Delaware River and Bay Authority announced July 30 the recent completion of the last phase of the I-295 Southbound Reconstruction project west of the Delaware Memorial Bridge toll plaza.

The three-year reconstruction project, which began in February 2016, was completed at a cost of $35.9 million by the DRBA’s contractor, Mumford & Miller Concrete Inc. of Middletown. This final phase work covered both DRBA and Delaware Department of Transportation portions of I-295 southbound. For ease of administration, the DRBA handled the full length of highway work. DelDOT is reimbursing the authority $6.5 million related to its section of highway reconstruction.

“Like our customers, we’re happy that the Jersey barriers and construction barrels are gone from the Interchange and the I-295 Southbound Reconstruction project has concluded,” said Brent VanLith, DRBA senior project engineer. “We do empathize with travelers who are inconvenienced by construction activity and try to design these projects with as few delays as possible. Our contractors worked hard to get this done as quickly as possible and we hope our customers can appreciate the end product.”

VanLith noted that the extremely rainy 2018 construction season negatively affected the work schedule, which targeted completion by December 2018.

Built in the 1960s, the original I-295 highway and associated ramps were rehabilitated and modernized to comply with current federal and state highway standards. Among the improvements in the three-year road reconstruction effort include the removal of four existing overpasses, replacement of one existing bridge and elimination of the weaving patterns for increased traffic capacity and safety. The highway through-lanes were increased from two to three, providing greater lane capacity to meet future traffic demands. Additionally, the ramp from U.S. Route 13 northbound to I-295 southbound, known locally as the Baltimore ramp, was eliminated. A new ramp was constructed further north to connect and merge with I-295 southbound.

Another element of the construction work was the connection of the Industrial Track Greenway Trail between the New Castle County and DelDOT sections as the authority completed a 300 foot long, 10 foot wide illuminated tunnel under I-295.

The DRBA collaborated with DelDOT to complete a portion of the state highway improvements at the same time to minimize the impact this project imposed on the traveling public. With the completion of this fourth and final phase of highway construction work, the DRBA has invested more than $90 million to improve the region’s infrastructure during the course of the I-295 Delaware Memorial Bridge Approach Road Rehabilitation Program. The authority owns and maintains 7 miles of I-295.

For more, visit drba.net.