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Author Topic: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware  (Read 50057 times)

sprjus4

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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #400 on: January 11, 2019, 05:39:02 PM »

Problem is that about 2.3 miles of new 4-lane freeway would be untolled while financed with toll funding.  Maybe they could install gantries at the DE-299 interchange so that they could determine which vehicles are using only that segment, and then charge them a very nominal toll such as 50 cents.
That shouldn't be an issue... The Chesapeake Expressway is free between Exit 10 and Exit 8 even though the entire project between Exit 10 and MM 2 was built with toll revenue.

But isn't between Exit 10 and Exit 8 part of the Great Bridge Bypass?  That was built toll-free back in the 1970s.  Granted they had to rebuild the south end to make it seamless with the new highway.
The Great Bridge Bypass ends at Exit 10. Originally, there was a seamless merge back into Battlefield Blvd at this location, but the new freeway constructed a new interchange at an extended Hanbury Rd (Exit 10), and a bridge carrying Battlefield Blvd over the freeway. They also built Hillcrest Parkway as part of the freeway extension, a 2 mile surface road, and a new interchange with it (Exit 8). Exit 8 is the last free exit before the toll booth.

I imagine if they had tolled the entire thing, the successful Edinburgh retail & housing development off Hillcrest Parkway wouldn't exist or be as successful as it. It has toll-free access to the north (the ideal access) but is cut off to the south by the toll.
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sprjus4

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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #401 on: January 11, 2019, 05:42:26 PM »

I happened to drive the new expressway today from DE-1 to DE-299 and back (lunch in Middletown at Grotto Pizza near the Amazon warehouse on old 301).   We loved the road.   Extremely well built - felt almost "German".

There were some state Troopers out there today - I could see how somebody would like to hit 100mph due to the build quality and light traffic.

Saved me about 15 minutes each way - loved it!
You gotta love Delaware. They rip you off to cross the state line, then they set up troopers to rip people off even more. Hopefully they are only going for extreme speeds and not 5-10 over. I'm shocked local police isn't clinching to it other jurisdictions do. (cough-cough Emporia cough-cough)

Was traffic lighter on the old route than usual?
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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #402 on: January 11, 2019, 05:42:44 PM »

Isn't there some requirement that a relatively nearby toll-free alternative route (not necessarily a highway) needs to be available for all vehicles?

Not providing a toll-free alternate route tells me that such a draconian restriction will probably result in lawsuits being filed by trucking companies/interest groups.  Time will tell.

By AASHTO rule, a tolled US route must have a free alternate (excluding bridge tolls, of course). The other four existing US tolls all have a free alternate: the US 412 tollways in Oklahoma have US 64 (Cimarron) and Alt 412 (Cherokee), the US 278 tollway in SC has Business 278, and the US 51/I-90 tollway has IL 251.

What Delaware is doing here with US 301 is unprecedented in the entire US highway system's history. If the truck companies sued over this, I'm fairly sure they would win.
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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #403 on: January 11, 2019, 06:12:57 PM »

I happened to drive the new expressway today from DE-1 to DE-299 and back (lunch in Middletown at Grotto Pizza near the Amazon warehouse on old 301).   We loved the road.   Extremely well built - felt almost "German".

There were some state Troopers out there today - I could see how somebody would like to hit 100mph due to the build quality and light traffic.

Saved me about 15 minutes each way - loved it!

I drove the entire corridor both directions during the evening rush. The road was pretty deserted going southbound and I didn't see a single police officer so may have been a little liberal with the gas pedal lol. I'll upload footage of the whole corridor to YouTube so everyone can see the new road once I tweak the parts where I decided to have a little fun.
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sprjus4

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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #404 on: January 11, 2019, 06:18:37 PM »

I happened to drive the new expressway today from DE-1 to DE-299 and back (lunch in Middletown at Grotto Pizza near the Amazon warehouse on old 301).   We loved the road.   Extremely well built - felt almost "German".

There were some state Troopers out there today - I could see how somebody would like to hit 100mph due to the build quality and light traffic.

Saved me about 15 minutes each way - loved it!

I drove the entire corridor both directions during the evening rush. The road was pretty deserted going southbound and I didn't see a single police officer so may have been a little liberal with the gas pedal lol. I'll upload footage of the whole corridor to YouTube so everyone can see the new road once I tweak the parts where I decided to have a little fun.
Yeah definitely, that would be nice to see. I would bet the rush hour is always going to look like this - nobody wants to pay a $4 toll if they don't have to. Problem is - they kinda have to if out-of-state due to the jacked up crossing system they implemented, but that's another story.
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Alex4897

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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #405 on: January 11, 2019, 06:44:07 PM »

I happened to drive the new expressway today from DE-1 to DE-299 and back (lunch in Middletown at Grotto Pizza near the Amazon warehouse on old 301).   We loved the road.   Extremely well built - felt almost "German".

