Construction on I-95 in Wilmington set to begin in February

WILMINGTON, Delaware (WPVI) -- Commuters can expect to see delays on Interstate 95 through Wilmington beginning in February.

It's time for some rehabilitation, according to the Delaware Department of Transportation, which will be restoring a nearly one-mile corridor through Wilmington.

They will also be overhauling 19 bridges to make sure it's safe for the next 30 years.

The project will take about two years, and some commuters are frustrated.

"Very frustrating. It's already always congested with traffic. So, if it's down to one lane, it's going to be even worse," said Stephanie Gentile from Tinicum.

Traffic will be reduced by a lane in each direction in phase one, which is set to begin February 12, where all northbound lanes will close at the 95/495 split north of route 141. Drivers will share the southbound side of the highway until the Brandywine River Bridge near Route 202.

"We know that it is going to be very disruptive for folks not only in Delaware, and Wilmington, but those who travel in the region and are used to taking I-95 as it carries about 110,000 vehicles per day," said C.R. McLeod, Director of community relations for DelDOT.

If traffic continues at a reduced rate because of the pandemic, McLeod said estimates show about a 20 minute slow down on the sections of I-95 that will be under construction.

However, as people start heading back to work, that wait time could increase, so a good way to avoid a delay is to drive 495 if Wilmington is not your destination.

"Sometimes you wait for like 45 minutes, with all the lanes," said Gentile.

"It's very frustrating, people just want to get home or get to wherever they're going, they don't want to sit in traffic," said Joseph Lattanzo, from Bensalem.

Planning has been in the works for the past 10 years on this nearly $200 million project, and commuters and local businesses have been given notice to plan ahead, according to McLeod.

"The longer we put off doing this work, means the likelihood increasing, where we have to do emergency repairs as concrete crumbles, as potholes open up in the road, and that is very disruptive as well," said McLeod.
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