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The Guide to U.S. Highway 40 in Delaware

Once called the "Delaware Drag Strip" by local residents, U.S. 40 has dramatically changed over the past several years. Known as the Pulaski Highway, the federal highway cuts across the northern part of the state between Elkton, Maryland and the Delaware Memorial Bridge. What once was a rural four-lane parkway is now a suburban main street. For this reason some Delawareans refer to it as a parking lot during peak hours of traffic.

The U.S. 40 corridor is overrun with uncontrolled development. The drag strip days are indeed over as several traffic lights dot the ten mile drive between Maryland and junction U.S. 13 at State Road. The rapid development of farmland transformed U.S. 40 into a hodgepodge of residential and commercial development lacking an interconnectedness. DelDOT recently addressed the growing problem with studies on how to separate local and through traffic movements with the creation of service roads. Construction may begin after 2005. Please see U.S. 40 Corridor Improvements @ Deldot.org for an overview of the project.

The intersection of U.S. 40, U.S. 301 & Delaware 896 was planned as a full interchange. The concept originates in abandoned plans for the upgrade of Delaware 896 to limited access standards from U.S. 40 northward to Interstate 95. At the concerns of residents, DelDOT instead built a partially control access expressway with intersections between Summit Bridge and Interstate 95. Included with the project is a four-lane divided Glasgow bypass east of the original Delaware 896. Land purchased by the state for the intended interchange is now allocated for the creation of a new state park. The 300-acre Glasgow Park is under development in 2004.

East of Glasgow, U.S. 40 crosses Delaware 72 (Sunset Lake Road) en route to Delaware 7 (Bear Christiana Road) and the area known as Bear. The name Bear emanates from the existance of the late 1800s Bear Tavern from the late 1800s at the crossroads. Todays Bear however is an unorganized conglomeration of subdivisions and shopping centers. The rapid growth necessitated a widening of the Pulaski Highway from four to six lanes between Walther Road and the Delaware 1 partial cloverleaf interchange. Within the stretch is Delaware's most dangerous intersection, the junction of U.S. 40 with Delaware 7. DelDOT may construct an overpass for Delaware 7 in the future to address safety concerns at the pervasive intersection. An upgrade of the crossroads is necessary due to the expected growth of the Bear-Glasgow area by another 50,000 residents.

Growth continues along the Pulaski Highway east of the SR 1 Turnpike. New traffic signals were added to U.S. 40 at Buckley Boulevard and School Bell Road in 2000. Additionally the left-hand turn from Appleby Road onto U.S. 40 eastbound was eliminated with the installation of the nearby School Bell Road signal. To further add to the traffic quagmire, a new Walmart opened on the corridor at the intersection of U.S. 40 and Wilton Boulevard.

U.S. 40 joins U.S. 13 on the Dupont Highway at State Road. The two federal highways overlap 3.5 miles between State Road and the Interstate 295 interchange at Farnhurst. Along the route are many post World War II subdivisions such as Wilmington Manor and Chelsea Estates. At Hares Corner, the Dupont Highway intersects Delaware 273 (Frenchtown Road) at the busiest intersection of the six to eight lane highway. North of there is the New Castle County Airport and New Castle Farmer's Market and outdoor flea market. Several older strip malls and small businesses reside along the corridor further to the north.

An antiquated cloverleaf interchange composes the southern terminus of U.S. 202 at Delaware 141 (Basin Road) with U.S. 13 & 40. The junction resides between the airport, Chelsea Estates, Wilmington College, and the Penn Mart Shopping Center. Businesses actually reside within the three loop ramps of the interchange. Further north are several signals for the residential area including that of Boulden Boulevard. The east-west roadway links the Dupont Highway with Southgate Industrial Park and Moores Lane. Moores Lane provides access to Delaware 9 (New Castle Avenue).

At Interstate 295 in Farnhurst, U.S. 40 leaves the Dupont Highway for the freeway eastward across the Delaware Memorial Bridge. The interchange opened to traffic in 1951 for U.S. 40 between U.S. 13 and the bridge itself. Interstate 295 came to the highway after the Eisenhower Interstate System became official. In New Jersey, U.S. 40 departs the freeway after the split with the New Jersey Turnpike and before the turnpike toll plaza. U.S. 40 provides the main route between the Delaware Memorial Bridge and Atlantic City, New Jersey. Tolls on the Delaware Memorial Bridge include $3 for all westbound passenger vehicles.

