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Walkabout Wilmington - An intimate look at an urban freeway

Walkabout Interstate 95 Wilmington - An intimate look at an urban freeway

Photographic views of the Interstate 95 viaduct and suppressed freeway sections between Adams and Jackson Street in the city of Wilmington. Photos taken on four separate walks: March 19, March 21, March 30, April 3, and April 9, 2004.

Interstate 95 Wilmington Map - AARoads.com

Interstate 95 @ Eleventh Street
The construction of Interstate 95 through Wilmington cut Eleventh Street into two segments. In its place is the Exit 7B off-ramp of southbound for Delaware 52 south and the Wilmington Central Business District. Pictured here are four views of the freeway, Jackson Street southbound on-ramp, Adams & Tenth Street northbound on-ramp, and the Eleventh Street off-ramp. The large glass building is the former Chase Manhattan Bank building. First photo taken 04/03/04, second photo taken 03/19/04, third and fourth photos taken 04/09/04.

Eastward facing views of the Exit 7B off-ramp and Tenth Street on-ramp from Jackson Street above the freeway. Both ramps were reconstructed as part of the 2001-2004 reconstruction of Interstate 95 in Wilmington. Photos taken 03/19/04.
Interstate 95 @ Ninth Street
Looking at the Ninth Street overpass of Interstate 95 from Jackson and Tenth Streets to the north. The Jackson Street southbound on-ramp merges ahead of the over crossing. The Exit 7 off-ramp for Delaware 52 (Delaware Avenue) ends at the intersection of Ninth and Adams Streets.
Interstate 95 @ Eighth Street
Ninth & Eleventh Streets and Delaware 52 provide access routes into downtown from Interstate 95 northbound. The Exit 7 off-ramp to the intersection of Ninth and Adams Street departs the freeway underneath the Eighth Street overpass. The central business district skyline unfolds from the perch above the freeway on both Seventh and Jackson Streets. First photo taken 04/03/04; remaining photos shot on 04/09/04.
Three views of the Eighth Street overpass taken from the Ninth Street to the west. An auxiliary lane travels between the Jackson Street on-ramp and Fourth Street off-ramp on Interstate 95 southbound. First photo taken 03/19/04; second and third images shot 04/03/04.
Interstate 95 @ Seventh Street
Looking northeast at Interstate 95 and the Seventh Street overpass from Jackson Street. The first photograph looks at the freeway before the landscaping and repainting project of 2001-2004. Crews cut down most of the trees and shrubbery along the route opting for new saplings and better views of the rock cut and city. First photograph taken 05/00, second photo taken 04/09/04.
Peering westward at the Delaware Avenue (Delaware 52) off-ramp of Interstate 95 northbound at the Seventh Street overpass. The original alignment of Exit 7 saw the ramp intersect Seventh and Adams Street. The major reconstruction of Interstate 95 between 1979 and 1982 included the relocation of the Delaware 52 ramp two blocks to the north. Photos taken 04/03/04.
Views of Interstate 95 under Seventh Street as seen from the Eighth Street over crossing to the west. Exit 6 for Delaware 9 (Fourth Street) departs southbound underneath Seventh Street. First photo taken 04/03/04, second and third photos taken 04/09/04.
Interstate 95 @ Sixth Street
Between Sixth Street and Delaware 9 (Fourth Street) Interstate 95 transitions from a suppressed freeway into twin two-lane viaducts. The Christina River valley lies east of Sixth Street below the Appalachian Piedmont. Pictured here are views of the Sixth Street overpass and Exit 6 ramp departure for Delaware 4, 9, and 48 of Interstate 95 south. All views look from the Seventh Street overpass or Jackson Street to the west.
Interstate 95 @ Fourth Street (Delaware 9)
Interstate 95 ascends over the Wilmington street grid between Fifth Street and the geologic fall line and Beech Street and the Christina River. A pair of two lane viaducts carry the freeway between Adams and Jackson Streets through to the city line. Opened in 1961, the viaducts saw reconstruction between 1979 and 1982, and repainting and other repairs between 2001 and 2004. Pictured in the images is the Fourth Street off-ramp (Exit 6) of Interstate 95 southbound and the Jackson Street corridor between Delaware 9 and Delaware 48. First photo taken 04/03/04; remaining photos taken 04/09/04.
