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Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

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7 comments

I-95 is Almost Complete – 60 Years Late

Posted February 05, 2018 10:00 AM by dstrohl

Within walking distance of my home is this sign, which, along with others at several exits along I-95 between the Delaware River and Route 1 approaching Princeton in New Jersey, confuses people on a daily basis. Just about every day when passing by, I see cars pulling to the side of the road as their drivers slow down, confused. This particular exit is in between Camden and New York, so the sign would naturally raise questions for someone who doesn’t live here and doesn’t understand the quirkiness of I-95 in New Jersey. That confusion will soon be a thing of the past.

What is I-95 today was originally conceived in the 1930s. A 1939 federal report entitled Toll Roads and Free Roads proposed several highways, including one along the east coast and running through central New Jersey. President Eisenhower included that particular route when he proposed an interstate highway system in the 1950s.

In today’s world, I-95 runs between Miami and the Canadian border at Houlton, Maine. There are multiple beltways and offshoots along its 1,900 or so miles, but one of the more unusual quirks starts around Christiana going north in Delaware. The highway splits three ways, with I-295 heading northeast toward the Delaware Memorial Bridge, I-495 heading north in Delaware to the Pennsylvania state line, and I-95 paralleling I-495 but continuing into Pennsylvania and on to Philadelphia and beyond, more or less running on the west side of the Delaware.

This author has driven almost the entirety of I-95's 1,900 miles, which will finally be complete this year.

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#1

Re: I-95 is Almost Complete – 60 Years Late

02/05/2018 6:32 PM

The problem with I-95 is that between Washington D.C. and Connecticut, you will pay more for tolls than you do for gasoline for your car on that trip. Especially if you stick with the Jersey Pike instead of the 95 through Philadelphia. If you have a multi-axle trailer, bend over.

The way I found to minimize the pain was to take US-50/301 across the Bay Bridge, then Del-896 to I-95 for a short distance (avoids the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel, Maryland Tolls north of the Susquehanna and the Delaware Rip-Off on 95.) I try to avoid I-95 through Philadelphia because the rough roads tear up my vehicles and trailers. Then take I-295 northbound (free direction on the Delaware Memorial Rip-Off Bridge) to Princeton and US-206, and hit surface streets and two lane highways, some divided until you get to I-287 west of the madness known as the NYC metro area. Then take I-87 south across the Tappan Zee and up I-684 to I-84 and avoid that coastal section of I-95 in Connecticut which can turn into the longest parking lot in the world at the drop of a hat.

Southbound, I will drive I-95 through Philly to avoid the Delaware bridge crossing because of the exorbitant tolls for multi-axle trailers and the RV when towing a car.

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#4
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Re: I-95 is Almost Complete – 60 Years Late

02/06/2018 10:28 AM

After the tolls have paid for the road, the politicians very seldom want to kill the cash cow.

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#5
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Re: I-95 is Almost Complete – 60 Years Late

02/06/2018 10:53 AM

Where I live, Oregon, they are considering adding congestion pricing to the freeways. The roads have been paid for and all the transportation money is getting funneled into light rail, but they want to add tolls to the roads already paid for just to force more cars off the road.

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: I-95 is Almost Complete – 60 Years Late

02/06/2018 12:14 PM

When was the last time we heard that a state government or federal government was laying off employees to re-align efforts and improve efficiency?

Unlike the wrench in your toolbox, the ratchet of government bureaucracy only goes one way.

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#2

Re: I-95 is Almost Complete – 60 Years Late

02/06/2018 1:42 AM

" which will be finally complete this year "

And so beginning next year will be start of the 60 year road rebuild plan.

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#3

Re: I-95 is Almost Complete – 60 Years Late

02/06/2018 9:52 AM

That's hilarious and all too familiar to Floridians trying to navigate Jacksonville. Permanent road under construction signs are a hoot. The other hoot is the fact that portions of I 95 in Florida have already been made obsolete and replaced.

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#7

Re: I-95 is Almost Complete – 60 Years Late

02/06/2018 12:26 PM

This is all Standard Operating Political Procedure (SOPP ?)...

After one, or more, studies sufficiently indicate that a road job needs (political?) ''doing'' because it is (x-vehicles-per-hour, say) undersized, for last year's traffic volumes, it takes, if you're lucky, an average of one or more years, each, to get support, design, approval, funding, and constuction contract administration, set up, for actual roadwork to start. It then takes 1 to 5, or more, years to build, depending on scope, legal hurdles, environmental (reviews?), etc., to complete the ''build''. By this time, the design capacity is 10, or more, years out-of-date... and new studies start to show that the road capacity is out-of-date, again... and, once again the political ''wheel'' goes roun'...

Roads users call it aggravating, but politicians call it (political) job security...

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