I-95 service plaza closing

    A little too much coffee before leaving the house? Don’t count on the Delaware Service Plaza on I-95 to offer any chance for relief.

    A little too much coffee before leaving the house?  Don’t count on the Delaware Service Plaza on I-95 to offer any chance for relief.

    Starting next month, the interstate plaza located just before the Delaware-Maryland state border will close for at least 10 months. That means no restrooms, no restaurants and no gas stations directly on 95 in Delaware. That means the three million people who visit the plaza annually will have to find somewhere else to find those services. The existing plaza will be demolished starting September 8.

    Construction on the plaza should be completed by June 2010.  While the plaza is closed, DelDOT’s Darrel Cole says motorists will be directed to other exits in the state that can provide what the service plaza had been offering. “There will be signs out pointing people to alternative locations for eating and getting fuel in the Newark area and the Wilmington area.”

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    It will be replaced by a 42,000 sq. ft. facility that will feature new restaurants, new gas stations, and some new amenities. Among those amenities, new electrical hookups for truckers and high speed diesel fuel pumps.  The new plaza is also designed to better promote Delaware tourism. It will feature a new visitors center to inform travelers about attractions and events in the First State.

    The service plaza rebuild is not the only project that will impact travelers heading through Delaware. As part of the federal stimulus plan, the I-95 toll plaza also near the Delaware-Maryland border will be reconfigured to add two high speed EZ-Pass toll lanes in both directions. That project is still in the pre-construction phase.  It’s not expected to be completed until 2012 at the earliest.  DelDOT officials will spend $43-million in stimulus funds to reduce congestion that commonly occurs in the current EZ-Pass lanes that are not equipped for high speed travel.

    The toll plaza reconfiguration is one of several stimulus projects still in the pre-construction phase.  Since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was passed earlier this year, six road projects have been completed,  nine are currently under construction, and ten projects have received bids or are pending construction.

    For more on DelDOT projects funded by stimulus money, click here.

    Click here to listen to DelDOT’s Darrel Cole describe stimulus projects and the possible delays they could cause for drivers in Delaware.
    [audio: /delaware/090812me95.mp3]

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