U.S. Route 301 in Delaware
|Maintained by DelDOT and USACE|
|Length:||14.93 mi (24.03 km)|
|Existed:||1959 – present|
|South end:||US 301 at Maryland border near Warwick, MD|
| DE 15 / DE 299 in Middletown
DE 71 in Middletown
DE 896 in Mount Pleasant
DE 15 in Summit Bridge
DE 71 in Summit Bridge
|North end:||US 40 / DE 896 in Glasgow|
U.S. Route 301 (US 301) is a US Highway that passes through the state of Delaware, running 14.93 mi (24.03 km) from the Maryland border southwest of Middletown north to its northern terminus at US 40 in Glasgow, where the highway continues north toward Newark as Delaware Route 896 (DE 896). US 301 runs through the western part of New Castle County in the northern part of the state, passing through Middletown and crossing the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal on the Summit Bridge. Through the state, US 301 varies between 2 and 4 lanes in width, with some portions a divided highway. US 301 is concurrent with multiple state routes, including DE 15 and DE 299 southwest of Middletown, DE 71 from Middletown to Summit Bridge, and DE 896 from Mount Pleasant to the northern terminus in Glasgow.
The current alignment of US 301 was built as a state highway in the 1920s and 1930s and was initially designated as DE 4 (now DE 299) southwest of Middletown, DE 71 between Middletown and Summit Bridge, and DE 896 north of Summit Bridge. In the 1950s, DE 71 was rerouted to the Maryland border and DE 896 extended south on the alignment to Middletown. US 301 was extended into Delaware from Maryland in 1959. At that time, it ran from the Maryland border north to an interchange with Interstate 295 (I-295)/US 40 and US 13/US 202 in Farnhurst. The route followed its current routing to Middletown, where it split into US 301N and US 301S. US 301N followed DE 299 and US 13 to Tybouts Corner while US 301S followed DE 71 north. Upon rejoining, US 301 followed US 13 and US 13/US 40 to Farnhurst. In 1971, US 301 was rerouted to head north from Middletown to Summit Bridge along DE 71/DE 896, where US 301N followed DE 896 and US 40 to State Road and US 301S followed DE 71 and US 13 north. US 301 was rerouted in 1985 at Mount Pleasant to follow DE 896 east to Boyds Corner and US 13 north to Farnhurst. US 301 was rerouted to its current northern terminus in 1992. Plans have existed since the 1950s to build a freeway along the US 301 corridor in Delaware. Plans were made for this freeway in 2005, which would be a toll road and run from the Maryland border northeast to DE 1 in St. Georges. Construction on the US 301 freeway began in 2016 with the freeway to be completed in 2018.
US 301 enters Delaware from Maryland to the east of Warwick, Maryland, where it narrows from the four-lane, divided Blue Star Memorial Highway in Maryland to the two-lane undivided Middletown Warwick Road in Delaware. The road heads through a mix of farms and woods, with a northbound weigh station prior to an intersection with DE 299. At this point, DE 299 forms a concurrency with US 301, with the road passing through more agricultural areas with some development and widening into a four-lane divided highway. The road comes to an intersection with DE 15, where that route joins US 301/DE 299. The road enters Middletown and heads into commercial areas. At an intersection, the three routes split, with DE 15 heading northwest on Bunker Hill Road, DE 299 heading east on Main Street, and US 301 continuing north along Middletown Warwick Road.
US 301 passes more businesses before heading north on Summit Bridge Road. The road narrows into a two-lane undivided road and passes through a mix of fields and residential and commercial development as it runs immediately to the west of Norfolk Southern's Delmarva Secondary railroad line, reaching an intersection with DE 71. Here, DE 71 heads north concurrent with US 301, with the road passing near some businesses and a housing development before leaving Middletown. The road runs a short distance to the west of the Norfolk Southern rail line as it continues farmland with some scattered residential and commercial development. In Mount Pleasant, DE 896 joins US 301/DE 71 from the east and the road widens from a two-lane undivided road to a four-lane divided highway. The road passes a few businesses before heading between the Summit Airport to the west and housing developments to the east. US 301/DE 71/DE 896 heads to the northwest through farm fields before turning to the west and passing a residential subdivision to the south. In the unincorporated community of Summit Bridge, the road intersects the northern terminus of DE 15. Past this intersection, US 301/DE 71/DE 896 turns north and crosses over the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal on the Summit Bridge.
