Roadwork ahead for Delaware commuters

More construction is planned for a stretch of I-295 and officials are urging Delaware drivers to prepare for possible delays.

The fourth and final phase of the I-295 Delaware Approach Road Improvement Project to the Delaware Memorial Bridge has been set for mid-February 2016. Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) officials recently made the announcement about the $33.7 million project that’s expected to take at least two years.

According to Brent VanLith, project engineer for the DRBA, the work will ultimately enhance safety for the travelers.

“These approach roads and ramps were built in the 1960s and need to be updated to comply with current Federal and State highway standards,” VanLith said.

Officials gave details about the project that will cover the southbound I-295/US13 interchange. That’s where travelers experience traffic congestion because of weaving patterns and four through lanes that are decreased to two lanes. According to project leaders the improvements will create more traffic lanes to meet future traffic demands. There will also be a new ramp constructed to connect and merge with I-295 southbound, replacing the locally known Baltimore ramp from U.S. Route 13 northbound to I-295 southbound.

To move road improvements smoothly, DRBA is collaborating with the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) to complete a portion of state highway improvements at the same time. The final phase of the project takes care of both DRBA and DelDOT portions of I-295. In addition, highway officials will also work on Construction work on the Industrial Track Greenway Trail by completing a 300 foot long, 10 foot wide illuminated tunnel under I-295.

“Our goal is to rehabilitate these facilities to improve the highway’s efficiency and safety while limiting the impact on the traveling public during the construction,” VanLith said.

In the end of the final phase of the project, the Authority will have invested more than $90 million to improve the region’s infrastructure during the course of the I-295 Delaware Memorial Bridge Approach Road Rehabilitation program.

During construction, officials plan to maintain two southbound lanes at all times to minimize traffic delays. However, commuters are encouraged to allow a few extra minutes during rush hour periods and follow any posted detours.

Another option for travelers is to car-pool, or take advantage of the Rideshare Delaware program that matches people with other motorists. Anyone interested can call Rideshare Delaware at 1-888 RIDEMATCH.

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