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 encompasses 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 will extend the life of the bridges
DelDOT is committed to maintaining and preserving its bridges. After completing detailed engineering studies, DelDOT determined repairs are needed to extend the bridges’ service life and avoid major and costly rehabilitation work for a minimum of 30 years. Delaying this work could result in more costly and extensive repairs, in turn creating more severe and longer traffic impacts and delays. Planned construction includes 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 will help lessen traffic impacts
Given the high volume of traffic that uses I-95 daily and the adverse impacts lane reductions will have on this roadway and the local city streets, many advance projects are being done prior to construction. These projects will help with traffic flow in and around Wilmington as well as the entire corridor.
- Resurfacing improvements and lane reconfigurations to Wilmington streets
- Traffic signal upgrades to better manage diverted traffic
- Christina River Bridge and Approaches (Summer 2020 Completion)
- I-95 and Carr/Marsh Road Interchange (Fall 2020 Completion)
- Jackson Street on-Ramp (Begins Spring 2020)
DelDOT has elected to use the construction manager/general contract (CM/GC) method to build this project. This is a two-phase process. The first phase, the pre-construction phase, is currently ongoing and incorporates 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 has hired Kiewit Infrastructure to provide these pre-construction services.
The second phase of this process is the construction phase and is set to begin in March of 2021. In the interim, DelDOT plans to hire Kiewit to construct a few critical project elements this summer. These elements will have little impact to traffic on I-95.