The shutdown of Interstate 495 through Wilmington because of bridge repairs has created some challenges for travelers attempting to reach Delaware’s beaches, malls and other destinations. In general, it’s best to avoid I-495 or I-95 while repairs to the bridge are underway. Travelers’ best option is to choose one of the alternate roads in the area, depending on their direction of travel. Try these travel tips, and hopefully you’ll enjoy a stress-free Delaware summer vacation.
Coming from the north:
-- U.S. 202/Concord Pike from West Chester area takes travelers into Wilmington without having to travel on I-95 or I-495. Once in Wilmington, travelers can head further south toward the beaches (by taking U.S. 13, then connecting with Del. 1); swing to the west toward the DuPont mansions (on Del. 52); or head toward the Newark area (on Del. 2).
-- U.S. 13 has long been an alternate route south through Delaware for travelers starting in the far southeastern Pennsylvania area. You can pick up U.S. 13 south just east of I-495, soon after crossing the Delaware border (take the Naamans Road exit off I-95). From that point, travelers can use U.S. 13 (also known as DuPont Highway) to reach Wilmington, or to head further south (to Old New Castle, or to Del. 1, which takes you the rest of the way to the beach).
-- Consider taking a bridge over to the New Jersey side and approaching Delaware from the east – I-295, U.S. 40 and the New Jersey Turnpike all cross into Delaware via the Delaware Memorial Bridge. From that point, travelers can jump onto U.S. 13 (to reach Wilmington to the north, or Del. 1/beach destinations to the south).
-- If you're visiting from New York or northern New Jersey, consider traveling to the Delaware beaches on the Cape May-Lewes Ferry.
Coming from the south:
-- Several roads can be used to reach New Castle County destinations as an alternative to I-95, including U.S. 13 North (which follows the eastern edge of Delaware through New Castle and Wilmington); Del. 72 (which angles northwest toward the Newark area); and U.S. 40 (which parallels I-95 as it sweeps east-west across the county's midsection).
Coming from the west:
-- Instead of taking I-95 North through Delaware, get on U.S. 40 (which runs roughly parallel to I-95) before you cross the border with Maryland. As you're driving on U.S. 40 East, you'll come to intersections with various routes that head toward Delaware attractions, including Del. 896 (Newark); Del.301 (Lums Pond, Middletown, Chesapeake & Delaware Canal); Del. 72 (which connects to both Del. 1 and U.S. 13); and Del. 1 (points south, including Dover and the beaches).
Coming from the east:
-- Travelers approaching Delaware from New Jersey can take I-295, U.S. 40 or the New Jersey Turnpike, which all cross into Delaware via the Delaware Memorial Bridge. From that point, travelers can jump onto U.S. 13 (to reach Wilmington to the north; or Del. 1/beach destinations to the south).