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Posted at 8:16 AM ET, 12/17/2010

Delaware warns of toll plaza backups

By Associated Press and Staff Reports

NEWARK, Del. -- Delaware transportation officials are warning motorists to expect major traffic delays during Christmas week at the Newark toll plaza on Interstate 95.

Officials say traffic could back up for miles and take hours to clear because construction has reduced toll lane access and altered traffic patterns.

Travel delays are expected to begin as early as Dec. 23 and last off and on through Jan. 3.

"We expect to experience a similar traffic situation as we did during the Thanksgiving holiday," Delaware's Transportation Secretary Carolann Wicks warned in a statement. "However, during the Thanksgiving weekend we were able to get the word out to the traveling public what to expect and to plan accordingly.

"Traffic through the I-95 Toll Plaza was actually down nearly 10 percent [68,899 vehicles less] than the same period last year. So the word is getting out and travelers are planning appropriately."

Travelers should consider using alternative routes and alternative modes of travel, or traveling during hours with lower traffic volumes.

Similar delays were experienced during the Thanksgiving holiday. Delaware even suspended tolls on the day before Thanksgiving to ease congestion that developed.

From the Dr. Gridlock archives:

Thanksgiving's biggest bottleneck (with alternate routes)

By Associated Press and Staff Reports  | December 17, 2010; 8:16 AM ET
Categories:  Driving  
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Next: The weekend and beyond


What's a boon for Delawareans in tax dollars is a constant, guaranteed headache for everyone else wanting to traverse the Northeast seaboard. Is there a better way?

Posted by: timbo88 | December 17, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Delaware shouldn't even be a state.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | December 17, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Dr. G., do you have a sense of when peak times would be for the Newark toll plaza on the 23rd? I was planning on leaving DC for NJ at 3 or 4 pm on the 23rd...would it be better to wait until 6 or 7pm instead to leave DC?

Posted by: informedtraveller | December 17, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

It's time for Delaware to take down their I-95 toll barriers. Since tolls aren't collected at entrance and exit ramps elsewhere on I-95, the toll serves as nothing more than an entrance and exit fee on motorists.

Posted by: jjlc125 | December 17, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Ah, Delaware. The only state with a cover charge.

Pro tip: You can avoid the toll entirely by getting off at 279 north, turning right on route 4, then right again on 896 which takes you right back to 95. It takes maybe 5 extra minutes, but saves you time if there's a backup on 95. Or, if there's traffic even earlier, just take route 40 into Delaware.

Posted by: willdude | December 17, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

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