Md. toll authority warns of Delaware delays
The Maryland Transportation Authority is warning motorists on Interstate 95 that they could face long lines at Delaware's Newark Toll Plaza this Tuesday and Wednesday because of work the the Delaware Department is doing at the toll collection point.
Meanwhile, the Maryland agency is also warning the U.S. 40 bridge over the Susquehanna River will not be a good alternative for holiday traffic because it is operating with only one lane open in each direction during preservattion work.
According to the authority, the northbound lines at the Delaware toll plaza could extend as far as Harford County -- about a 20-mile stretch. Motorists can contact the Delaware Department of Transportation for information on conditions at the plaza.
The prospects for the holiday are so poor that even Delaware is urging travelers to avoid paying $4 for a one-way ride on its toll roads. Here's what the Delaware department has to say:
Due to the on-going I-95 Newark Toll Plaza Reconstruction, reduced toll lane access and altered traffic patterns will greatly impact Thanksgiving Holiday travelers. These factors, combined with the anticipated increase of holiday traffic, will result in serious backups and travel delays, starting as early as Tuesday morning, Nov. 23 and lasting through Monday evening, Nov. 29. Travelers should consider using alternative routes, using alternative modes of travel or traveling during hours with lower traffic volumes.
If traffic is backed up to Harford there are few good alternatives if your destination is New Jersey or New York. If you are heading for the Philadelphia area, it would make sense to take Routes 155 and 161 to pick up U.S. 1 south of the Conowingo Dam (thus avoiding the Maryland I-95 toll as well) and take it northeast into Pennsylvania. If you cross the Susquehanna on I-95 and then run into a backup, consider bailing out at southbound 222 or 272 and picking up eastbound U.S. 40 until you're back in Delaware. Then you can get back on the Delaware Turnpike if you choose, without paying a toll for the privilege of being delayed.
With traffic potentially this bad, it might not pay to wait until you come to Route 279 to take one of the popular Delaware bypasses. You might end up waiting a long time just to reach the off ramp.