Interstate 95 @ Delaware 48
Views of the Wilmington Viaduct of Interstate 95 & U.S. 202 as seen from Delaware 48 east (Lancaster Avenue) and west (2nd Street) below. The metal framework of the bridges were green until repainting of the early 2000s. The protective screens alongside the elevated highway also saw replacement with new brown and peach colored panes. A scripted "W" is painted on the panes for the city of Wilmington. Photos taken 03/21/04.
Other Interstate 95 freeway photos
Interstate 95 & U.S. 202 take a northerly turn to cross high above the Brandywine Creek via a six-lane bridge. An on-ramp facilitates the movement from Delaware 52 (Delaware Avenue) to northbound via Adams Street to the right. The Exit 7A ramp for Delaware 52 north leaves the freeway at the south end of the bridge. Photo taken 03/19/04.
Westerly view of the Tenth Street overpass of Interstate 95 & U.S. 202 from Ninth Street. Cool Springs Park resides on the block of Jackson and Tenth Street to the west of Interstate 95. The Jackson Street on-ramp to southbound departs adjacent to the park. Photo taken 03/19/04.
The westbound direction of Martin Luther King Boulevard transitions into access ramps for Interstate 95 north and south. The roadway elevates over Madison, Monroe, and Adams Streets before merging onto the freeway. Pictured here are the ramps as seen from Delaware 48 (Lancaster Avenue) eastbound. Photo taken 03/21/04.
Adams Street
Adams Street begins at the intersection of Delaware 4 (Maryland Avenue) and the Exit 6 off-ramp of Interstate 95 & U.S. 202 northbound in the Browntown section of the city. The northbound-only street parallels the freeway viaduct between Maryland Avenue and Fourth Street (Delaware 9). A large trailblazer points drivers to the Interstate 95 on-ramps of Delaware 48 west (for southbound) and Adams Street northbound on-ramp at Tenth Street. Photo taken 03/21/04.
Delaware 2 & 48 and Delaware Memorial Bridge trailblazers posted at the intersection of Adams and Elm Street in Browntown. Delaware 48 intersects Adams Street ahead via Lancaster Avenue (eastbound) and Second Street (westbound). Delaware 2 does not travel anywhere near here instead following Union and Lincoln Streets through the Hill Top and Little Italy neighborhoods of the city. However Delaware 2 may have overlapped with Delaware 48 between Delaware 4 and the one-way couplet of Lincoln and Union Streets at one time. Photo taken 03/21/04.
The junction of Adams Street and Delaware 48 east (Lancaster Avenue) occurs underneath the Martin Luther King Boulevard access ramp to Interstate 95 & U.S. 202 southbound. Lancaster Avenue merges with Maryland Avenue (Delaware 4) to become Martin Luther King Boulevard eastbound two blocks to the right. Photo taken 03/21/04.
One block to the north of Lancaster Avenue is the westbound direction of Delaware 48 along Second Street. Adams Street intersects the state route underneath the Martin Luther King Boulevard access ramp to Interstate 95 & U.S. 202 north. Traffic bound for Interstate 95 & U.S. 202 south need only turn left and access the Second Street off-ramp to the freeway. To the right is the 1986 constructed Adams Four Shopping Center. Photos taken 03/20/04.
Northbound Interstate 95 trailblazer on Adams Street between Third and Fourth Streets. Delaware 9 intersects the road at the traffic signal ahead. The state route provides the main route between the Hill Top and Little Italy sections of the city and downtown. The northbound trailblazers guide motorists along Adams Street north to the Tenth Street on-ramp. First photo taken 03/21/04, second photo taken 03/20/04.
A mixture of Econolite and Eagle signals hang above the intersection of Adams and Seventh Street. The original Interstate 95 northbound off-ramp to Delaware 52 joined Adams Street at 7th Street. 7th Street flows eastward into downtown. Photo taken 08/05/07.
Travelers departing downtown Wilmington along Eighth Street turn onto Adams Street northbound for Interstate 95 north. Photo taken 08/05/07.
