New I-95 ramp to Delaware Rt. 1 ready to open [VIDEO]

 (Gary Lindstrom/WHYY)

(Gary Lindstrom/WHYY)

It’s a new day for drivers in Delaware near the I-95 interchange at Route 1.  The long awaited fly-over exit ramp linking the two highways has finally been opened.

The weather cooperated, and DelDOT was able to work through the night to put the finishing touches on the massive fly-over bridge that replaces the outdated “cattle chute” ramp that has snarled traffic for years.  The old ramp closed Monday around 8 p.m. so workers could finish the final work of connecting the old ramp entrance to the new.

“There are 200,000 cars per day traveling this road, and so that’s why this project is so important,” said DelDOT Secretary Shailen Bhatt, speaking with reporters on the ramp overlooking I-95.  “We’re going to eliminate an inefficient and unsafe condition with the cattle chute that was here, and now cars will be able to just fly right over 95 and merge in a much more safe fashion.”

The new ramp leads drivers from southbound I-95 to southbound Rt. 1, as well as the Christiana Mall exit road.  A similar fly-over ramp connecting northbound Rt. 1 with northbound I-95 should be open later this fall.

The new ramps are the culmination of an overhaul of Delaware’s section of I-95 that started in the late 90’s.  That work included projects to add a fifth lane of the highway through the Churchman’s Marsh area, a new Churchman’s Road overpass bridge, a new high speed toll plaza at the Maryland state line, and even a complete demolition and rebuild of the Newark rest stop.  North of Wilmington, the I-95 interchange with Rt. 202 is also undergoing a major overhaul.

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