Interstate 495 Delaware

Interstate 495 Delaware
History
North End
South End

Overview

Named the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway, Interstate 495 forms an eastern bypass of Wilmington. The six lane freeway also serves freight traffic to the Port of Wilmington and industrial areas at Cherry Island and the 11th Street Bridge community in Wilmington and Edgemoor. I-495 also serves commuter interests from I-95 into south Wilmington and between 12th Street and Claymont. Implemented in 2004, variable speed limits are used along the route.

I-495 Wilmington, DE Map
Interstate 495 traverses wetland areas along the Christina River through industrial areas of Southbridge in Wilmington near the Port. Spanning the Christina on a high-level bridge, the freeway continues to Edgemoor. North from there, I-495 runs along side the Delaware River, U.S. 13 (Governor Printz Boulevard), the AMTRAK Northeast Corridor and a Norfolk Southern Railroad line to Claymont.

History

Opened to traffic in 1978, Interstate 495 was renumbered as the mainline for I-95 in 1979 while the former route through Wilmington was changed to I-895. This designation switch coincided with major reconstruction along the Wilmington Viaduct and Adams-Jackson Freeway sections of I-95. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) approved the renumbering of I-495 to I-95 on June 26, 1979 and the renumbering back to I-495 on November 14, 1980.

Premature cracking, due to incompatible types of cement and stone used in the mid-1970s, was discovered in the concrete surface of Interstate 495. This resulted in a federally subsidized $15.5-million repair contract awarded to Cherry Hill Construction Co. Work began in early April 1992 along a 6.4-mile stretch of northbound lanes between the Edgemoor interchange and I-95 at the Pennsylvania state line. Contractor delays, ranging from equipment problems, bad weather and other issues, arose and pushed back the shift of work to the southbound lanes from July 1992 to October 10, 1992, while a single lane of traffic operated in each direction. Work was to wrap up by early November 1992, but instead continued through 1993, with all three southbound lanes reopened May 22, 1993. A $5,000-per-day penalty was accessed to the contractor beyond the original completion date.1,2,3

Route Information

  • North End – Claymont, DE

  • South End – Newport, DE

  • Mileage – 11.47

  • Cities – Wilmington

  • JunctionsI-95 I-295

Source: December 31, 2018 Interstate Route Log and Finders List

I-495 Annual Average Daily Traffic (AADT)

Source: Delaware Vehicle Volume Summary 2019 (Traffic Counts) – Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT).

Wilmington, DE - 1970
Interstate 495 under construction in 1970. U.S. 202 was truncated from Farnhurst to north Wilmington this year while U.S. 13 was redesignated along what was U.S. 13 Alternate.

Work on Interstate 495 started in 1968.5

Subsequent resurfacing work along Interstate 495 followed along the remainder of the freeway leading south to I-95 near Newport. That work ran through 1994 to July 1995.4

The Wilmington bypass originally included four interchanges. They were located at U.S. 13 (Dupont Highway), SR 9A (Terminal Avenue), 12th Street and U.S. 13 (Philadelphia Pike). The Edgemoor interchange was planned in 1985 and completed by 1989. The new ramps linked I-495 with U.S. 13 (Governor Printz Boulevard) and SR 3 (Edgemoor Road) in an industrial area along the Delaware River.

The diamond interchange with 12th Street provides access to Downtown Wilmington from Interstate 495. Plans for the 12th Street extension in the 1970s included options for a multi-lane arterial or expressway to a new bridge across Brandywine Creek at 14th and Poplar Streets. Community opposition resulted in a March 1982 revision of the proposed route, moving it further north to 16th Street. Ensuing events however ultimately led to the cancellation of the 12th Street Connector.5

Interstate 95 between U.S. 202 (Concord Pike) and I-495 at Claymont underwent major reconstruction in 2000. Opened to traffic in 1968, the original concrete deteriorated throughout the 1990s, leading to the six-month project. While underway, one direction of I-95 was shut down for a three month period so that crews could rubblize the existing concrete and overlay it with a new type of asphalt material. Through traffic was diverted onto I-495. As a result, Interstate 495 improvements included expansion of the northern and southern interchange lanes available to and from I-95 and new access from I-495 south to U.S. 13 north and from U.S. 13 south to I-495 north at Exit 1. This work was completed in June 2000. Signs at the south end of I-495 were also replaced and reassurance shields were installed all along Interstate 495. The was significant because very few markers were posted for I-495 along the mainline prior to 2000.