Mileage: 17.33

U.S. 40 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)

Begin Milepost Location To: AADT Composite
0.00 MD state line Pleasant Valley Road 26,073
0.86 Pleasant Valley Road Road 387A 32,204
2.17 Road 387A U.S. 301 & Delaware 896 34,161
2.38 U.S. 301 & Delaware 896 Delaware 72 Fox Run 28,116
3.77 Delaware 72 Fox Run Salem Church Road 33,639
5.14 Salem Church Road Delaware 7 Bear 33,639
7.26 Delaware 7 Bear Appleby Road 29,010
9.14 Appleby Road U.S. 13 Dupont Highway 27,493
U.S. 13 overlap (10.96-13.53)
9.97 U.S. 13 Dupont Highway Delaware 273 Hare's Corner 64,711
10.96 Delaware 273 Hare's Corner School Lane 54,626
11.61 School Lane U.S. 202 north & Delaware 141 65,042
13.21 U.S. 202 north & Delaware 141 Interstate 295 67,526
I-295 overlap (13.53-17.53)
13.53 Interstate 295 & U.S. 13 north Delaware 9 New Castle Avenue 98,273
14.82 Delaware 9 New Castle Avenue NJ state line (17.33) 93,631
Source: Traffic Summary 2002 (DelDOT)