There were some state Troopers out there today - I could see how somebody would like to hit 100mph due to the build quality and light traffic.

Saved me about 15 minutes each way - loved it!

I drove the entire corridor both directions during the evening rush. The road was pretty deserted going southbound and I didn't see a single police officer so may have been a little liberal with the gas pedal lol. I'll upload footage of the whole corridor to YouTube so everyone can see the new road once I tweak the parts where I decided to have a little fun.
Yeah definitely, that would be nice to see. I would bet the rush hour is always going to look like this - nobody wants to pay a $4 toll if they don't have to. Problem is - they kinda have to if out-of-state due to the jacked up crossing system they implemented, but that's another story.
Eh, IMO southbound isn't busy only because people haven't gotten used to the fact that the road is there. I'd imagine most of the traffic coming down US 301 from SR 1 will be destined for Middletown, which would only hit the partial tolls as opposed to the $4. Northbound traffic, despite being the off-peak direction for PM, was a bit heavier since traffic coming from Maryland is primarily forced onto the new roadway. I did notice a decent amount of traffic (including a truck) using the realigned old US 301 to turn onto Strawberry Lane just before the state line, presumably to reenter US 301 without hitting the toll. It'll be interesting to see how residents of Warwick feel about this when people's travelling patterns begin to normalize over the next few months, I'm betting a lot of Middletown residents headed south will find their way down their streets while regional traffic eats the $4. Time will tell, but either way the road is a fantastic drive and incredibly useful.
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ipeters61

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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #406 on: January 11, 2019, 06:46:33 PM »

I happened to drive the new expressway today from DE-1 to DE-299 and back (lunch in Middletown at Grotto Pizza near the Amazon warehouse on old 301).   We loved the road.   Extremely well built - felt almost "German".

There were some state Troopers out there today - I could see how somebody would like to hit 100mph due to the build quality and light traffic.

Saved me about 15 minutes each way - loved it!

I drove the entire corridor both directions during the evening rush. The road was pretty deserted going southbound and I didn't see a single police officer so may have been a little liberal with the gas pedal lol. I'll upload footage of the whole corridor to YouTube so everyone can see the new road once I tweak the parts where I decided to have a little fun.
Yeah definitely, that would be nice to see. I would bet the rush hour is always going to look like this - nobody wants to pay a $4 toll if they don't have to. Problem is - they kinda have to if out-of-state due to the jacked up crossing system they implemented, but that's another story.
Again, based on the traffic I would see on DE-896 SB during the evening rush hour when I commuted on DE-896 NB at that time, I'd say US-301 is probably worth it for Middletown commuters.

Eh, IMO southbound isn't busy only because people haven't gotten used to the fact that the road is there. I'd imagine most of the traffic coming down US 301 from SR 1 will be destined for Middletown, which would only hit the partial tolls as opposed to the $4. Northbound traffic, despite being the off-peak direction for PM, was a bit heavier since traffic coming from Maryland is primarily forced onto the new roadway. I did notice a decent amount of traffic (including a truck) using the realigned old US 301 to turn onto Strawberry Lane just before the state line, presumably to reenter US 301 without hitting the toll. It'll be interesting to see how residents of Warwick feel about this when people's travelling patterns begin to normalize over the next few months, I'm betting a lot of Middletown residents headed south will find their way down their streets while regional traffic eats the $4. Time will tell, but either way the road is a fantastic drive and incredibly useful.
Exactly, the road still is new and when I checked Google Maps last night, it had this really absurd trip time if you took the new US-301 expressway between Warwick and Wilmington, so I'm sure people's GPS hasn't redirected them that way yet.

In theory, someone commuting from the DE-299 exit towards Wilmington would be paying, effectively, $2.50 each way since it's $1 to get on from DE-299 and head north, but $4 to get on from DE-1 and head back south (from how I understand the toll structure).

Another note: I plan to drive the new road tomorrow morning in both directions and record both directions.  I had an idea for a cheap fix to my video setup, so we'll see how that goes.  If I have decent footage I'll upload to YouTube for you all to enjoy.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 06:53:28 PM by ipeters61 »
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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #407 on: January 11, 2019, 09:43:07 PM »

That long-term thru-truck restriction, until very recently, wasn't forcing thru-truck-traffic onto a tolled facility.  Since the southern leg of the new US 301 tollway replaces (rather than compliments) the old US 301 (Middletown Warwick Rd.) roadway; the change/upgrade now creates no free alternate route for trucks, thru-traffic or otherwise.  I don't know about anyone else here; but such reeks of extortion.

