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The Guide to Interstate 295 in Delaware

Interstate 295 in Delaware provides a major corridor between the Southeast United States, the Baltimore/Washington metropolitan area, the Delmarva Peninsula and the state of New Jersey, New York City, and the New England states. The freeway is heavily traveled as the link between Interstate 95 (Delaware Turnpike) and the New Jersey Turnpike. During peak travel hours, Interstate 295 northbound motorists often clog Interstate 95 between Delaware 141 (Exit 5) and Delaware 1 & 7 (Exit 4). During holiday travel periods traffic also slows at the Delaware Memorial Bridge and New Jersey Turnpike toll plazas. The freeway constitutes only four lanes between Interstate 95 and U.S. 13 & 40 (Dupont Highway) and eight lanes between Farnhurst (U.S. 13) and New Jersey 49 (Broadway) in Deepwater, New Jersey. U.S. 40 joins the freeway between Dupont Highway and the New Jersey Turnpike.

Interstate 295 north & U.S. 40 east on the Delaware Memorial Bridge

Crossing the eastbound span of the Delaware Memorial Bridge on Interstate 295 north & U.S. 40 east. Photo taken 04/25/04.

Interstate 295 Guide

Interstate 295 comprises a 73.77-mile freeway between Interstate 95 at Newport, Delaware and Interstate 95 & U.S. 1 at Trenton, New Jersey. The southern terminal resides in the middle of the Interstate 95 & U.S. 202 confluence with Interstate 495 (Wilmington Bypass) and Delaware 141 (Newport Freeway). The junction between the four highways is quite expansive with near full access between all routes. The northbound lanes of Interstate 295 depart the Delaware Turnpike from near the Christiana Marsh adjacent to Airport Road. Interstate 95 expands to five lanes at the split with two allocated for Interstate 295 & Delaware 141 north (Exit 5B) and three for Interstate 95 & 495 north. A collector/distributor roadway links the northbound lanes with the Delaware 141 Newport Freeway. Access to Interstate 295 is also available from Interstate 95 & 495 south and U.S. 202 & Delaware 141 south.

East of the wetlands area of the Christina River where Interstate 295 begins is the Farnhurst interchange at the Dupont Highway (U.S. 13 & 40). The busy interchange joins local commuters with long-distance drivers from points south as far as Hampton Roads, Virginia. U.S. 40 also merges onto Interstate 295 at the Farnhurst junction.

Constructed in 1951 to provide access between the Dupont Highway and the new Delaware Memorial Bridge, the interchange saw reconstruction in 2000. The Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) maintains Interstate 295 between Interstate 95 and the New Jersey Turnpike. The organization embarked on a two-year reconstruction project for the freeway in Delaware that entailed the resurfacing of the entire freeway and rebuilding of the Dupont Highway and Delaware 9 (New Castle Avenue) interchanges. The road work began in 2001 and ended in 2003. Bridges associated with the Farnhurst interchange were either rebuilt or replaced. The southbound U.S. 13 on-ramp to Interstate 295 north was eliminated. A new U-turn ramp allows traffic using the U.S. 13 northbound ramp access to the Dupont Highway southbound. The southbound on-ramp to U.S. 13 & U.S. 40 westbound saw realignment to allow for a smoother transition onto the Dupont Highway.

Interstate 295 & U.S. 40 bisect post World War II subdivisions of Wilmington Manor, Minquadale, and Garfield Park among others. The path of the freeway severed the ties between the residential community and thus was not greeted with much fanfare locally. A compromise between the state and local residents was struck and the Landers Lane off-ramp from Interstate 295 & U.S. 40 eastbound is the result. The local ramp serves a myriad of subdivisions north of Boulden Boulevard and Moores Lane and west of New Castle Avenue. Further east Interstate 295 intersects Delaware 9 (New Castle Avenue) at a full cloverleaf interchange. The compact junction features collector/distributor roadways on not only Interstate 295 & U.S. 40, but also Delaware 9 above. New Castle Avenue provides a four-lane surface arterial between south Wilmington and the town of New Castle.

The Interstate 295 & U.S. 40 cloverleaf interchange at Delaware 9 (New Castle Avenue)

The Delaware 9 (New Castle Avenue) southbound off-ramp departs the Interstate 295 north & U.S. 40 eastbound collector/distributor roadway. The small trailblazer attached to the Delaware 9 gore point sign directs motorists to the Delaware War Memorial. The War Memorial resides between Interstate 295 & U.S. 40 and Cherry Lane southeast of the Delaware 9 junction. The memorial lists the names of Delaware and New Jersey military personal who fought during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War. The bridge is a lasting memorial to those soldiers who gave their lives in those conflicts. Photo taken 03/27/04.

