland, and southeastern Pennsylvania.[4] In 1723, Welsh Tract settlers pushed for the road to be improved.[5] This road was part of the Washington–Rochambeau Revolutionary Route that was used by the French army during their march from Newport, Rhode Island to Yorktown during the Revolutionary War, passing through the area in September 1781.[6]

The road, also known as Old Post Road, was incorporated in 1813 as the Elk and Christiana Turnpike in order to get more money for repairs. The turnpike was completed in April 1817. As a turnpike, tolls were collected to pay for the maintenance of the road. The construction of the New Castle and Frenchtown Railroad lowered the revenues of the turnpike and it became a public road again in 1838.[5] The road historically went through agricultural areas; however, the surroundings have become more developed over the years.[4] Much of the Old Baltimore Pike remains two lanes.[5]

Major intersections[edit]

The entire route is in New Castle County.

Location mi[1] km Destinations Notes
Newark 0.00 0.00 MD 281 west (Red Hill Road) – Elkton Maryland state line, western terminus
Glasgow 2.49 4.01 DE 896 (South College Avenue) – Newark, Middletown
3.32 5.34 DE 72 (Sunset Lake Road/South Chapel Street)
Christiana 7.10 11.43 DE 273 (Christiana Road) – Newark, New Castle
7.41 11.93 DE 7 south (Main Street) – Bear West end of DE 7 overlap
8.07 12.99 DE 1 / DE 7 north – Christiana, Stanton DE 1 exit 164, east end of DE 7 overlap
8.35 13.44 Dead end Eastern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Staff (2011). "Traffic Count and Mileage Report: New Castle County" (PDF). Delaware Department of Transportation. Retrieved July 7, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Delaware Department of Transportation (2012). Delaware Transportation & Tourism Map (Map). Dover: Delaware Department of Transportation. 
  3. ^ a b Google (July 9, 2010). "Old Baltimore Pike" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Public Information Handout - Cultural Resources Project Old Baltimore Pike from DE Route 273 (Christiana By-Pass) to DE Route 896 (Four Seasons Parkway)" (PDF). Delaware Department of Transportation. Retrieved November 17, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b c "Old Baltimore Pike". Pencader Heritage Area Association. Retrieved November 17, 2011. 
  6. ^ "W3R Heritage Tour in Delaware". Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route. The National Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route Association, Inc. April 17, 2008. Retrieved March 27, 2010. 

Route map: Google

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