Past the Summit Bridge, the road passes through woods and crosses under Chesapeake City Road near the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery. DE 71 splits from US 301/DE 896 by heading to the southeast on Red Lion Road. US 301/DE 896 continues north between residential neighborhoods to the west and wooded Lums Pond State Park to the east. The road passes near more suburban homes with some fields before reaching Glasgow, where it curves northeast to bypass Glasgow to the east with DE 896 Bus. heading north into Glasgow. US 301/DE 896 heads to the east of Hodgson Vo-Tech High School and curves northwest to intersect US 40, where US 301 comes to its northern terminus and DE 896 continues to the north toward Newark.
US 301 in Delaware has an annual average daily traffic count ranging from a high of 38,941 vehicles at the northern terminus at US 40 to a low of 14,254 vehicles at the Peterson Road intersection in Middletown. The entire length of US 301 in Delaware is part of the National Highway System.
What is now US 301 in Delaware was originally an unnumbered county road by 1920. The roadway was paved by 1924. It was upgraded to a state highway between Mt. Pleasant and Summit Bridge a year later. The roadway between Middletown and Mt. Pleasant became a state highway in 1930. As part of this improvement, a connecting road was built between the Middletown-Mt. Pleasant road and the road leading towards Warwick that passed to the west of Middletown to avoid a pair of railroad crossings. On July 1, 1935, the portion of present-day US 301 between Summit Bridge and Glasgow was taken over by the state. What is now US 301 was designated as DE 4 between the Maryland border and Middletown, DE 71 between Middletown and Summit Bridge, and DE 896 between Summit Bridge and Glasgow by 1938. By 1957, DE 4 was renumbered to DE 299 and DE 71 was realigned to follow DE 299 west of Middletown before splitting onto a new alignment to the Maryland border that connected to Maryland Route 71 (MD 71). In addition, DE 896 was designated concurrent with DE 71 between north of Middletown and Summit Bridge.
The US 301 designation was extended north into Delaware from Maryland by 1959. When first designated, the route entered Maryland from MD 71 and followed DE 71 and DE 299 to Middletown. Here, the route split into US 301N and US 301S. US 301N followed DE 299 east to Odessa, where it turned north on US 13 and followed that route across the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal on the St. Georges Bridge. US 301S headed north along DE 71/DE 896 to the Summit Bridge over the canal. Past the canal, US 301S headed northeast along DE 71 to Tybouts Corner, where it intersected US 13 and rejoined US 301N. From Tybouts Corner, US 301 continued north concurrent with US 13 and US 13/US 40 to its northern terminus at an interchange in Farnhurst, where US 13 and US 202 continued north to Wilmington and US 40 headed east along I-295 towards the Delaware Memorial Bridge. US 301S was realigned to a new Summit Bridge a short distance to the west in 1960, following new roads that led to the bridge. As a result of this, US 301S/DE 71 was designated onto a former piece of DE 896 between the new alignment and Red Lion Road to the east, with the rest of the former alignment becoming a dead end road south to the canal and the former alignment south of the canal becoming a local road serving the community of Summit Bridge. In 1971, the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO, now the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials or AASHTO) approved realigning US 301 to head north from Middletown to Summit Bridge along DE 71/DE 896, where it would split. US 301N was realigned to follow DE 896 north to Glasgow and US 40 east from Glasgow to US 13 at State Road while US 301S continued to follow DE 71 from Summit Bridge to Tybouts Corner and US 13 from Tybouts Corner to State Road.
