WILMINGTON, Del. – U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons, along with Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.) today announced a nearly $57 million grant award from the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) to the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) for the construction of a redesigned interchange at I-95 and State Route 896. The new interchange will improve safety and reduce congestion by adding two flyovers, realigning existing ramps, and addressing other deficiencies with the current roadway geometry.
Today, 60 percent of vehicles on I-95 traveling southbound exit at State Route 896, creating congestion and safety issues in this part of the corridor. This project will create a dedicated exit ramp for southbound 896 for motorists off of I-95, as well as a dedicated on-ramp from State Route 896 to northbound I-95. The total project cost is $143 million, and with this grant award, construction will now begin in the fall of 2022, two years earlier than expected.
The funding for this project comes from the U.S. DOT’s Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects Program, or INFRA Grants program, which Senator Carper has worked to improve for a number of years in his role as ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee in the U.S. Senate.
“As the leading Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, one of my top priorities is to improve our nation’s transportation systems so that our drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians do not put their lives at risk simply by using our roadways. This major grant of federal funding will go a long way to improve safety and, ultimately, save lives along the I-95 corridor in Delaware. By reducing traffic and easing congestion, this project will greatly reduce fatalities and serious injuries while better facilitating commerce in our state. These safety improvements will spur economic growth and less congestion will enable greater access to the City of Newark, the University of Delaware and its blossoming STAR Campus,” Senator Carper said. “I will continue working to ensure that the U.S. Department of Transportation is a strong partner for our state and communities, and I’ll keep working to improve this grant program so that important projects like this can become a reality in states and communities across the country.”
“This funding and this project are really about the safety of Delaware commuters, including students who use this interchange almost every day. Any parent who uses this intersection or has kids who frequently drive to and from Glasgow High School, Newark High School, or other schools farther down 896, knows that improving the safety and capacity of this interchange is long overdue,” said Senator Coons. “As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I fought hard to secure this funding, and I’m excited that these long-awaited improvements will soon be underway to help our growing Newark and Middletown communities stay safe on the road.”
“Improving the safety of the I-95 and 896 interchange has been a priority for our state for a long time now. This INFRA Grant from the Department of Transportation means that we can finally address the safety and capacity issues on 896,” said Congresswoman Blunt Rochester. “I want to thank DelDOT for their work in securing the grant and spearheading the project, Senator Carper, who sits on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Senator Coons, who sits on the Appropriations Committee, for their tireless efforts on behalf of all Delawareans, and the Federal Department of Transportation for recognizing the importance of this project for Delaware.”
“We continue to prioritize infrastructure investments in the State of Delaware. Investments in our roads and bridges drive economic activity and job creation, and improve safety and our quality of life as Delawareans,” said Governor John Carney. “I want to thank members of our federal delegation for their continued partnership in this effort.”
Upon learning of the successful grant award DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan commented, “We have aggressively pursued federal grant opportunities to help expedite this needed project and are grateful for the support of our federal delegation as we continue to work to improve safety and alleviate congestion on our state’s busiest corridor."
Additional information can be found on the DelDOT project page.