One block north of the Exit 7 off-ramp onto Adams Street is the northbound on-ramp to Interstate 95 & U.S. 202 at Tenth Street. Adams Street briefly consists of three lanes between the two numbered streets. A U.S. 202 shield posted at the Tenth Street on-ramp is the only posted for the federal route's overlap along Interstate 95 within the city of Wilmington. The overhead for Interstate 95 northbound was replaced in 2007. Photos taken 08/05/07.
The previous set of traffic signals at the Adams and Tenth Street intersection required Adams Street motorists to look almost directly up while waiting for a red light at the stop bar. The new signals are placed on the span wire directly in front of the Interstate 95 guide sign now. Regarding the guide sign itself, the northbound panel was the only replacement installed for any original sign in the city during the 1990s. The reflectorized sign saw installation in 1994, and was again replaced in 2007. Photo taken 10/12/01.
Approaching junction Delaware 52 (Delaware Avenue) on Adams Street northbound. The Interstate 95 northbound shield points toward Delaware Avenue northbound for the Jackson Street southbound ramp at Cool Springs Park. Photo taken 03/19/04.
Adams Street provides the access road between Interstate 95 north (Exit 7) and Delaware 52 (Delaware Avenue). The street is discontinuous across the intersection but does resume north of Delaware Avenue. Delaware 52 comprises the main arterial between downtown Wilmington and the northern suburbs. Photo taken 03/19/04.
A second northbound on-ramp to Interstate 95 departs Adams Street north of Delaware 52 (Delaware Avenue). The ramp provides the main entry point onto the freeway from downtown Wilmington and Delaware Avenue northbound. Photo taken 03/19/04.
Jackson Street
The creation of Interstate 95 through the city of Wilmington destroyed the block between Jackson Street southbound and Adams Street northbound. In addition Jackson Street itself was severed between Lovering Avenue and Gilpin Avenue for the creation of the Brandywine Creek crossing of the freeway. Jackson Street instead acts as the conduit for the southbound movement from Interstate 95 & U.S. 202 onto Delaware 52 north (Delaware Avenue). The Exit 7B off-ramp becomes Jackson Street at the intersection with Gilpin Avenue. Pictured here is the approach to Delaware Avenue on Jackson Street northbound. Photo taken 03/30/04.
Jackson Street southbound at Delaware 52 (Delaware Avenue). Delaware 52 travels northward from downtown Wilmington to the suburbs of Greenville and Centreville north of the city. The four lane arterial provides the main route from the central business district to Interstate 95 as well. The state highway derives its number from Pennsylvania 52 in Chester County. There are no left-hand turns permitted from Delaware Avenue northbound onto Jackson Street southbound. Traffic destined for either Jackson Street or Interstate 95 southbound must utilize Van Buren Street north to Gilpin Avenue east to Jackson Street north through the same intersection instead. Photo taken 03/30/04.
Beyond the intersection with Delaware 52 is Cool Spring Park and the first of two southbound on-ramps to Interstate 95 & U.S. 202. The ramp descends onto the freeway between Tenth and Ninth Streets to form an third auxiliary lane through to the Exit 6 (Fourth Street) off-ramp. An original overhead dating from 1963 remained in place at the ramp departure until it was replaced in 2007 (without a U.S. 202 reference). A new shield was retrofitted to the panel in 2000 beforehand. Photos taken 03/19/04 & 12/29/07.
A pair of Interstate 95 trailblazers accompany the overhead guide sign for the southbound ramp. Motorists destined for Interstate 95 northbound need only continue another two blocks to Ninth Street for the Adams & Tenth Street on-ramp. It should be noted that Eleventh Street used to intersect Jackson Street at this location before Interstate 95 was built. Now the Exit 7A off-ramp of southbound takes the place of the cross street. Photo taken 03/19/04.
The first of two freeway guide signs on Jackson Street southbound for the northbound ramp of Interstate 95 at Tenth and Adams Street. Since left-hand turns are banned from Delaware 52 south onto Adams Street north, Delaware Avenue drivers destined for Interstate 95 northbound must utilize a loop of Jackson Street south, Ninth Street east, and Adams Street north to access the Tenth Street ramp. The suite of photos compares the original guide sign in 2004 with the same assembly and original shield in 1999. First and fourth photos taken 03/19/04; second and third photos taken by Jeff Royston (12/99). The entire sign was replaced in 2007.