It would seem like the easiest solution would be for traffic between Maryland and the new DE-299 interchange, to ride toll-free.  Problem is that about 2.3 miles of new 4-lane freeway would be untolled while financed with toll funding.  Maybe they could install gantries at the DE-299 interchange so that they could determine which vehicles are using only that segment, and then charge them a very nominal toll such as 50 cents.
Not a problem with the Thruway where traffic enters from PA and MA but doesn't pay a toll until passing the first interchange, even though they were on the Thruway the whole time.  Also true for traffic entering from NJ on I-287, though it wasn't always.
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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #408 on: January 11, 2019, 10:33:41 PM »

Problem is that about 2.3 miles of new 4-lane freeway would be untolled while financed with toll funding.  Maybe they could install gantries at the DE-299 interchange so that they could determine which vehicles are using only that segment, and then charge them a very nominal toll such as 50 cents.
That shouldn't be an issue... The Chesapeake Expressway is free between Exit 10 and Exit 8 even though the entire project between Exit 10 and MM 2 was built with toll revenue.

It would be a huge issue because they would never get the toll money to pay back the cost of building it.
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sprjus4

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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #409 on: January 11, 2019, 10:41:16 PM »

Problem is that about 2.3 miles of new 4-lane freeway would be untolled while financed with toll funding.  Maybe they could install gantries at the DE-299 interchange so that they could determine which vehicles are using only that segment, and then charge them a very nominal toll such as 50 cents.
That shouldn't be an issue... The Chesapeake Expressway is free between Exit 10 and Exit 8 even though the entire project between Exit 10 and MM 2 was built with toll revenue.

It would be a huge issue because they would never get the toll money to pay back the cost of building it.
Trust me, thru traffic would still pay it. OBX tourists pack the Chesapeake Expressway in the summer here and will pay the $8 toll one-way instead of taking a route that's 1 minute slower and easily accessible to avoid it.
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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #410 on: January 11, 2019, 11:50:08 PM »

You have a rental car driven there your pretty much screwed!  Rental agencies implement their own fees on top of the toll by plate fees and some can make a single toll over $20. 

One user on here said the Golden Gate Bridge in California (which is now cashless) costed him over $23 to cross a $7 bridge otherwise.  Also one of my ex bosses said his rental car toll on the Golden Gate was over $30. 

This I must say is outrageous, as it pretty much captures the audience to use the road, plus with GPS ignorance they got most over a barrel.  Even DE 1 has US 13 and I-95 has both US 40 and DE 279, but going through Warwick is not so direct.  Hopefully Warwick residents will complain when shunpikers invade their quiet town.  We can only hope.
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sprjus4

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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #411 on: January 12, 2019, 12:00:33 AM »

You have a rental car driven there your pretty much screwed!  Rental agencies implement their own fees on top of the toll by plate fees and some can make a single toll over $20. 

One user on here said the Golden Gate Bridge in California (which is now cashless) costed him over $23 to cross a $7 bridge otherwise.  Also one of my ex bosses said his rental car toll on the Golden Gate was over $30. 

This I must say is outrageous, as it pretty much captures the audience to use the road, plus with GPS ignorance they got most over a barrel.  Even DE 1 has US 13 and I-95 has both US 40 and DE 279, but going through Warwick is not so direct.  Hopefully Warwick residents will complain when shunpikers invade their quiet town.  We can only hope.
The whole concept of all electronic tolling has issues. I support having the option to breeze through the highway at 70 MPH with electronic readers, but having side toll booth lanes (one example I can think of is VA-895 in Richmond) for those who don't have a transponder. Tolling-by-plate isn't a good deal for many, adds high costs, and for rentals (like you mentioned), the fees associated with that is high. There's too much confusion and non-sense involved with it.

When I was in California last year, I made sure to avoid any toll roads because I knew they had removed all the toll booths in favor of all electronic tolling. Driving up I-5 from San Diego entering the southern edges of the "LA" region, there's a lot of "Corridor" highways which feature all-electronic tolling. Avoided them at all costs, to avoid costs from my rental company. And no, I'm not going to pay some fee to have a pass which I have to then pay the tolls anyway, etc. It's all too confusing  :banghead:
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roadman65

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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #412 on: January 12, 2019, 12:20:01 AM »

At least we know the roads, but those who don't are the ones to be suckered.  As a toll collector I can tell you how many ignore the toll warnings no matter where they are even on overhead gantries and are caught by surprise that they are at a plaza that collects a fare.

