Originally built in 1964, I-95 runs through downtown Wilmington. Portions of the roadway and bridges were widened in 1978 at which time several on and off ramps were constructed. The Restore the Corridor Wilmington rehabilitation project encompassed numerous bridges including the mile-long Wilmington Viaduct which spans the Riverfront area, arterial and local streets, a bridge over the Amtrak rail lines and the repair of the Brandywine River Bridge.

The project area lies along an essential Mid-Atlantic section of the much broader I-95 corridor, holding national and regional significance for East Coast passenger and freight movement. This section serves as a critical part of the local, regional, and national multimodal system within northern Delaware, supporting connections such as: Amtrak; SEPTA; CSXT; and Philadelphia International, BWI, Wilmington Philadelphia Regional and New Castle Airports.

With an estimated Annual Average Daily Traffic of about 110,000 vehicles per day (82% passenger vehicles, 18% heavy-duty vehicles), this portion of I-95 is a critical corridor for East Coast travelers in general, and for Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey in particular. As a main feeder to numerous ports, airports, trucking, freight transfer and distribution centers as well as a connection for millions of residents and visitors within an hour of the project segment, it is vital to ensure I-95 is in good repair and longer-term future repairs and corresponding travel delays are minimized. The travel route also includes SR 1 – a main north-south route to central and southern Delaware and a major route to Delaware’s resort area that hosts more than six million visitors each year.

Project extended the life of the bridges

DelDOT is committed to maintaining and preserving its bridges. After completing detailed engineering studies, DelDOT determined repairs were needed to extend the bridges’ service life and avoid major and costly rehabilitation work for a minimum of 30 years. Delaying this work could have resulted in more costly and extensive repairs, in turn creating more severe and longer traffic impacts and delays. Construction included the repair of 19 bridges, I-95 pavement, and ramps within the project limits including:

  • Removing and replacing the top two inches of concrete on the bridge decks
  • Resurfacing and repairing roadway
  • Replacing deteriorating concrete traffic barriers and roadway expansion joints
  • Painting the overpass bridges north of the Wilmington Viaduct
  • Completing steel and concrete repairs

Advance projects helped lessen traffic impacts

Given the high volume of traffic that uses I-95 daily and the adverse impacts lane reductions would have on this roadway and the local city streets, many advance projects were done prior to construction. These projects helped with traffic flow in and around Wilmington as well as the entire corridor.  

Projects included:

  • Resurfacing improvements and lane reconfigurations to Wilmington streets
  • Traffic signal upgrades to better manage diverted traffic
  • Christina River Bridge and Approaches
  • I-95 and Carr/Marsh Road Interchange
  • Jackson Street on-Ramp

CM/GC Process

DelDOT elected to use the construction manager/general contract (CM/GC) method to build this project. This was a two-phase process. The first phase, the pre-construction phase, incorporated feedback from the CM to improve the project by lowering construction risk, establishing budget, and offering engineering innovations to enhance the efficiency of construction and the quality of the completed project. DelDOT hired Kiewit Infrastructure to provide these pre-construction services. The second phase of this process was the construction phase which began in February of 2021 and was completed in November of 2022.