An Interstate 95 southbound trailblazer directs motorists to remain on Jackson Street for the eventual on-ramp at Lancaster Avenue (Delaware 48 east). Photo taken 03/19/04.
Jackson Street south at Tenth Street. The ground level traffic lights were replaced with span wire supported McCain brand signals between 2001 and 2004. Additionally most of the shrubbery to the left between the street and freeway was cut down as part of the landscaping improvement project of Interstate 95 in 2003-04. Photo taken 10/10/01.
Continuing southward on Jackson Street between Tenth and Ninth Streets. A second 1963 freeway guide sign for Interstate 95 northbound remained in use on this stretch. In 2000 sign crews replaced the original state named shield and installed a stand alone trailblazer as well, by 2007 the entire assembly was replaced. Photos taken 04/09/04 & 08/05/07.
Row homes overlook Interstate 95 & U.S. 202 on both Adams and Jackson Street between Tenth Street and Fifth Street in Wilmington. Pictured here is the block between Eighth and Seventh Streets and another Interstate 95 trailblazer. Photo taken 04/09/04.
Approaching Sixth Street on Jackson Street south. Overpasses link Delaware Avenue, Tenth, Ninth, Eighth, Seventh, and Sixth Streets between the Cool Springs and Trinity Vicinity neighborhoods and the split segments of the West Side neighborhood. West Side refers to the area west of Market Street in the city, East Side accordingly applies to anywhere east of there. Photo taken 04/09/04.
The city of Wilmington replaced all of the traffic signals along Jackson Street between Delaware 52 and Delaware 48. A typical span wire assembly with McCain brand signals governs the intersection of Jackson and Sixth Streets. Ahead is the descent on the geological fall line into the hispanic section and Browntown neighborhood of the city. Photo taken 04/09/04.
Descending toward the Delaware 9 (Fourth Street) intersection. The Exit 6 off-ramp of Interstate 95 & U.S. 202 southbound merges onto Jackson Street at Fourth Street. Jackson Street in turn expands from two to three lanes ahead of Delaware 9. To the left Delaware 9 travels 11 blocks toward downtown. Northward the state route rises 12 blocks to its conclusion at Delaware 2 westbound (Union Street) at Little Italy. Photo taken 03/21/04.
Decorative mast arms are in place at the Jackson Street, Exit 6 off-ramp, and Delaware 9 intersection. An overhead assembly to the left once displayed a panel for Delaware 9 (Fourth Street). The right-hand panel still guides motorists to Martin Luther King Boulevard (Delaware 48) and Delaware 4 (Maryland Avenue). Both routes are a short drive ahead on Jackson Street. Photo taken 03/21/04.
The area of Jackson Street between Fifth Street and Lancaster Avenue represents a cultural hearth of hispanics from or related to Puerto Rico. The streets feature tightly packed row homes and corner stores. Jackson Street intersects Third Street in this photograph. A junction shield for Delaware 48 is posted for the upcoming intersections with Second Street (Delaware 48 west) and Lancaster Avenue (Delaware 48 east). Photo taken 03/21/04.
Approaching Delaware 48 westbound (Second Street) on Jackson Street. Delaware 48 provides the main route between the city of Wilmington and the Delaware/Pennsylvania 41 corridor. The name Lancaster Pike of eastbound relates to the fact that Pennsylvania 41 ties Delaware with U.S. 30 east of the Pennsylvania city. Delaware 48 merges with Delaware 41 near the town of Hockessin near the state line. Photo taken 03/21/04.
Delaware 48 westbound travels Second Street out of downtown from U.S. 13 Business (Walnut Street) to Delaware 2 west (Union Street) in the Hill Top section of the city. From there Delaware 2 & 48 west share one block to the Delaware 48 east and westbound merge on Lancaster Avenue. Lancaster Avenue carries Delaware 48 out of the city, becoming Lancaster Pike in the process. Delaware 100 (Dupont Road) joins the state route near the city line through to Delaware 141 (Centre Road). Photo taken 03/21/04.
Entering the intersection with Lancaster Avenue (Delaware 48 east) on Jackson Street. An overhead guide assembly directs Interstate 95 departed motorists toward Martin Luther King Boulevard (Delaware 48 east after Delaware 4) and Delaware 4 (Maryland Avenue). The ugly sign to the left is one of several installed by the city for the growing riverfront area. Attractions there include Daniel Frawley Stadium and the Christina Riverwalk. Photo taken 03/21/04.