Heck, if they ignore that EXIT ONLY warning on guide signs along with elephant tracks on the pavement when the right lane defaults to the next exit they won't see the toll warnings.  Most drivers think the GPS is a traffic control device and relax and try to drive as if they are in their own neighborhood and just go as fast as you can and beat all the other cars around you so they do not comprehend what they see.

IMO if you are that ignorant and think the GPS knows everything you get what you deserve.  The sad thing is the rest of us have to suffer because of common ignorance though.
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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #413 on: January 12, 2019, 12:48:19 AM »

At least we know the roads, but those who don't are the ones to be suckered.  As a toll collector I can tell you how many ignore the toll warnings no matter where they are even on overhead gantries and are caught by surprise that they are at a plaza that collects a fare.
If it's clearly signed as "toll", "last exit before toll" and rates are posted in advance, then it's fully their fault. I know drivers who feel they don't need to read road signs, and they get pissed when things don't go how they expect it.

IMO if you are that ignorant and think the GPS knows everything you get what you deserve.  The sad thing is the rest of us have to suffer because of common ignorance though.
As dumb as it may sound, I always plot my trips out, and try to get toll information in areas I visit. If I know a certain area has electronic only tolling in an area that doesn't accept E-ZPass (my transponder method), I will avoid it at all costs. I don't just wander onto the road because GPS tells me to and get surprised when I hit a toll booth. I'll fully know where it is, how it is set up, which lanes to be in, etc. If I plan to avoid it, I'll determine that ahead of time too if possible.
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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #414 on: January 12, 2019, 01:10:11 AM »

If it's clearly signed as "toll", "last exit before toll" and rates are posted in advance, then it's fully their fault. I know drivers who feel they don't need to read road signs, and they get pissed when things don't go how they expect it.

Funny you mention that. I drove the new toll US 301 yesterday (Friday), from south to north. Driving up from Annapolis, I saw some billboards saying that electronic tolling was coming, followed by two sets of signs telling motorists that toll 301 was ahead (first sign 11 miles south of the state line, the second 7 miles), and also at least one VMS confirming that toll 301 was now open. But no signs (yet) telling you that the MD 299 turnoff was your last chance to leave 301 before the toll road began.
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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #415 on: January 12, 2019, 01:18:56 AM »

If it's clearly signed as "toll", "last exit before toll" and rates are posted in advance, then it's fully their fault. I know drivers who feel they don't need to read road signs, and they get pissed when things don't go how they expect it.

Funny you mention that. I drove the new toll US 301 yesterday (Friday), from south to north. Driving up from Annapolis, I saw some billboards saying that electronic tolling was coming, followed by two sets of signs telling motorists that toll 301 was ahead (first sign 11 miles south of the state line, the second 7 miles), and also at least one VMS confirming that toll 301 was now open. But no signs (yet) telling you that the MD 299 turnoff was your last chance to leave 301 before the toll road began.
Correct, and I didn't even see the 7 mile signs. Also, that road is not very conducive to high speeds because it enters a series of curves as it goes. Very little traffic at about 2:30 PM. I really do think this road will start to see more traffic as GPSes catch up and route NJ/NY traffic to DC this way.

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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #416 on: January 12, 2019, 08:37:45 AM »

If it's clearly signed as "toll", "last exit before toll" and rates are posted in advance, then it's fully their fault. I know drivers who feel they don't need to read road signs, and they get pissed when things don't go how they expect it.

Funny you mention that. I drove the new toll US 301 yesterday (Friday), from south to north. Driving up from Annapolis, I saw some billboards saying that electronic tolling was coming, followed by two sets of signs telling motorists that toll 301 was ahead (first sign 11 miles south of the state line, the second 7 miles), and also at least one VMS confirming that toll 301 was now open. But no signs (yet) telling you that the MD 299 turnoff was your last chance to leave 301 before the toll road began.

Why do I think that "Lastexitbeforetoll" would make a good name for a racing steed?

ixnay
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ipeters61

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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #417 on: January 12, 2019, 08:47:59 AM »

I drove the new road early this morning and have video to share!  It's uploading to YouTube now so I'll post links momentarily.

Just to share with you guys, I took DE-15 North to DE-42 West to DE-6/MD-291 West to US-301 North to get there.  I u-turned at DE-1 Exit 152 (DE-72).
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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #418 on: January 12, 2019, 09:20:57 AM »

If it's clearly signed as "toll", "last exit before toll" and rates are posted in advance, then it's fully their fault. I know drivers who feel they don't need to read road signs, and they get pissed when things don't go how they expect it.

