Traffic on Interstate 95 between Delaware and Maryland should be easing in the future as stimulus money is helping to add E-Z Pass lanes at the toll plaza near the Route 896 interchange and the Maryland state line.
The Delaware Dept. of Transportation (DelDOT) started work last week on the project. It will be sometime – likely August of 2011 – before the project is completed, but will allow for thousands of more vehicles to pass through the plaza each day. DelDOT officials told television station WHYY that current toll lanes can handle 350 to 400 cars and trucks per hour. That number will rise to 2,000 per hour upon completion.
Construction includes the E-Z Pass lanes in addition to a number of other changes and improvements. Traffic will be slowed during the day as construction takes place between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. When all the work is complete, there will be four new E-Z Pass lanes plus a complete retrofitting of existing toll plaza booths and an overhead walkway for toll collectors to safely access their booths.
To date, according to recovery.gov, which tracks the stimulus spending, approximately $314 billion of the $78 billion spending package has been spent. With all the questioning of where this money is going – and some of it deservedly so – Delaware use of this funding seems both appropriate (the stimulus was supposed to create or save jobs, right?) in the short term and long term. It creates or saves jobs now, improves the infrastructure of I-95 and eases traffic congestion. Not a bad trifecta.
More information on the project can be obtained here.