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Snow delays I-95 Restore the Corridor project start

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This map illustrates the new traffic route once the I-95 reconstruction project begins later this month | PHOTO COURTESY OF DELDOT

WILMINGTON — As Delaware was blanketed with snow early Thursday morning, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) delayed the first steps of the $200 million Interstate 95 reconstruction project.

DelDOT had long planned to start lane restrictions and other work on southbound I-95 on Friday, but on Wednesday afternoon state transportation officials decided to delay until Feb. 19 due to forecasts of snow.

Northern Delaware was hit with 4 inches of snow on Thursday morning, and the outlook for next week is much of the same. The National Weather Service is calling for snow, freezing rain and sleet, with temperatures below 40 degrees for the next six days.

For years, state officials have been planning for the ambitious I-95 project, which will rehabilitate 19 bridges and 3 miles of pavement between the I-495/I-95 split and U.S. Route 202. Construction also includes a new on-ramp from Second Street to southbound I-95 and a fourth lane on the northbound Brandywine River Bridge for a safer merge. The entire project should take about two years.

In the first days of the project, construction workers would close southbound I-95 to install concrete barriers and stripe the road, eventually reducing 5 miles of the highway by one lane.

Since the project calls for closing lanes and moving two-way traffic on the opposite side, traffic snarls are predicted through the project’s duration.

Starting at 9 p.m. Feb 19, two southbound lanes on I-95 between Exit 6 (Martin Luther King Boulevard) and I-495 will be closed until 10 p.m. Feb. 20. All southbound lanes will be closed from 10 p.m. Feb. 20 to 6:30 a.m. Feb. 21.

Then all southbound lanes will be closed from 10 a.m. Feb. 21 to 4 a.m. Feb. 22.

Drivers are advised to use alternative routes on I-495 or U.S. 13 during this overnight closure, although traffic will be rerouted through Exit 6 as a detour.

Work will then move to I-95 southbound between Delaware Avenue and Second Street. That area will be closed overnight from Feb. 23 to 25, starting at 10 p.m. and ending at 4 a.m.

The construction timeline is pending weather. For more information, visit DelDOT’s  www.restorethecorridor.com

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