Crews began work today on the massive, three-year I-95 reconstruction project in Wilmington. Their first order of business: removing the existing I-95 southbound on-ramps and bridge structures for the 2nd Street and Jackson Street ramps.
In their place, DelDOT will build a new single ramp configuration for access to I-95 southbound. The single-lane is expected to be safer; DelDOT says over 80 accidents have occurred at the existing onramp over the last five years — one of the highest crash rates in the Wilmington corridor.
The existing I-95 Southbound on-ramp from 2nd Street will officially close on Saturday, May 2nd, and will remain closed for the duration of the project.
The Jackson Street on-ramp is due to close sometime in August. Drivers should expect delays related to work around both of these I-95 Southbound entry points.
There will be nighttime intermittent lane closures from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. Sunday to Friday, and road closures during certain phases of this construction. Traffic alerts and variable message boards will be posted to alert motorists of scheduled road closures.
Additional left-turn lanes will also be added on Lancaster Avenue to Adams Street and 2nd Street to the newly reconfigured on-ramp.
This initial portion of the I-95 work will cost nearly $20 million and is estimated to be completed by the end of 2020. The new ramp will remain open continuously during the main portion of the I-95 work.
Major traffic implications
The second phase of the I-95 Rehabilitation Project is scheduled to begin in March of 2021. The 6-mile construction project will stretch from I-495 to north of the Brandywine River with the purpose of increasing the safety and longevity of the critical artery.
Much of the work will be focused on the Wilmington viaduct, a bridge built in 1964 and widened in 1978. DelDOT says the project will extend the life of the roadway 30 years.
Transportation officials say the work will cause major disruptions and traffic delays from March 2021 onward. At that time, Stage 2 of the project will completely close I-95 northbound for 10 months.
During Stage 3 of the project, the southbound lanes will alternate closure, once the northbound lanes are open.
Go here for more information on the I-95 Wilmington rehabilitation project.