The left-hand lane of Jackson Street defaults onto Delaware 48 eastbound at Lancaster Avenue. A Delaware 4 trailblazer indicates the truck route for commercial truckers bound for Maryland Avenue westbound through Browntown. Jackson Street itself ends at Maryland Avenue. The street however is not intended as a main thoroughfare and features stop signs and slow speed limits due to the residential area it traverses. Photo taken 03/21/04.
A second Delaware 4 trailblazer directed at Delaware 48 east. Lancaster Avenue merges with Maryland Avenue to form Martin Luther King Boulevard in three blocks. There Delaware 4 ends and a wide four-lane boulevard begins. Martin Luther King Boulevard has undergone several improvements to add to the appeal of its status as an urban gateway for the city. Wilmington Boulevard was renamed Martin Luther King Boulevard in 1989. Photo taken 03/21/04.
Finally Jackson Street reverts to a local roadway at the second Interstate 95 southbound on-ramp. The busy ramp merges with a second on-ramp emanating from Delaware 48 westbound before itself merges onto Interstate 95 above. Unfortunately the acceleration lane is not long enough to allow for an easy or safe merge onto the Interstate 95 & U.S. 202 southbound mainline itself. It is not uncommon to find delays there during the afternoon and evening peak hours of travel due to difficulties in merging or associated traffic accidents. The overhead posted here dates from 1961. The shield however dates from 2000. Photos taken 03/21/04 & 08/05/07.
Interstate 95 trailblazers on side streets
Original 18" trailblazer on Eight Street westbound at Adams Street for the nearby Tenth Street northbound on-ramp. Unfortunately the sign fell from the pole sometime between 2000 and 2001 and is no longer posted. Photo taken 12/10/99.
18" trailblazer posted on Sixth Street eastbound on the approach to Jackson Street in the West Side neighborhood of the city. The sign refers to the southbound on-ramp from Jackson Street at Lancaster Avenue (Delaware 48 East) five blocks away. See the Walkabout Wilmington page for updated photographs of the trailblazer. Photo taken 06/00.
18" trailblazer for Interstate 95 on Third Street southbound between Van Buren and Cherry Streets. The signalized intersection ahead is with Jackson Street. Two blocks to the south on Jackson is the southbound on-ramp to Interstate 95. For northbound motorists must continue underneath the viaduct and turn left onto Adams Street northbound for the Tenth Street on-ramp. Photo taken 03/21/04.
Table sized Interstate 95 shield posted at the Elm Street intersection at Adams Street. Elm Street became discontinuous between Adams and Jackson Street due to the placement of the Wilmington Viaduct. The street composes just one block between Delaware 4 (Maryland Avenue) and Adams Street south of Interstate 95. Traffic for Interstate 95 from Delaware 4 west is directed onto Elm Street north to Adams Street east. Photo taken 08/05/07.
Trailblazers on Van Buren Street northbound at Gilpin Avenue and Gilpin Avenue eastbound at Jackson Street. Van Buren Street, Gilpin Avenue, and Jackson Street provide a loop for Delaware 52 northbound motorists to access the Interstate 95 southbound on-ramp at Cool Springs Park. The path is necessary due to the left-turn ban from Delaware Avenue northbound onto Jackson Street southbound. Photo taken 03/30/04.
Lovering Avenue westbound at Harrison Street. This trailblazer directs motorists from Park Drive, Van Buren Street, and Brandywine Park in general to Interstate 95 via Harrison Street south to Gilpin Avenue. Lovering Avenue itself fronts the park on the northbound side and middle class homes and condominiums on the southbound side. Photos taken 03/30/04.
Harrison Street Interstate 95 trailblazer southbound at Gilpin Avenue. The shield directs drivers toward the Van Buren Street, Gilpin Avenue, Jackson Street loop mentioned above. Interstate 95 however can also be accessed by taking Harrison Street south two more blocks to Delaware 52 (Pennsylvania Avenue) south to Jackson Street. Photo taken 03/30/04.

Page Updated December 18, 2007.

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