5th Lane Project!

Program Description:

The project added a fifth lane along I-95 in both the Northbound and Southbound directions for all vehicle use. This was part of a multi-year, multi-project Turnpike Improvement Program that included work at the Churchman's Road/SR 7 Intersection and the Churchman's Road Bridge over I-95; and also includes the upcoming work at the SR1/I-95 Mall Interchange.

Project Need:

Increasing volumes and development south of SR 1 led to deteriorating levels of service within the area. While morning and evening peaks continued to struggle, this area also had deteriorating traffic conditions at many other times of the day, and often during weekends. While the Department spent much of the 1990's and early 2000's promoting and advancing multi-modal alternatives, infrastructure development was still heavily needed in this area.

Project Limits:

  • Northbound - the 5th lane runs from the on ramp of SR 1 near the Christiana Mall thru the Churchman's Marsh, thru the 141 interchange and ends just south of the I-495 ramp overpass.
  • Southbound - Additional lane from the 141 Interchange SB ramp to just south of the new Churchman's Road Bridge over I-95.

I-95 5th Lane Project Team

Owner - Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) |
Prime Contractor - R. E. Pierson Construction Company
Design Team - Rummel Klepper & Kahl | This link opens in a new window

Project Costs and Schedules:

  • The 5th lane project cost was $51.9 M
  • The schedule was determined by the contractor in an A + B bidding format. The contractor bid his costs (the "A" Portion) and his time (the "B" Portion) when he submitted the bids. This gave the contractor an incentive to get the project by bidding a lower number of days. The contractor started work in May 2007 and finished in November 2008.

Project Restrictions:

  • DelDOT maintained all 4 lanes in each direction during peak hours. The lanes were reduced from 12-foot lanes to 11-foot lanes.
  • DelDOT maintained one shoulder at all times. This means the one outside lane was riding next to a barrier with no shoulder and the other outside lane had a shoulder.
  • The work zone for the contractor was very narrow, due to wetland restrictions on the outside and the travel lanes on the inside. This created a substantial limitation on what the contractor could do, where he could work, where he could store materials, etc.
  • The contractor often reduced lanes at night to increase his work area, to bring in and remove materials, etc.
  • The project had substantial damages clauses should the contractor not fully reopen the road each morning at the designated time or meet his completion date (the "B" Portion).
  • No additional wetlands were allowed to be touched without the contractor obtaining his own permits from the Army Corps of Engineers.

Project Mitigation:

  • Education and awareness both instate and out. There were no real alternative routes that were problem/issue free.
  • Signal timing improvements along corridors that may experience increased volumes, such as SR 273 and SR 9. Also utilized advanced notice via message boards along I-95.
  • Promoted multimodal options with Dart First State and Rideshare/TMA programs.
  • A "Clear the Road" policy was enacted for the project area. Legislation was approved in the past with this policy that allowed us to move minor accident vehicles off the roadway. This is for the typical fender benders. Thus we could open lanes and reduce backups.
  • Held workshops and meetings with communities and businesses.