Preceding the I-95 reconstruction, a late 1999 proposal advocated renumbering I-495 as Interstate 95. The plan outlined renumbering I-95 through Wilmington as either Business Loop I-95 or Interstate 195. It never came to fruition due to objections from Wilmington city leaders on losing I-95.

The 4,800 foot long bridge over the Christina River was completed in 1974. It closed on June 2, 2014, following inspections revealing that four support columns tilted by as much as 2.4 degrees from vertical. A succeeding emergency repair project stabilized the bridge supports and re-leveled a 400 foot portion of the deck. Both directions of the span reopened by August 23, 2014, with the $40 million project continuing through the end of the year.6

Highway Guides

North End I-95 – Claymont, Delaware

I-495 North at I-95

I-495 north at US 13 - Claymont, DE

Interstate 495 curves away from the adjacent Delaware River and the AMTRAK Northeast Corridor and approaches both U.S. 13 (Philadelphia Pike) and Interstate 95 at Claymont. 12/23/17

I-495 north at US 13 - Claymont, DE

Interstate 495 parallels U.S. 13 from Edgemoor northward to Claymont. The US highway continues north from Exit 5 to Marcus Hook and Chichester, Pennsylvania as a local route serving industrial areas along the Delaware River. 12/23/17

I-495 north at I-95/SR 92 - Claymont, DE

The freeway ends 0.75 miles beyond Exit 5 at a wye interchange with Interstate 95 north. 01/01/19

I-95 South at I-495

I-95 south at I-495 - Upper Chichester Twp, PA

The first reference for Interstate 495 along I-95 south appears on this interchange sequence sign posted two miles out at a pedestrian overpass near Trainer.
This sign was damaged by 2009. 12/21/16

I-95 south at I-495 - Lower Chichester Twp, PA

Three lanes advance south on I-95 from the Blueball Avenue overpass toward the wye interchange (Exit 11) with I-495. The “City/Port of” overlay on the sign was added for the I-95 reconstruction project in 2000. When I-95 southbound was closed, all traffic was redirected along I-495, including traffic destined for the city of Wilmington. 10/05/14

I-95 south at I-495 - Lower Chichester Twp, PA

A second diagrammatic overhead precedes the partition of I-95/495 at the Delaware state line. Local and Thru Traffic overlays here remained from the 2000 reconstruction of I-95 between I-495 and U.S. 202 at Wilmington. I-495 carries the bulk of traffic headed south to Baltimore with six overall lanes while I-95 reduces to four lanes through the Brandywine Hundred community. 12/21/16

I-95 south at I-495 - Lower Chichester Twp, PA

An interchange sequence sign appears just north of the PA 491 (Naamans Creek Road) underpass for I-495 south. The forthcoming diamond interchange (Exit 6) with Naamans Road (SR 92) surrounds the freeway split. 10/05/14

I-95 south at I-495 - Lower Chichester Twp, PA

A weathered, original I-495 shield directs motorists to the right as I-95 crosses the West Branch of Naamans Creek. 07/27/07

I-95 south at I-495/SR 92 - Claymont, DE

Still just inside Pennsylvania, Interstate 495 branches southeast from I-95 south to Claymont. The two routes reconvene along I-95 in 11.2 miles. 12/21/16

I-495 North End Throwback

I-495 North at I-95

I-495 north at US 13 - 2008

Pull through signs for Interstate 495 north ahead of U.S. 13 (Philadelphia Pike) referenced I-95. Cantilevered sign bridges for Exit 5 were replaced with monotubes in 2017. 12/22/08

I-495 north at US 13 - 2008

Exit 5 departed I-495 north for U.S. 13 (Philadelphia Pike) and Claymont. 12/22/08

I-495 north at US 13 - 2008

Travelers along I-495 north merge onto Interstate 95 at the Pennsylvania state line. I-95 continues five miles to Chester. 12/22/08

South End I-95 I-295 – Newport, Delaware

I-495 South at I-95 I-295

I-495 south at US 13 - Wilmington, DE

Interstate 495 turns west from Southbridge in Wilmington toward U.S. 13 (Dupont Highway) by Minquadale and I-95 and I-295 ahead of Newport. 12/20/17

I-495 south at I-95/295 - Wilmington, DE

The south end of I-495 defaults motorists onto the left side of Interstate 95 preceding its merge with I-295 south. A flyover departs from the right, allowing commuter traffic to reach the collector distributor roadway for State Route 141 (Newport Freeway). 12/23/18