U.S. 40 Highway Guide

U.S. 40 Eastbound
See the U.S. Highway 13 Southbound Highway Guide for additional coverage of U.S. 40 in the state of Delaware.
Erroneous Delaware 40 and Delaware 301 Truck shield assembly posted on the Pulaksi Highway eastbound within the village of Glasgow. Not only should the signs be U.S. shields, but U.S. 301 Truck never traveled west of Delaware 896 on U.S. 40. By 2001 the shield assembly was replaced with a U.S. 40 eastbound reassurance shield. Photo taken 12/99.
Entering the intersection with U.S. 301 & Delaware 896 in Glasgow. DelDOT installed sign bridges on all four approaches to the pervasive intersection between U.S. 40 and U.S. 301 & Delaware 896 in 1994. The signs initially split Interstate 95 motorists between Delaware 896 northbound for Interstate 95 south and U.S. 40 east to Delaware 1 north to Interstate 95 north. By 2001 DelDOT amended all signs at the junction to route Interstate 95 bound drivers northward via Delaware 896. The TO U.S. 301 shield on the right-hand panel is incorrect in that the U.S. 301 begins here and no longer travels eastward along Delaware 896 from Mt. Pleasant to Boyds Corner. DelDOT has yet to fix the incorrect U.S. 301 signs. Photo taken 03/23/04.
Eastbound U.S. 40 reassurance shield posted after the signal with Delaware 72 (Sunset Lake road). To the right is the Fox Run Shopping Center. Ahead is the Norfolk Southern Railroad crossing. Much of the development between here and Salem Church Road dates from either the late 1980s or early 1990s. The Pulaski Highway retains its grassy median throughout the stretch. Photo taken 04/17/04.
Traffic signal at the intersection with Scotland Drive on U.S. 40 eastbound. Scotland Drive serves a small industrial park to the right and the Glasgow Pines town home community to the left. Photo taken 04/17/04.
Reassurance shield posted after the intersection with Salem Church Road. Development is underway to overtake the remaining open space on U.S. 40 between Salem Church Road and junction Delaware 7 in Bear. The only farmland yet to be consumed by sprawl is the Walther family farm at the intersection of U.S. 40 and Walther Road. The family remains adamant about not selling their property for development. Photo taken 04/17/04.
The Pulaski Highway expands to six overall lanes between Walther Road and the Delaware 1 (Exit 160) partial cloverleaf interchange. The third eastbound lane becomes exit-only at the SR 1 Turnpike for the northbound loop ramp. Pictured here is the southbound on-ramp to Delaware 1 for Odessa, Smyrna, and Dover. Photo taken 03/27/04.
Continuing eastward to the loop ramp for Delaware 1 north on U.S. 40 eastbound. The sign lighting assembly attached to the northbound overhead is the only in the state orientated above the panel itself. It is unknown why DelDOT chose to illuminate the sign this way. The state of Arizona however utilizes this lightning format on most of its overhead signs. Delaware 1 travels six kilometers northward to junction Interstate 95 and Churchman's Crossing. Photo taken 03/27/04.
See the U.S. Highway 13 Northbound Highway Guide for additional coverage of U.S. 40 in the state of Delaware.
U.S. 40 Westbound
The westbound beginning of the Pulaski Highway at State Road. Pictured here is the first U.S. 40 westbound shield posted after the federal route departs the Dupont Highway and overlap with U.S. 13. Ahead is the signalized intersection with Wilton Boulevard. Photo taken 05/01/04.
Entering the community of Bear on U.S. 40 westbound at Buckley Boulevard. The subdivision of Buckley resides on the southeast quadrant of the Delaware 1 crossing with the Pulaski Highway. Constructed in the early 1990s, Buckley consists of houses designed for the first time home owner. The neighborhood is characteristic of the suburban sprawl that started in the Bear area of U.S. 40. Until 2000 there was no traffic light at the junction. However with the construction of several businesses between Buckley Boulevard and U.S. 40 itself, DelDOT installed the new signal. Note that there are three left-hand turn signals for one lane of traffic. Photo taken 04/04/04.
Many of the signs for the U.S. 40 interchange with Delaware 1 feature backplated state shields. The assembly for the northbound loop ramp onto Delaware 1 is no exception. A Delaware 273 trailblazer remains on the overhead from when the freeway ended prematurely at Exit 162 (Christiana Road). Between 1991 and 1993 the SR 1 Turnpike consisted of the freeway between U.S. 13 at Tybouts Corner and Delaware 273 at Christiana. Photo taken 08/06/05.
Traffic enters U.S. 40 from Delaware 1 northbound at the same point where traffic departs the Pulaski Highway for the SR 1 Turnpike northbound. Again DelDOT uses three turn signals for one lane of traffic. In the eastbound direction is a left-hand turn lane for U-turning drivers. Photo taken 04/04/04.
Approaching the left-hand turn for the Delaware 1 southbound on-ramp. The control city of Dover is a 62-kilometer drive southbound on the SR 1 Turnpike. Delaware 1 merges with U.S. 13 (Dupont Highway) at Exit 156 just south of Bear. From there the two highways share pavement to Exit 152 (Wrangle Hill). Photo taken 03/27/04.
