Work begins to overhaul dangerous Delaware interchange on I-95 near Newark

Short exit ramps have led to hundreds of crashes at the I-95/Rt. 896 interchange. Drivers in the area can expect two years of delays as it’s fixed.

Highway signs on Interstate 95, Route 202 and Interstate 495 splits in Wilmington, Del. (Khairil A Junos/ BigStock)

Highway signs on Interstate 95, Route 202 and Interstate 495 splits in Wilmington, Del. (Khairil A Junos/ BigStock)

In 2014, the I-95 on-ramp from Route 896 near Newark, Delaware was the scene of a crash that went viral. A truck hauling hundreds of beehives from Florida overturned, spilling its load of 20 million bees and causing hundreds of stings for people nearby.

While no one was seriously injured in the bee crash, there have been plenty of accidents that have caused injuries in this area, which is just a few miles from the University of Delaware.

“There have been more than 700 crashes at this interchange since 2019 due to congestion and the current configuration,” said DelDOT Secretary Nicole Majeski.

Work to replace those ramps with better designed structures gets underway this weekend. The southbound 95 off-ramp to northbound 896 had a very short merge area onto northbound 896. That small merge area had a pattern of crash clusters in it, said Breanna Kovach of the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT). “The northbound 896 ramp to northbound 95 experiences crash clusters as well.”

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To smooth the flow of traffic and hopefully cut down on accidents, the project will include a reconfiguration of existing interchange ramps, as well as a widening of I-95 through the area. There will be new bridges built over the interstate to carry traffic more smoothly onto Rt. 896. The project also includes a separated path to connect bicycle and foot traffic from Newark to Glasgow.

“This project is necessary in order to greatly reduce these incidents that cause serious injuries or worse,” Majeski said. “We appreciate the input we received throughout the planning process from residents and the business community to develop a project that accomplishes our goal of minimizing crashes and keeping traffic moving.”

While the work is underway, roads in the area will see lane restrictions or total closures. DelDOT says drivers should check for updates

The more than $280 million project is expected to be completed by the end 2025.

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