U.S. 113 serves the Eastern part of the Delmarva peninsula from Milford, Delaware to to Pocomoke City, Maryland. The US highway dates back to 1926 when U.S. Highways came into existence. Until February of 2004, U.S. 113 continued north of Milford alongside Delaware 1 to the capital city of Dover. What is left of the route in Delaware exists as a four-lane divided highway in Sussex County.
Truncation of U.S. 113
A proposal by the state of Delaware to truncate U.S. 113 from the northern terminus at Dover to the merge with Delaware 1 at Milford was initially denied by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) during the July of 2003 meeting. However DelDOT resubmitted the request and won approval during the January 2004 meeting of AASHTO's Standing Committee on Highways (SCOH). The removal of U.S. 113 from the concurrent stretch with Delaware 1 between the capital city and Milford occurred because DelDOT officials preferred just one designation for that stretch. This thought process is based upon the desires of the Secretary of the Delaware Department of Transportation to eliminate "braided" or overlapped routes. Therefore U.S. 113 no longer overlaps with Delaware 1 north of Milford. It was felt that the removal of U.S. 113 would save money by eliminating confusion, reducing maintenance costs associated with the fabrication and installation of multiple signs, and costs associated with resources in personnel and time. The short segment of independent U.S. 113 between Delaware 1 at Dover Air Force Base and U.S. 13 (Dupont Highway) was not assigned a new number and remains as Bay Road. Additionally in the process, U.S. 113 Alternate between Dover and Magnolia was eliminated.1
U.S. 113 now travels only as far north as the wye interchange with Delaware 1 on the northern edge of Milford's city limits. Milford highway map created by Kelly Nitzman (October 2007).
These changes leave just Delaware 1 as the route between Dover and the seacoast. Completed in 2003, the SR 1 Turnpike and original Delaware 1 between Milford and Ocean City is now a "showcase" route for the state of Delaware. Thus removing U.S. 113 from the stretch adds to the prominence of the state highway.
U.S. 113 now begins at the split of Delaware 1 and Delaware 1 Business north of Milford. The US highway shares a brief overlap with Delaware 1 Business along Dupont Boulevard from the Milford Bypass expressway of Delaware 1 southward to Walnut Street. U.S. 113 stays west of the Milford central business district on a stretch of four-lane divided highway. Dupont Boulevard features shopping centers, strip malls, and several traffic lights on the stretch west of the city. Further south the US highway traverses rural environs and portions of Redden State Forest.
U.S. 113 northbound within the city limits of Milford at the junction with Delaware 14 (Front Street and Milford Harrington Road). Delaware 14 Truck follows U.S. 113 (Dupont Boulevard) northbound to Delaware 1 (Coast Highway) for all commercial through traffic. Delaware 14 otherwise travels through downtown Milford north of the Mispillion River. Photo taken 04/13/04.
A major widening project of U.S. 113 in the mid 1990s entailed the four-laning of the route through Redden State Forest and other sections of central Sussex County. The 15-mile project between Milford and Georgetown utilized an experimental mixture of concrete by French engineers. Unfortunately the experimental element of the concrete resulted in signs of premature cracking and a whole section of roadway had to be reconstructed. This proved to be a very costly mistake and was similar issues associated with the Interstate 495 and Delaware 141 original concrete. Those two freeways were reconstructed in the 1990s as well.
Proposals continue involving the upgrading of U.S. 113 in Sussex County into a fully limited access highway. The concept entails reconstructing the 32-mile drive between Milford and Selbyville during the next 10 to 20 years to handle Sussex County's increased growth and traffic counts. The 19,000 to 23,000 motorists that use the federal route per day is up 23 percent from 1995. A feasibility study conducted by DelDOT in 2001 revealed that upgrading the existing highway will cost at least $400 million. Upgrading the highway by adding new alignments and bypasses would swell the costs to $750 million. Considerations are already underway for alternatives through the Millsboro vicinity. Those involve either upgrading U.S. 113 through town or building new bypass altogether. A preliminary concept by DelDOT was unveiled for the project in June 2004.2
In June 2007, area residents successfully lobbied lawmakers against Deldot's proposal to construct an east bypass of Milford that would tie U.S. 113 into the Delaware 1 expressway east of the city on a new freeway. DelDOT recommended the route and was ready to begin design when the Joint Bond Bill Committee adopted language that blocked DelDOT from moving forward with the project. That sent DelDOT back to the drawing boards on how to proceed with upgrading with U.S. 113 at Milford. Seven months later, the bypass notion was again rejected by area residents, ultimately killing the proposal in February 2008.4 Otherwise DelDOT plans continue on U.S. 113 bypasses of both Georgetown and Millsboro.3 See the US113 North / South Study project information page by DelDOT for more detail.
U.S. 113 Delaware Mileage: 54.54 (pre-truncation)
U.S. 113 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)
- 11,260 - Maryland state line to Church Street
- 12,251 - Church Street - Delaware 54/Shelbyville limits
- 24,428 - Delaware 24/Main Street to north Millsboro limits
- 20,167 - U.S 9 to Delaware 18 (Georgetown)
- 14,396 - Delaware 16 to Road 207
- 24,187 - Delaware 14/Front Street to North Street (Milford)
- 30,446 - Milford Bypass/Delaware 1 to Road 10/Frederica
- 35,958 - Delaware 12/Frederica to Bowers Beach Road
- 26,583 - Road 357 to Delaware 10
- 30,908 - Road 347 to Court Street Extension
- 25,408 - Court Street Extension - U.S. 13/Dupont Highway
U.S. 113 Highway Guides
U.S. 113 Alternate followed the original routing of U.S. 113 through the town of Magnolia west of the newer U.S. 113 mainline. The US highway began in the village of Little Heaven as Clapham Road. As the route continued north, U.S. 113 Alternate followed Main Street through Magnolia and State Street from the village northward into the city of Dover. At U.S. 13 (Dupont Highway), U.S. 113 Alternate departed State Street for the Dupont Highway as U.S. 13 Alternate overtakes State Street into downtown. U.S. 113 Alternate shared pavement with the Dupont Highway for 1.5 miles between State Street and the northern terminus of U.S. 113 (Bay Road).
Historic U.S. 113 Alternate Mileage: 9.10
Historic U.S. 113 Alternate Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)
- 4,910 - U.S. 113 to south Magnolia limits
- 11,170 - Road 31 to north Magnolia limits
- 18,698 - south Dover limits - U.S. 13
- 36,854 - merge onto U.S. 13 to Court Street
- 25,881 - Court Street to U.S. 113
- Shadman, Mike. "FW: RE: US 113/ US 113A." Personal email, April 6, 2004.
- "U.S. 113 proposal worries Millsboro residents." The News Journal (DE), July 2, 2004.
- "Panel rejects bypass plan for U.S. 113," The News Journal (DE), June 28, 2007.
- "Plan for U.S. 113 bypass near Milford dropped," The News Journal (DE), February 5, 2008.
Other Highway Sites
- US113 North / South Study (DelDOT)
- Delaware Multiplexes @ Multiplex.com (Tim Reichard)
- U.S. 113 Delaware Guide @ OKRoads.com (Eric Stuve)
- Terminus of U.S. 113 (Dale Sanderson)
- US-Highways.com (Robert V. Droz)
Page Updated February 5, 2008.