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

FHWA 67-11
Friday, December 9, 2011
Contact: Doug Hecox
Tel: 202-366-0660

FHWA Administrator Mendez Visits Reconstruction of SR-1/I-95 Interchange

New Project to Bring Traffic Relief to Delaware Drivers Within Two Years

NEWARK, Del. - Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez joined the state's congressional delegation for a briefing by engineers at the $85.7 million I-95/SR-1 Interchange reconstruction project.

"Projects like this are exactly what our nation needs right now," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Creating jobs for workers offers obvious short-term economic gains and improving traffic flow along I-95 helps ensure long-term benefits for the state and the region."

As one of the state's newest and largest highway improvement efforts, the construction project - which has been helped by $54 million in federal funds - is expected to bring significant relief to the area's worsening traffic congestion within two years.

During that time, workers will build high-speed connecting ramps from north- and southbound SR 1 to north- and southbound I-95. The reconstruction is the final phase of a multi-year, interstate improvement effort which includes the reconstruction of the I-95 Newark Toll Plaza, formerly one of the worst chokepoints on the East Coast.

SR-1 is the primary route from northern Delaware to the central and southern areas of the state, while I-95 is the main economic corridor for the East Coast. Mounting traffic to and from a large, regional shopping center nearby has contributed to increased delays at the interchange, which serves more than 220,000 drivers each day. Traffic delays often exceed an hour at the interchange on summer weekends, though congestion remains unusually poor at other times such as weekday rush hours.

"This interchange is a lifeline for thousands of Delaware residents," said Administrator Mendez. "Improving it will enhance their access to jobs and business opportunities and ease the shipment of goods and services up and down the Eastern seaboard."

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