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Transportation plan eyes Tyler McConnell, Hares Corner, I-95

Ken MammarellaGovernment, Headlines

The Wilmington Area Planning Council is seeking public input for its latest regional transportation plan. (Robin Jonathan Deutsch photo from Unsplash)

The Wilmington Area Planning Council is seeking input for its latest transportation plan. (Robin Jonathan Deutsch photo on Unsplash)

Proposals for a notoriously congested bridge (the Tyler McConnell, in North Wilmington), Delaware’s busiest intersection (Hares Corner, aka U.S. Route 13 and Delaware Route 273) and Interstate 95 in Cecil County highlight the latest regional transportation plan.

The Wilmington Area Planning Council will collect comments at an open house Wednesday, Feb. 8 in Newark and online through March 6. Registration is requested for the event, titled 2023 Our Town.

Speakers at the meeting include Rebecca Higgins, senior policy advisor at U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Work, on funding an equitable system; and Todd Litman, founder of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute, on developing innovative solutions to transportation problems.

The plan runs through 2050 and is the latest in a series going back to 1996. “Only transportation projects found in the RTP are eligible for federal funding,” the council says in introducing the plan. “It is a living plan, subject to continual revision (at least every four years) and a tool for informed transportation and policy decisions that reflect public views.”

The council is proposing several policy “tweaks” in this update.

• “Eliminate all traffic-related deaths and severe injuries, while increasing safety, health and mobility for all.

Support national defense preparedness and data sharing.

Reduce carbon emissions via a new performance target for lower vehicle miles traveled by 2030.

“There are more than 100 projects on the draft ‘fiscally constrained’ (or financially reasonable given the forecasted funding) project list in New Castle County and about a dozen in Cecil County,” the council says.

Of course, proposals, priorities and prices change. Here’s a look at the ones that are the most significant (they’re also the most expensive).


Widening Interstate 95 through Cecil County, $1.2 billion estimated cost, in service 2050.

Hares Corner grade separation, $469 million, 2045. The traffic lights on U.S. 13 and Delaware 273 – Delaware’s busiest intersection – could be replaced by an overpass and cloverleaf ramps, like what now exists at U.S. 13 and Delaware Route 141, a mile or so to the the north. “We would expect that the DelDOT planning process will evaluate traditional designs as well as the innovative concept presented in 2020 and 2021 Bike Delaware events,” said Heather Dunigan, principal planner for the agency.

Widening Delaware Route 1, U.S. 40 to Road A (near Christiana Mall), $300 million, 2036. Long-term safety improvements and congestion mitigation by widening the highway.

Maryland 222, U.S. Route 40 to Maryland Route 275, and the I-95 interchange, $270 million, 2045. Adding new lanes in each direction and reconstructing the interchange near Perryville, Maryland.

I-95/Delaware Route 896 interchange work, $257 million, 2026. Ramp realignments and other geometric improvements to address congestion and crashes caused by merging and diverging through, entering and exiting traffic.

Widening Route 1, Tybouts Corner to Road A (near Christiana Mall), $115 million, 2024. Short-term safety improvements and congestion mitigation by widening nine miles from just south of I-95 to Tybouts Corner.

Reconstructing the Delaware Route 1 Tybouts Corners interchange, $111 million, 2035.

U.S. Route 40/Delaware Route 7 intersection, $96 million, 2040. Geometric improvements to improve safety and operations, with the potential for a grade-separated interchange. Triggering of project will occur through DelDOT’s U.S. 40 corridor plan monitoring process.

Tyler McConnell Bridge, $90 million, 2045. The plan is to widen the bridge to four lanes and also accommodate bicycle and pedestrian traffic.


Transportation Improvement Districts, $1 billion, multiple dates. New to the plan is funding to implement Transportation Improvement Districts, “where land use and transportation is planned in detail in advance, such that development consistent with that planning can pay a readily determined fee and forego the Traffic Impact Study process,” the plan says. Districts are established for southern New Castle County and the Eastown and Westown areas of Middletown. DelDOT and Newark are developing a district, and DelDOT and New Castle County are considering one for Churchmans Crossing.

Transit service capital and operations, $888 million, multiple dates. “These will primarily cover increased bus and commuter rail service frequencies, expanded bus routes and the associated purchase of buses, operating costs and improved bus stops such as rider amenities and pedestrian access,” she said.

Support for new technologies, $567 million, multiple dates. “Infrastructures to support development of infrastructure for connected and autonomous vehicles, alternative fuel vehicles, micromobility (i.e. bikeshare and shared e-scooter systems) and whatever other new technologies might emerge,” Dunigan said.

Active transportation, $215 million, multiple dates. “This would primarily cover walking and bicycling infrastructure, including filling gaps between existing sidewalks, new shared-use pathways, pedestrian safety improvements and bicycle infrastructure,” Dunigan said “but might also include roadway safety improvements to foster better conditions for walking, bicycling and transit users.”

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