I-495 south at I-95/295 - Wilmington, DE

Traffic to Exit 5 for SR 141 parts ways with Interstate 495 south. The addition of the flyover for Exit 5 in 1981/82 replaced a ramp connecting I-495 south with Interstate 95 north back into Wilmington. 12/23/18

I-495 south at I-95/295 - Wilmington, DE

Traffic separates for I-95 south toward Newark and the left exit ramp for I-295 northbound toward New Castle and the Delaware Memorial Bridge. 12/23/18

I-95 North at I-295 I-495

I-95 north at I-295/495 - Churchmans Crossing, DE

The first in a series of sign bridges for I-295/495 appears along Interstate 95 north at the SR 58 (Churchmans Road) overpass. I-95 (Delaware Turnpike) maintains eight overall lanes from the Newark Toll Plaza eastward to SR 1/7 (Exit 4) and ten lanes across Christina Marsh to the split with I-295. 10/05/14

I-95 north at I-295/495 - Newport, DE

The right two lanes of I-95 north separate onto I-295, which follows the Delaware Memorial Bridge across the Delaware River into New Jersey. Just beyond the twin suspension bridges, I-295 turns north toward Camden at the beginning of the New Jersey Turnpike. I-495 splits from I-95 north at a succeeding wye interchange. 12/18/16

I-95 north at I-295/495 - Newport, DE

The roadways of I-95 separate as the freeway enters the sprawling interchange complex with SR 141 (Newport Freeway), I-295 and I-495. Four lanes advance northward along I-95 toward Wilmington while two lanes depart for New York and the adjacent loop ramp to Newport. 12/18/16

I-95 north at I-495 - Newport, DE

U.S. 202 combines with I-95 north from SR 141 as the freeway parallels the initial stretch of Interstate 295. Beyond the SR 141 northbound overpass, I-95 north curves northeast toward the split with Interstate 495. 12/18/16

I-95 north at I-495 - Newport, DE

Interstate 495 branches to the northeast from I-95/U.S. 202 north toward the Port of Wilmington and Edgemoor. The freeway carries the bulk of through traffic bound for Philadelphia as speed limits are 65 MPH versus 55 MPH on I-95. 12/20/17

I-95 north at I-495 - Newport, DE

When I-95 was reconstructed north of Wilmington in 2000, a third lane was added for Interstate 495 north. 2007-08 construction expanded the split even further with an additional lane for I-95 north to Wilmington. Clearview font based signs were installed here in 2008. 12/20/17

I-295 South at I-95 I-495

I-295 south at I-495/95 - Newport, DE

Interstate 295 leaves the Farnhurst Interchange with U.S. 13/40 and approaches the exchange with I-495 north, I-95 and SR 141. The interchange with U.S. 13 (DuPont Highway) opened in 1951; the freeway west to I-95 opened in 1963. 12/23/18

I-295 south at I-495/95 - Newport, DE

I-295 southbound from U.S. 13/40 to I-95/495 was expanded during construction from 2016 to Spring 2019. The ramp for I-495 departs for Claymont and Delaware County, Pennsylvania. 12/23/18

I-495 South End Throwback

I-495 south at I-95/295 - 2005

Interstate 495 turns west from Southbridge in Wilmington toward U.S. 13 (Dupont Highway) by Minquadale. This sign bridge was replaced by a monotube assembly in 2017. A new overhead here was the first to reference the ramp for I-295 as Exit 0. 08/18/05

I-495 south at I-95/295 - 2005

Southbound Interstate 495 partitions with ramps for I-295 north to the Delaware Memorial Bridge and SR 141 to Newport and New Castle. 08/18/05

I-495 south at I-95/295 - 2005

Overheads at the south end of Interstate 495 were carbon copied by 2012. 08/18/05

I-495 south at I-95/295 - 2004

Interstate 95 continues beyond I-295 and Newport toward Newark and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway toll road west to Baltimore, Maryland. 03/27/04

Sources:

  1. “I-495 repairs might continue through spring.” The News Journal, September 25, 1992.
  2. “Contractor facing penalties.” The News Journal, February 17, 1993.
  3. “Expect further delay on I-495 and woes down the road on I-95.” The News Journal, May 23, 1993.
  4. “Nightmares of the Week – Fast times on I-495.” The News Journal, October 23, 1994.
  5. “Upper East Side residents fight I-495 connector.” The Wilmington News Journal, April 14, 1982.
  6. “All I-495 lanes open.” The News Journal (DE), August 25, 2014.

Page updated June 23, 2020.