In 1983, AASHTO approved for the realignment of US 301 to follow a newly aligned DE 896 east from Mount Pleasant to Boyds Corner, where it would continue north along US 13 to the I-295/US 40 interchange in Farnhurst; this change was implemented in 1985. The concurrency with DE 71 between the Maryland border and Summit Bridge was removed by 1987. By 1990, US 301 became concurrent with DE 71 again between Middletown and Mount Pleasant. AASHTO approved for US 301 to be realigned to follow DE 896 between Mount Pleasant and US 40 in Glasgow, US 40 between Glasgow and State Road, and US 13/US 40 between State Road and I-295 in Farnhurst in 1992. However, US 301 is only signed up DE 896 to US 40 in Glasgow. By 1996, US 301 and DE 896 were rerouted to bypass Glasgow to the east, with the former alignment becoming DE 896 Bus. In July 2008, a widening project began on US 301/DE 299 between United Drive and the east end of the concurrency. This widening to four lanes was completed in November 2010.
|Map of U.S. Route 301 Project|
The U.S. Route 301 Project is a future upgrade, which will replace the current alignment of US 301 in Delaware with a 17.4-mile (28.0 km), four-lane limited-access toll road connecting the existing US 301 at the Maryland border near Warwick, Maryland to the DE 1 toll road near St. Georges. The road will serve as a high-speed bypass around the cities of Middletown and Newark.
The main highway itself will consist of a four-lane, limited access toll road and will have a diamond interchange at an extended Levels Road serving as a realigned DE 299 (connecting to current US 301/DE 299 and DE 15), a northbound exit and southbound entrance for a spur to the Summit Bridge, a diamond interchange at Armstrong Corner Road connecting to the current alignment of US 301 (also known as DE 71) north of Middletown, and a diamond interchange at Jamison Corner Road before merging into northbound DE 1 between the Biddles Corner toll plaza and the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Bridge. A mainline toll plaza will be located near the state line and there will be ramp tolls on the southbound exits and northbound entrances at the three diamond interchanges. Upon opening, tolls are planned to be $4 for cars and $11 for trucks, with toll rates to rise about 3.5 percent annually. The US 301 freeway will utilize all-electronic tolling. A two-lane limited access spur will branch from the main highway northwest of Middletown and head north to an interchange with DE 71/DE 896 and the northern terminus of DE 15 near Summit Bridge. At the northern terminus of the spur, the spur will merge into northbound DE 71/DE 896 onto the Summit Bridge while a southbound exit and northbound entrance just south of the terminus will serve the northern terminus of DE 15.
Plans for a four-lane superhighway connecting the New Jersey Turnpike (via the Delaware Memorial Bridge) with the Washington, D.C. metro area dates back to the opening of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the 1950s. In December 1950, a report was prepared for the Delaware State Highway Department that recommended a route running between the Maryland border near Warwick, where it was to connect to a proposed expressway on the other side of the state line, and the Delaware Memorial Bridge approach in Farnhurst. The route was to follow DE 4 (now DE 299) to Middletown, where it would head north and parallel DE 71 to the Summit Bridge before continuing northeast to US 40 between Glasgow and Bear. From here, the highway was to follow US 40 northeast to State Road and then run to the east of US 13 in the New Castle area before reaching the bridge approach. Interchanges were to be located at DE 4 southwest of Middletown, DE 71 in Summit Bridge, DE 71/DE 896 north of Summit Bridge, US 40 and US 13 in State Road, and DE 41 (now DE 141) near New Castle. Legislation to build this freeway was requested to the Delaware General Assembly in 1951; it was not approved.
