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Delaware 48


SR 48 travels seven miles northwest from LOMA in Wilmington to Hockessin in northern New Castle County. Paired with MSR 41 northwest to Gap, and U.S. 30 (Lincoln Highway) west from there, the state route provides the first leg of a route linking Wilmington with Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

SR 48 forms the southern gateway into Downtown Wilmington from Interstate 95 and Justison Landing to U.S. 13 Business northbound along Walnut Street. The state route travels along the one-way couplet of 2nd Street west and Lancaster Avenue / Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard east between the Hedgeville, Hilltop and Bayard Square neighborhoods to SR 2 (Lincoln and Union Streets). Lancaster Avenue switches to two-way traffic northwest from SR 2 (Union Street) westbound and continues SR 48 by the Union Park Gardens community.

Exiting Wilmington west of the Greenhill neighborhood, SR 48 (Lancaster Pike) combines with SR 100 from North Dupont Road to SR 141, where an interchange was once planned. Lancaster Pike advances beyond SR 100 and 141 with four lanes through to Hercules Road, and with two lanes from there to end at a wye intersection with SR 41 (Newport Gap Pike).

The high speed ramps linking Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard westbound, from both Downtown Wilmington and Delaware 48, were constructed in 1978 during reconstruction of Interstate 95 on the Wilmington Viaduct.1 Flyovers pass over Delaware 48 at Adams Street, complimenting the street level on-ramps from 2nd Street west and Jackson Street south of Lancaster Avenue.

Scheduled for 2019, the Wilmington Viaduct Project will replace the decks of the elevated roadway taking I-95 south from SR 9 (4th Street) to I-495 by the Christina River. With an expected surge in traffic along U.S. 13 Business north into the city, an interim project focuses on improving the traffic pattern along Walnut Street between Front Street (SR 48) and 4th Street (SR 9). The current east end of SR 48 splits between Front Street east to the Wilmington Train Station, and a sweeping curve north onto Walnut Street after 2nd Street. Construction planned for fall 2017 to spring 2018 will remove the sweep and expand Front Street by two lanes to accommodate the increase in traffic to U.S. 13 Business north.

Delaware 48 Guides

Historically Delaware 48 formed a multi state route with New Jersey 48 via the Wilmington-Penns Grove Ferry. New Jersey 48 combined with U.S. 40 from Pennsville Auburn Road to Atlantic City along what was previously designated as New Jersey 18S. Delaware 48 appeared on the 1937 Official Delaware Highway Map, from Delaware 41 near Hockessin southeast to ferry landing at the mouth of the Christina River. The state route lined Christina Avenue northwest from what is now the Port of Wilmington to the Heald Street Bridge. West from the Christiana River, Delaware 48 traveled on 4th Street to Delaware 2 (Union Street), where it dog legged south to Lancaster Avenue.

The route of Delaware 48 through Wilmington in 1950.

Completion of the Delaware Memorial Bridge in 1951 eliminated ferry service from Wilmington to Penns Grove, New Jersey. The 1952-53 Official Delaware Highway Map shows Delaware 48 marked south from Heald Street onto New Castle Avenue south toward the Delaware Memorial Bridge. The ensuing edition shows Delaware 48 realigned from 4th Street onto Lancaster Avenue east from Delaware 2 to U.S. 13 (French and Market Streets).

The 1964 Official Delaware Highway Map shows the couplet along Front Street east and 2nd Street west in place between Jackson Street and U.S. 13 & 202 north along Walnut Street. Completion of Interstate 95 north to Maryland Avenue, and south from 2nd and Front Streets in 1965, coincided with the relocation of Delaware 48 westbound along 2nd Street to Delaware 2 (Union Street), and the conversion of Lancaster Avenue into a one-way street eastbound.

Delaware 48 - 2015 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)

  • 11,137 - SR 41 to McKennans Church Road
  • 20,467 - Stratton Drive to Hercules Road
  • 30,485 - Centerville Road - SR 141
  • 12,249 - SR 141 to North Dupont Road
  • 25,884 - SR 100 to Greenhill Avenue
  • 15,353 - SR 2 to I-95
  • 38,718 - Adams Street to SR 4
  • 20,472 - U.S. 13 Business (King Street) south to U.S. 13 Business (Walnut Street) north
Delaware 48 scenes
Washington Street south at Delaware 48 (2nd Street) westbound. Beyond 2nd Street, Washington Street defaults onto Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard westbound ahead of its ramp partition to Interstate 95. Delaware 48 parallels the elevated ramps to Adams Street and a street level ramp to I-95 south. Photo taken 08/05/07.
Trailblazers direct motorists along Adams Street north from the Maryland Avenue off-ramp of I-95 north to SR 2 and SR 48. These shields were copied over from older sign assemblies located here, as no follow up markers indicate where either SR 2 or 48 are in relation to Adams Street. Photo taken 12/18/16.
An I-95 trailblazer stands ahead of the Adams Street north intersection with SR 48 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard) east. A southbound on-ramp is located one block ahead from SR 48 (2nd Street) west. Photo taken 12/30/16.
Approaching the west end of Greenhill Avenue at Delaware 48 (Lancaster Avenue). The north-south street provides the main route between Lancaster Avenue and Delaware 52 (Pennsylvania Avenue) through northwest Wilmington. Photo taken 04/30/04.



Photo Credits:

2004-04-30, 2007-08-05, 2016-12-18, 2016-12-30 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 95
U.S. 13 Business - Wilmington to Claymont
Delaware 2
Delaware 41
Delaware 100
Delaware 141

Page Updated 03-03-2017.

© AARoads