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I-95 delays may 'stretch for miles'

By Michael D. Bolden

If you're planning on traveling I-95 through the Newark Toll Plaza for Thanksgiving, it may be time to develop an alternate plan.

The Delaware Department of Transportation is warning drivers that backups will be even worse than in past years due to construction work at the plaza. The lines of traffic "could stretch for miles and take hours to clear," the agency said in a statement.

Officials predict that backups will start as early as Tuesday morning and last through the evening of Monday. Nov. 29. Updates will be available through the agency's Twitter account, @DelwareDOT, and on WTMC 1380 AM radio. The agency also has an interactive traffic map that you can check before leaving home.

Dr. Gridlock offers some alternatives in his holiday getaway guide.

Thanksgiving transportation roundup

By Michael D. Bolden  | November 18, 2010; 4:01 PM ET
Categories:  Driving  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Mark Center roadwork proposed
Next: I-66 West to close Thurs. night


I thought DelDOT's re-opening of all the closed lanes was going to help this problem?

Here's a novel idea....suspend toll collection over the holiday weekend! I never pay it, but it would be nice to not have to take the detour for once.

Posted by: thetan | November 18, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

"Could stretch for miles"? That implies there's a chance they might not. I think that's overly optimistic.

One point worth noting is that the most common routes to avoid that toll plaza use Exit 109 in Maryland and Exit 1 in Delaware. It is a near-certainty that during the peak travel times next week the backups will stretch well beyond those interchanges, rendering the main avoidance routes far less useful. I would not be surprised if, next Sunday, it's solid traffic almost all the way back from Newark up to the Delaware Memorial Bridge toll plaza.

If I were going north (which I'm not), I'd almost certainly use the Bay Bridge route or the I-78 route (more likely the latter so as to avoid the New Jersey Turnpike/I-295 corridor). If I had to go through New Jersey on my way back south, I'd consider using I-295 and then taking the Commodore Barry Bridge or the Walt Whitman Bridge across the river into Pennsylvania, then picking up I-495 south to US-13 and following that down to the Bay Bridge route. Most East Coast drivers are utterly unaware that there are other bridges across the Delaware River to the north of the Delaware Memorial Bridge, so using those bridges might save some time. (The toll-haters out there should opt for I-95 near Trenton. It's free.)

Posted by: 1995hoo | November 18, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

1995hoo, shhhhhhhhh!!!!! Don't give away all my secrets for when I drive up to NYC on Wed. and back on Sunday!

I like the fact that I'm way more aware than the rest of the east coast travelers who think the only road that exists is the Jersey Turnpike.

BTW, the Delaware Tolls will likely back up well onto the Jersey Turnpike, as they have in the past.

Posted by: thetan | November 18, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

"I like the fact that I'm way more aware than the rest of the east coast travelers who think the only road that exists is the Jersey Turnpike."

It's never ceased to amuse, and amaze, me how many people have apparently never taken the simple step of looking at a map.

"BTW, the Delaware Tolls will likely back up well onto the Jersey Turnpike, as they have in the past."

Wow, that's a lot worse than I remember, then. I haven't made the trip to New York on Thanksgiving weekend since 1991, and that year it was up on the day after Thanksgiving and back the next day (unfortunately, the reason for the trip was that my grandfather was dying).

Posted by: 1995hoo | November 19, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

How about taking 95 or 295 into Baltimore, picking up 83N from charles street, getting on 695 North/East, then taking route 1 north to 476 towards philly, get on 95 North, take route 1 north. Route 1 merges with route 9 and let's you off at the Holland Tunnel. Or you can pick up the Jersey Turnpike in New Brunswick. You avoid every toll except the Holland Tunnel that way

Posted by: charlesmurphy85 | November 19, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

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