The ramps and roadways associated with the Delaware 9 interchange were resurfaced or rebuilt between 2001 and 2003. Additionally new guide signs were installed for all aspects of the junction. The Delaware River and Bay Authority offices reside within the median of Interstate 295 & U.S. 40 east of New Castle Avenue. The access road to the facility departs from the northbound c/d roadway of Delaware 9. Additionally a sidewalk and tunnel connects the DRBA offices with the adjacent War Memorial.

Delaware Memorial Bridge

The Delaware Memorial Bridge carries Interstate 295 & U.S. 40 over the Delaware River between New Castle, Delaware and Deepwater, New Jersey. The twin suspension bridges carry eight lanes of traffic (four per direction) at a variable speed limit of 50 MPH depending upon weather conditions. Lane control signals exist on both spans to allow the Delaware River and Bay Authority to close lanes as needed due to construction, traffic accidents, or congestion. The westbound span of the Delaware Memorial Bridge carries a $3 toll that will increase to $4.00 in January 2008 for all passenger vehicles. The Delaware River and Bay Authority Toll Plaza resides on the Delaware side of the river between the bridge and the Delaware 9 (New Castle Avenue) cloverleaf interchange. Tolls were increased from $2 per vehicle to $3 in May of 2000 by the DRBA to fund a $150 million capital budget increase. Included in the budget was an allocation of funds for a two-year reconstruction project of Interstate 295 (2001-2003). The authority maintains both the New Castle County Airport and the Cape May-Lewes Ferry among other items of infrastructure. Tolls along the bridge were switched from two-way to one-way in 1992.

The Delaware Memorial Bridge

The Delaware Memorial Bridge in its majesty as it spans the Delaware River. Photo taken from Battery Park in New Castle by Carter Buchanan (08/10/04).

The eastbound span of the Delaware Memorial Bridge opened to traffic in August of 1951.1 Previously motorists used one of two ferry crossings between Delaware and New Jersey. The U.S. 40 ferry linked the city of New Castle, Delaware with the town of Deepwater, New Jersey. A second ferry crossing carried drivers from Wilmington, Delaware to Penns Grove, New Jersey via Delaware & New Jersey 48. Both ferry services ceased operations when the bridge opened.

At one time the 1951 Delaware Memorial Bridge constituted the longest suspension bridge in the world. It was later superceded by the Interstate 278 Verizzano Narrows Bridge in New York City. However the construction of the westbound span of the Delaware Memorial Bridge gives the crossing the distinction as the longest twin span suspension bridge worldwide. The slightly longer of the two bridges opened to traffic during September of 1968.1 The bridges themselves stand as a memorial for the Delaware and New Jersey war veterans that fought in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War.

Take Cherry Lane east from Delaware 9 (New Castle Avenue) to the War Memorial. This suite of photos covers the War Memorial Grounds and its proximity to Interstate 295 and the DRBA Administration Offices (a sidewalk connects the memorial grounds with the office complex). Photos taken 05/19/07.
Cherry Lane westbound between the War Memorial entrance and junction Delaware 9 (New Castle Avenue). The full-cloverleaf interchange between Interstate 295 and Delaware 9 resides nearby. Eastbound Interstate 295 motorists access Delaware 9 from Cherry Lane west of New Castle Avenue. Photos taken 05/19/07.
Two more views of the Delaware Memorial Bridge from New Castle's Battery Park. Photos taken 08/05/07.

January 2008 Toll Increase

DRBA voted on July 17, 2007 to increase tolls from $3.00 to $4.00 per axle for all commercial vehicles at the Delaware Memorial Bridge toll plaza in New Castle, Delaware. Increases in toll will generate $11 million in additional funds for the DRBA budget. $85 million in capital improvements will move forward including expansion of Interstate 295 from four to six lanes at the Farnhurst Interchange, replacement of the Norfolk Southern Railroad bridge, and other projects associated with the Cape May Lewes Ferry. An additional toll increase is forecast for 2010 to fund $300 million in future projects including a bridge deck replacement on both of the twin spans.2

Interstate 295 Delaware Mileage: 5.71

Delaware Reference Road Number: 56

Interstate 295 Delaware Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)

Begin Milepost Location To: AADT Composite
0.00 Interstate 95 Delaware Turnpike Delaware 141 north Newport Lancaster 68,161
1.43 Delaware 141 north Newport Lancaster U.S. 13-40 Dupont Hwy. Dover Annapolis 79,214
1.93 U.S. 13-40 Dupont Hwy. Dover Annapolis Delaware 9 New Castle Wilmington 102,339
3.20 Delaware 9 New Castle Wilmington NJ state line (5.71) 93,631
Source: Traffic Summary 2002 (DelDOT)

Interstate 295 Delaware Highway Guides

Sources:

  1. The Delaware Memorial Bridge, Historical Society of Delaware.
  2. "Toll hikes proposed for Del. Memorial." The News Journal (Wilmington, DE), June 8, 2007.

Interstate 295 Other Highway Sites

Page Updated December 18, 2007

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