From the 1960s to the early 1990s, DelDOT planned for a freeway along the US 301 corridor. The freeway would bypass Middletown to the west and continue north to Glasgow, where it would head northeast to an interchange with I-95 (Delaware Turnpike). The northern terminus of US 301 would have been at exit 2 of I-95. DelDOT had purchased land at US 40 east of Glasgow for an interchange along this freeway. Over the years, plans for the freeway progressed slowly, with priority given to other road projects in the state. As a result, through traffic traveling from I-95 to US 301 in Maryland was forced to use two-lane roads such as DE 896. By 1992, six corridors were proposed for this freeway. One followed DE 896, one ran from Middletown to DE 1, another ran north to the Summit Bridge and followed two corridors between Glasgow and I-95, another ran near the Delaware-Maryland state line and crossed the existing Summit Bridge, and the other ran to the east of Middletown. The proposal near the state line was dropped because of impact on wetlands and stream crossings while the proposal to the east of Middletown was eliminated because it would impact too many agricultural areas. In 1994, plans resurfaced for capacity improvements to the US 301 corridor, with options for a new freeway, widening the current route, or adding interchanges along DE 896. Three alignments were proposed for the freeway: one running northeast from US 40 at Glasgow to I-95, one bypassing Summit Airport to the west, and another running to the west of Middletown and the Summit Bridge. Nothing came from these plans as state officials could not come to an agreement. In 1998, plans were made again to expand capacity along US 301, with five options. One option called for a US 301 freeway between the Maryland border and I-95, another called for commuter rail linking Middletown to Newark and Wilmington, another plan called for high-occupancy vehicle lanes on I-95, DE 1, and DE 896, another idea was to widen US 301 and DE 1, and the last idea called for an express road between US 301 in Middletown and DE 1. At the time, the option for a US 301 freeway cost $205 million. Of all the ideas suggested, the freeway proposal received the most support.
In 2005, plans for a freeway along the US 301 corridor surfaced once again. DelDOT proposed several options for this freeway: yellow route, brown route, green route + spur, purple route + spur, and no build. On November 13, 2006, DelDOT announced that it had chosen the "green route + spur" option to build the new US 301. The "green + spur" option is the lowest cost, and will have minimum impact on property acquisition (35 residential and business properties total, mostly farmland) and would not allow for the demolishing of two local churches. In 2008, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) approved the selected alternative and allowed for right-of-way acquisition to begin. Right-of-way acquisition, completing the final design of the freeway, construction contracts, and utility relocations for the project occurred. Bids for construction of the US 301 toll road were issued in 2015. In 2016, construction began on the portion of the road between Levels Road and DE 71 and between DE 896 and DE 1. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on February 5, 2016 near the Maryland border, with Governor Jack Markell, FHWA administrator Gregory G. Nadeau, and DelDOT secretary Jennifer Cohan in attendance. Completion of construction is planned for December 2018. The expected cost of the project is $600 million, and DelDOT sought a federal loan to pay for a third of the costs, which was approved in August 2015.
The entire route is in New Castle County.
|Middletown||0.00||0.00||US 301 south (Blue Star Memorial Highway) – Bay Bridge||Maryland state line|
|1.01||1.63||DE 299 west (Warwick Road) – Warwick||South end of DE 299 overlap|
|DE 15 south (Levels Road)||South end of DE 15 overlap|
|3.62||5.83||DE 15 north (Bunker Hill Road) / DE 299 east (Main Street) – Middletown, Odessa||North end of DE 15 / DE 299 overlap|
|DE 71 south (North Broad Street) – Middletown, Dover, Smyrna||South end of DE 71 overlap|
|Mount Pleasant||7.42||11.94||DE 896 south (Boyds Corner Road) to US 13 / DE 1 – Dover, Beaches||South end of DE 896 overlap|
|Summit Bridge||9.57||15.40||DE 15 south (Bethel Church Road) – Chesapeake City|
|Chesapeake and Delaware Canal||Summit Bridge|
|Summit Bridge||11.52||18.54||DE 71 north (Red Lion Road)||North end of DE 71 overlap|
DE 896 Bus. north (Glasgow Avenue) – Glasgow
|14.93||24.03|| US 40 (Pulaski Highway) to US 13 north – Glasgow, Elkton, Wilmington
DE 896 north to I‑95 – Newark
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to U.S. Route 301 in Delaware.|
- AARoads' US 301 page
- DelDOT's US 301 Project page
- Steve Anderson's PhillyRoads.com: US 301 Freeway-Delaware (unbuilt)
|U.S. Route 301|