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Throwback

Interstate 295 in 1976. Note the Farnhurst Interchange and the left-hand ramp from U.S. 13 (DuPont Highway) south onto I-295 & U.S. 40 east and the original ramp taking U.S. 40 west from the freeway onto U.S. 13 south.

Interstate 295


Interstate 295 in Delaware provides an important link between Interstate 95 and the New Jersey Turnpike as part of a corridor between the Baltimore / Washington metropolitan area and North Jersey / New York City. During peak travel hours, the northbound split from Interstate 95 (Delaware Turnpike) often slows. Holiday travel period delays also occur at the Delaware Memorial Bridge toll plaza southbound. The freeway varies between six and eight lanes otherwise while serving traffic from the Delmarva Peninsula and local commuters between Farnhurst and New Castle. U.S. 40 overlaps with Interstate 295 between Dupont Highway and the New Jersey Turnpike.

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 overall comprises a 73.77-mile freeway between I-95 near Newport, Delaware and Interstate 95 and U.S. 1 at Trenton, New Jersey. The southern terminus lies within the expansive interchange between Interstate 95 & U.S. 202, Interstate 495 (Wilmington Bypass) and Delaware 141 (Newport Freeway). The northbound lanes of Interstate 295 depart the Delaware Turnpike just east of Christiana Marsh adjacent to Airport Road. The Delaware Turnpike expands to five lanes at the split with two lanes allocated for I-295 and Delaware 141 north (Exit 5B) and three for I-95 and I-495 north. A collector distributor roadway links the northbound lanes with the Newport Freeway. Access to Interstate 295 is also available from both Interstates 95 and 495 south and Delaware 141 south.

East of the Christina River wetlands area of where Interstate 295 begins, the freeway enters the Farnhurst interchange with 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 east also merges onto Interstate 295 north at the Farnhurst junction.

Constructed in 1951 to provide access between 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 New Castle County that entailed resurfacing the entire freeway and rebuilding the interchanges with Dupont Highway and Delaware 9 (New Castle Avenue). Road work began in 2001 and ended in 2003. Bridges associated with the Farnhurst interchange were either rebuilt or replaced. The left-hand ramp from southbound U.S. 13 onto I-295 north was also eliminated, allowing for a smoother transition from the I-295 southbound off-ramp to Dupont Highway south. The eastbound on-ramp was replaced by a left-hand turn onto the U.S. 13 north & 40 eastbound ramp to Interstate 295.

Other changes at the Farnhurst Interchange included the addition of a U-turn ramp on the north side of the exchange to allow motorists return access to U.S. 13 (DuPont Highway) south from the left-hand ramp of I-295 north. This eliminated weaving traffic where drivers from I-495 south would cut across the travel lanes of I-295 north to access the right-hand ramp for DuPont Highway south.

Follow up work at the Farnhurst Interchange starting in February 2016 will redesign the junction to incorporate a new loop ramp from U.S. 13 north onto I-295 south in place of the left-hand loop ramp. Additionally the southbound span of I-295 will be expanded to three overall lanes, as will Dupont Parkway northbound below the freeway. Until the fall 2016 opening of the new ramp from U.S. 13 north to I-295 south, motorists will be directed on I-295 north to make a U-turn via the loop ramps with Delaware 9. Overall the $33.7-million project runs through December 2018, which includes reconstruction of pavement along I-295 south between Landers Lane and the directional T interchange with Interstate 95.3

Interstate 295 & U.S. 40 travel between the post World War II built subdivisions of Wilmington Manor, Minquadale and Garfield Park among others. Neighborhoods to the south of I-295 were somewhat isolated due to construction of the freeway. Therefore a compromise was made between the state and local residents, resulting in the addition of the Landers Lane off-ramp from Interstate 295 northbound. The local ramp ties into Landers Spur as it serves a number of subdivisions north of Boulden Boulevard and Moores Lane and west of New Castle Avenue.

Further east Interstate 295 crosses paths with Delaware 9 (New Castle Avenue) at a full cloverleaf interchange. The elongated junction includes collector distributor roadways on both I-295 and SR 9 northbound. New Castle Avenue constitutes a four-lane arterial north to South Bridge in Wilmington and south to the historic city of New Castle.

The Delaware Memorial Bridge

The southbound off-ramp to Delaware 9 (New Castle Avenue) departs from Interstate 295 north & U.S. 40 eastbound. The small trailblazer included on the gore point sign directs motorists to the Delaware War Memorial. The War Memorial resides between Interstate 295 & U.S. 40 and Cherry Lane along the east side of New Castle Avenue. 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 represents a lasting memorial to soldiers who gave their lives in those conflicts. Photo taken 06/02/12.