Funny you mention that. I drove the new toll US 301 yesterday (Friday), from south to north. Driving up from Annapolis, I saw some billboards saying that electronic tolling was coming, followed by two sets of signs telling motorists that toll 301 was ahead (first sign 11 miles south of the state line, the second 7 miles), and also at least one VMS confirming that toll 301 was now open. But no signs (yet) telling you that the MD 299 turnoff was your last chance to leave 301 before the toll road began.

I'm not terribly surprised. Recall that for many years, there was nothing on northbound I-95 in Maryland indicating that a toll was ahead and that Exit 109 was the last exit before the toll (I suppose "is" would be more correct, except I understand now they warn you of the toll). I can't say I'm all that surprised that Maryland would pull a similar stunt on US-301 for an out-of-state toll road.



….

Heck, if they ignore that EXIT ONLY warning on guide signs ….

There are a surprising number of people who don't know what "EXIT ONLY" means and who think it means that you can't re-enter the highway going in the same direction at that interchange. (I always liked the way Delaware's old signs on I-295 were worded. Instead of "EXIT ONLY," they said "MUST EXIT" or, in one case, "THIS LANE MUST EXIT.")
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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #419 on: January 12, 2019, 09:31:31 AM »

I've uploaded my videos!

Northbound:
Southbound (exit for US-301 at 3:35):
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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #420 on: January 12, 2019, 09:46:21 AM »

I think your excellent videos capture the road well. 

I for one loved it - fantastic engineering, safe, and a pleasure to drive.   Well worth the cost based on the delivered product.
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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #421 on: January 12, 2019, 01:31:14 PM »

Isn't there some requirement that a relatively nearby toll-free alternative route (not necessarily a highway) needs to be available for all vehicles?

Not providing a toll-free alternate route tells me that such a draconian restriction will probably result in lawsuits being filed by trucking companies/interest groups.  Time will tell.

By AASHTO rule, a tolled US route must have a free alternate (excluding bridge tolls, of course). The other four existing US tolls all have a free alternate: the US 412 tollways in Oklahoma have US 64 (Cimarron) and Alt 412 (Cherokee), the US 278 tollway in SC has Business 278, and the US 51/I-90 tollway has IL 251.

What Delaware is doing here with US 301 is unprecedented in the entire US highway system's history. If the truck companies sued over this, I'm fairly sure they would win.
Should that happen; it wouldn't surprise me at all if DelDOT's reaction/remedy for such would be to redesignate US 301 in their state as DE 301 thereby bypassing that AASHTO rule.  I'm surprised DelDOT didn't pursue such action when this tolled highway was planned.

BTW: there are locations where there are toll-free alternate water crossings with respect to tolled US route bridge/tunnel crossings.  The US 1 Susquehanna River crossing (via Conowingo Rd.) in MD and MA 99 (Malden Bridge along Alford St.) in Charlestown/Boston being two of them.
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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #422 on: January 12, 2019, 01:48:15 PM »

What's the definition of a toll-free route? A look at a map shows there's other options...just not options directly parallel to 301.

I'm sure this was all considered prior to the Feds permitting the toll road to be signed US 301.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 01:50:44 PM by jeffandnicole »
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sprjus4

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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #423 on: January 12, 2019, 02:03:20 PM »

I've uploaded my videos!

Northbound:
Southbound (exit for US-301 at 3:35):
Nice videos! Looks like a very nice highway, well done.
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sprjus4

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Re: U.S. 301 toll road project in Delaware
« Reply #424 on: January 12, 2019, 02:06:15 PM »

If it's clearly signed as "toll", "last exit before toll" and rates are posted in advance, then it's fully their fault. I know drivers who feel they don't need to read road signs, and they get pissed when things don't go how they expect it.

Funny you mention that. I drove the new toll US 301 yesterday (Friday), from south to north. Driving up from Annapolis, I saw some billboards saying that electronic tolling was coming, followed by two sets of signs telling motorists that toll 301 was ahead (first sign 11 miles south of the state line, the second 7 miles), and also at least one VMS confirming that toll 301 was now open. But no signs (yet) telling you that the MD 299 turnoff was your last chance to leave 301 before the toll road began.
I wouldn't be surprised if signs are not put in Maryland for a while. The way Delaware positioned this toll, they aren't required to sign "Last Exit Before Toll" on the northbound lanes because there is none in their borders, and Maryland doesn't have to sign it because it's not in their state.
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