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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

DOT 93-11
Monday, July 25, 2011
Contact: Justin Nisly
Telephone: 202-366-4650

Federal Highway Administrator Celebrates Opening of New High Speed Lanes on I-95 Toll Plaza in Newark, Delaware

New Lanes Cut Congestion on East Coast's Main Economic Corridor

NEWARK, Del. – Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez today participated in the ribbon-cutting for the new I-95 Toll Plaza Highway Speed E-ZPass. The lanes will dramatically cut waiting times for travelers and help reduce emissions from idling vehicles. He was joined by Governor Jack Markell, and Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) Secretary Shailen Bhatt.

The $43.8 million project used $39.4 million in Recovery Act funds to add a total of four Highway Speed E-ZPass lanes and 14 E-ZPass/cash toll booths to the plaza.

"I-95 is a critical route that connects economies from Maine to Florida," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "These new lanes will save gas, save time and reduce emissions for the tens of thousands of drivers who pass through the Newark area every day."

The current average daily traffic at the toll plaza is approximately 100,000, and can exceed 140,000 on summer and holiday weekends. Wait times of 30 to 45 minutes were normal for summer weekends, and were often several hours long on holiday weekends. According to DelDOT, now that the plaza has four Highway Speed E-ZPass lanes, more than 50 percent of traffic won't even have to slow down to pay tolls.

"Free flowing traffic on I-95 helps commercial traffic and allows people to spend less time in their cars and more time doing things they enjoy," said Administrator Mendez.

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