Thanksgiving traffic delays expected

The Delaware Department of Transportation is warning motorists to expect major traffic delays throughout the Thanksgiving Holiday week at the I-95 Newark toll plaza.

The ongoing toll plaza reconstruction, reduced toll lanes and altered traffic patterns could result in backups that could stretch for miles and take hours to clear, officials say.

Problems could start developing as early as Tuesday morning, November 23 and last through Monday evening, November 29.

“What we’re fearful of,” said DelDOT spokesman Mike Williams, “is that we’re going to see travelers who only come through this area a couple times a year or haven’t been here in four or five years and this might be a little bit more of a surprise.”

Williams says DelDOT is trying to get the word out as far north as Boston, as far south as Richmond, VA, and everywhere in between.

“What we have seen is that when people are aware of something, they’re less inclined to be as upset about it,” Williams said.

It also gives motorists time to consider using alternative routes, using alternative modes of travel or traveling during hours with lower traffic volumes.

“We’re just trying to encourage awareness,” Williams said. “And for those that have no choice or choose not to select an alternate route to know what to expect. And for those who are able to choose alternate routes to either choose them or to travel on I-95 at off hours, which is normally overnight.”

Motorists traveling through the area can get updates by following Twitter@DelawareDOT or by tuning to WTMC 1230AM radio. Those at home can check delays by viewing www.deldot.gov/traffic/map.ejs.

The $32 million project is scheduled to be completed next summer.

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