At a ceremony on Friday, August 7, Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) Secretary Jennifer Cohan was joined by Governor Jack Markell, U.S. Senator Thomas Carper, and other state officials to announce the completion of the I-95 and U.S. Route 202 Interchange Project. The project was a joint effort led by DelDOT, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, and the Delaware Economic Development Office. It began in 1999 with the Blue Ball Properties Master Plan and culminated with the completion of the I-95/U.S. 202 Interchange.
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals was searching for a location to open its corporate headquarters in either Pennsylvania or Delaware and improved transportation access in a campus setting was key to their decision.
Delaware was selected, and infrastructure improvements were required to accommodate the increased traffic demands. Through many public meetings, which began in 1999, a series of six projects were completed by the McCormick Taylor team to improve the roadway system, provide parks and trails, soccer fields, and preserve historic structures in the area. The improvements were dubbed the “Blue Ball Projects,” of which the I-95 and U.S. 202 Interchange was the final project in the series. McCormick Taylor’s team, which included staff from the Harrisburg, State College, Philadelphia, Newark, and Baltimore offices, completed the environmental documentation, roadway and bridge design, traffic control, signing, lighting, landscaping, utility relocation plans, and all the permitting required for the project.
The cooperation between multiple offices and sub-consultants is what made the project a success. The completed improvements of the I-95/U.S. 202 Interchange include:
An increase in width––from one to two lanes—for ramps from I-95 northbound to U.S. 202 northbound
The extension of two-lane ramps from U.S. Route 202 southbound to I-95 southbound to meet current design standards
The removal and relocation of the existing ramp from I-95 southbound to U.S. Route 202 southbound to become a directional ramp that ties into U.S. Route 202 at a new traffic signal
The lowering of I-95 southbound in the vicinity of the existing U.S. Route 202 bridge over I-95 to address an existing vertical clearance problem
Extensive traffic studies were conducted in the project area, including traffic counts, traffic projections, an origin-destination study, accident and safety analyses, capacity and level of service analyses, and a traffic simulation analysis. The project was completed under accelerated design schedules, with utility coordination to provide upgrade services while maintaining existing service, and maintenance of traffic to allow it to flow at or near its present rate during construction.