Driving headaches in Delaware

May 2, 2008 6:14:54 AM PDT
State highway workers are closing most of I-95 and all of 495 through much of the weekend in Newport, Delaware. A major $57 million paving project is ready to turn driving there into a nightmare.

Orange barrels are already lining the roadways as crews prepare to expand the four lane highway to five. Starting midnight Saturday, three of the four Northbound lanes will be shut down. "I-495 will remain shut down from midnight Friday until five Monday morning," said Vincent Ruff of Delaware's Department Of Transportation.

You heard right, I-495 on the Northbound side will also be closed this weekend because according to the DelDOT repaving the portions of I-95 and I-495 at the same time is safer and faster for workers.

But as for drivers?

The answer is to follow detour signs which will encourage drivers to take I-295 Eastbound to route 13 Northbound back to I-495 past the contruction zone.

"Come on, 13 is already congested," said Darryl Handy of Wilmington. "It don't make sense." "What are they crazy?" asks Joanne Kreske of Bear. "There is the craft sunfest in Ocean City. There is going to be all kinds of traffic everywhere. They can't shut down all those roads."

DelDOT can and will starting Friday night at 10.

That's when two lanes of I-495 will be closed. And from midnight Saturday until Monday at 5 a.m., all of them will be shut down from the I-95 / I-495 split to the port of Wilmington.

As for I-95, from midnight Saturday until 2 p.m., only one Northbound lane will be open near the route 141 Interchange.

At 2 p.m., a second lane will open. DelDOT's Vincent Ruff says that the bottom line for motorists is to try and find an alternate route. And add time to any planned trip through the affected area.