Delaware 7 shield attached to a light post on U.S. 40 eastbound between Delaware 1 and the entrance to Eden Square Shopping Center. In 2000 DelDOT placed a concrete divider between the Eden Square Shopping Center left-hand turn lanes and the Delaware 1 southbound off-ramp. The divider was placed to prevent motorists from darting across three lanes of traffic from the ramp to the shopping center turn lane. Traffic now must turn right at the traffic light for the Delaware 1 south to U.S. 40 eastbound movement to access the shopping plaza. The project is one element of improvements DelDOT has undertaken to address concerns at the state's most dangerous intersection, U.S. 40 and Delaware 7. The Eden Square Shopping Center traffic signal is linked to the signal phases of adjacent Delaware 7 and the Pulaski Highway. Photo taken 05/01/04.
U.S. 40 eastbound at Delaware 7 in the heart of Bear. Shopping plazas and commercial development exist on all four corners of the Pulaski Highway intersection with Bear Christiana Road (Delaware 7). Otherwise Delaware 7 provides the original route between Interstate 95 and U.S. 13 by way of the Red Lion and Christiana. The two-lane roadway is home to numerous housing developments on the drive between Bear and Delaware 273 (Christiana Road). Photo taken 03/27/04.
U.S. 40 expands to six overall lanes between the SR 1 Turnpike partial cloverleaf interchange and Walther Road through Bear. The expansion was completed in 1997 to add capacity on the most congested stretch of the Pulaski Highway. Governor's Square Shopping Center and a 1998 completed plaza to the left feature a busy signalized intersection ahead. The addition of a third lane in each direction allows more traffic to flow through the area between the signal cycles of the Governor's Square and the Delaware 7 signals. Photo taken 05/01/04.
U.S. 301 Truck followed U.S. 40 westward from State Road to Glasgow and Delaware 896 southward from Glasgow to Mt. Pleasant. The alignment was necessitated by a weight restriction levied on the U.S. 13 St. Georges Bridge in the 1980s due to structural deficiencies. U.S. 301 Truck shields remained in place through til at least 2001 even though the federal route mainline saw relocation to Delaware 896 between Mt. Pleasant and Glasgow in 1993. The shield assembly here is the same as the one pictured in the above photobox. Photo taken 10/09/01.
Westbound U.S. 40 at Delaware 72 (Sunset Lake Road) at Fox Run. Delaware 72 provides a north-south route between the U.S. 40 corridor and the city of Newark. The state highway is the only to cross the Interstate 95 corridor without an interchange. To the left Delaware 72 southbound arcs four miles to Wrangle Hill and the confluence of Delaware 1, U.S. 13, and Delaware 7. The route becomes more and more developed as time progresses. Photo taken 10/12/04.
Continuing past Delaware 72 (Sunset Lake Road) on the Pulaski Highway eastbound. The 1.4-mile path of U.S. 40 between Delaware 72 and U.S. 301 & Delaware 896 is the least developed of the corridor in Delaware. However a new traffic signal became operational in 2001 for a new State Police Troop and elementary school midway between the two intersections. Photo taken 04/04/04.
One-half mile guide sign posted for the upcoming junction with U.S. 301 & Delaware 896. Although signs display Delaware 896 south at "TO" U.S. 301, the actuality is that U.S. 301 itself begins at the U.S. 40 intersection east of Glasgow. Visible to the right is construction of a new 300-acre state park. Photo taken 08/06/05.
A recent installation on U.S. 40 westbound refers to the upcoming intersection as U.S. 301. The southbound shield advises motorists of the upcoming southbound beginning of the federal highway. A begin shield is also in place now just south of the Pulaski Highway for U.S. 301 on Delaware 896. Photo taken 04/04/04.
U.S. 40 westbound at U.S. 301 south & Delaware 896 in Glasgow. Delaware 896 provides a four lane divided highway between Summit Bridge and the city of Newark. The highway was widened from two to four lanes between 1991 and 1996. U.S. 301 overlaps with the state route between here and the village of Mt. Pleasant 7.5 miles to the south. Four miles south of the split is the growing city of Middletown in southwest New Castle County. U.S. 301 itself is a popular trucking corridor between the Washington metropolitan area and Interstate 95. Photo taken 10/12/04.
Turning onto U.S. 301 & Delaware 896 southbound from U.S. 40 westbound. A Delaware 896 shield assembly resides at the gore point between the Pulaski Highway mainline and the two left-hand turn lanes. The southern terminus of U.S. 301 exists in Sarasota, Florida at junction U.S. 19. See a 04/18/04 photo courtesy of Justin Cozart here. Photo taken 04/04/04.
The junction of U.S. 40 westbound at Delaware 896 Business (Glasgow Avenue). The east and westbound lanes of the Pulaski Highway diverge for almost a mile through the village of Glasgow. Several businesses reside with the expanded median of the highway. Photo taken 08/06/05.
Crossing the Maryland state line on U.S. 40 westbound. The Pulaski Highway represents the main east-west route through the Cecil County seat of Elkton. The federal highway maintains at least four lanes and a grassy median through the city. Development continues at a rapid pace between the state line and Maryland 279 (Elkton Road) west of town. Ahead is the south end of Maryland 781 (Delancy Road). Photo taken 04/24/04.
Scenes Pertaining to U.S. 40
U.S. 40 shields at the eastbound exit to the Pulaski Highway from the Eden Square Shopping Center in Bear. Two two-lane exits dump traffic onto the federal highway between the intersections with Delaware 7 (Bear Corbitt Road) and Delaware 1. Photo taken 03/27/04.

U.S. 40 Delaware Other Highway Sites

Page Updated September 19, 2007.

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