Final phase of the bridge approach to focus on I-295 southbound
The fourth and final phase of the improvements to the I-295 approach road to the Delaware Memorial Bridge will start in mid-February.
The $33.7 million project will be constructed by Mumford & Miller Concrete of Middletown. When the work is concluded in November 2018, the Delaware River and Bay Authority will have invested more than $90 million in the I-295 Delaware Memorial Bridge Approach Road Rehabilitation program.
The multi-year project will modernize the approach roads and enhance safety, according to Brent VanLith, project engineer for the DRBA.
“These approach roads and ramps were built in the 1960s and need to be updated to comply with current federal and state highway standards,” VanLith said. “Our goal is to rehabilitate these facilities to improve the highway’s efficiency and safety while limiting the impact on the traveling public during the construction.”
The southbound I-295-US13 interchange backs up at the point where four lanes merge to two. That bottleneck has resulted in drivers weaving and making quick merges.
To mitigate that, the project includes the removal of four overpasses and the reconstruction of a bridge. The number of through lanes will be increased.
The ramp from U.S. Route 13 northbound to I-295 southbound, known locally as the Baltimore ramp, will be eliminated. A new ramp will be constructed further north to connect and merge with I-295 southbound.
The authority is collaborating with the Delaware Department of Transportation to complete a portion of state highway improvements at the same time as the authority work. The authority will perform the construction on the full length of the highway and DelDOT will reimburse the authority approximately $7 million.
Construction work will also include the connection of the Industrial Track Greenway Trail between the New Castle County and DelDOT sections as the authority will complete a 300-foot long, 10-foot-wide illuminated tunnel under I-295.
During this phase of construction, two southbound mainline through-lanes will be maintained at all times.