Construction between 2001 and 2003 rebuilt and resurfaced the ramps and roadways at the Delaware 9 cloverleaf interchange. Additionally new guide signs were installed in all directions.

The Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) offices reside within the median of Interstate 295 & U.S. 40 east of New Castle Avenue. The access road to the facility ties into the northbound c/d roadway of SR 9. Additionally a sidewalk and tunnel connect the DRBA offices with the adjacent War Memorial.

Delaware Memorial Bridge

The Delaware Memorial Bridge carries Interstate 295 & U.S. 40 across 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 miles per hour depending upon weather conditions. Lane control signals operated on both spans allow the DRBA to close lanes as needed due to construction, traffic accidents or congestion. Tolls are levied to westbound travelers across the Delaware Memorial Bridge, with fares collected at a plaza just west of the bridge.

Travelers crossing the Delaware River from New Jersey are charged tolls at a rate of $4.00 per passenger vehicle. The rate was increased from $3.00 in January 2008. Tolls were previously increased from $2.00 per vehicle in May of 2000 to fund a DRBA $150 million capital budget increase. The authority maintains both New Castle County Airport and the Cape May-Lewes Ferry in addition to the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Included in the 2000 budget were allocations of funds for the reconstruction project of Interstate 295 in 2001-2003. Tolls along the bridge were switched from two-way to one-way in 1992.

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 crossing the Delaware Memorial Bridge. The toll increases were made to generate $11 million in additional funds for the DRBA budget. $85 million in capital improvements went to expanding Interstate 295 from four to six lanes at the Farnhurst Interchange, replacing the bridges over the Norfolk Southern Railroad east of the toll plaza, and other projects associated with the Cape May Lewes Ferry. An additional toll increase was forecast for 2010 to fund $300 million in future projects including a bridge deck replacement on both of the twin spans.2 That increase had yet to occur as of the end of 2015.

The Delaware Memorial Bridge

The Delaware Memorial Bridge stands prominently in this northward view from Battery Park in New Castle on July 31, 2013.

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 New Castle, Delaware with Deepwater, New Jersey. A second ferry crossing carried drivers from Wilmington, Delaware to Penns Grove, New Jersey via the multi state route of SR 48 and NJ 48. Both ferry services ceased operations when the bridge opened.

The 1951 Delaware Memorial Bridge constituted the longest suspension bridge in the world at one time. It was later superseded by the Verizzano Narrows Bridge (Interstate 278) in New York City. However the the westbound span addition 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

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 I-95 split Exit 5B to SR 141 north 72,013
1.43 Exit 5B to SR 141 north Farnhurst Interchange 97,441
1.93 Farnhurst Interchange SR 9 interchange 94,779
3.20 SR 9 interchange NJ state line (5.71) 92,246
Source: Traffic Summary 2013 (DelDOT)

Interstate 295 Delaware Highway Guides

Interstate 295 Scenes
Interstate 295 is part of the Blue Star Memorial Highway system that honors the armed forces. The Blue Star represents the blue star in the service flag, which was used during World War II on flags and homes of families who had a loved one serving overseas. This plaque stands at Veterans Memorial Park by the Delaware Memorial Bridge. Photo taken 05/19/07.
A Purple Heart monument placed within Veterans Memorial Park. Cherry Lane connects motorists with the park via Delaware 9 (New Castle Avenue) just south of I-295 & U.S. 40. Photo taken 05/19/07.
The names of all armed service members from Delaware and New Jersey who lost their lives during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf War are inscribed on this wall at Veterans Memorial Park. Photos taken 05/19/07.
A sidewalk connects Veterans Memorial Park with the DRBA office complex via a tunnel below the eastbound lanes of Interstate 295. Photo taken 05/19/07.
An Interstate 295 trailblazer directs motorists west from Veterans Memorial Park to Delaware 9 (New Castle Avenue) north. Photo taken 05/19/07.
The full-cloverleaf interchange between Interstate 295 and Delaware 9 lies just north of Cherry Lane. The eastbound off-ramp from I-295 ties into Cherry Lane from just across New Castle Avenue here. Photo taken 05/19/07.

Sources:

  1. The Delaware Memorial Bridge http://www.hsd.org/DHE/DHE_where_transport_DMB.htm, Historical Society of Delaware.
  2. "Toll hikes proposed for Del. Memorial." The News Journal (Wilmington, DE), June 8, 2007.
  3. "Heads up, I-295 drivers, construction is coming." The News Journal (Wilmington, DE), December 9, 2015.


Photo Credits:

2007-05-19 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 95
Interstate 495
U.S. Highway 13
U.S. Highway 40
Delaware 9
Delaware 141

Page Updated 12-10-2015.

© AARoads