• October 10, 2015

Major improvements underway to Route 1 and I-95 interchange - Newark Post: News

Major improvements underway to Route 1 and I-95 interchange

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Posted: Friday, December 9, 2011 12:00 am

On Friday, December 9, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) provided a special project update to Delaware Senators Tom Carper, Chris Coons, and Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez near the construction site of major improvements to the I-95 and Route 1 interchange in New Castle County, Delaware.  

“This project is about making it easier for people to get to work, to school, to the beach and to tax-free shopping,” said the Governor Jack Markell.   “Both Delawareans and visitors from out-of-state depend this road and depend on the state to pave the way.   We want to get it right for safety and mobility.” 
Speaking to those assembled, Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt said, “The need for this work was driven by increasing traffic volumes and development pressure south of I-95, which has led to reduced levels of service within the area of the Christiana Mall and the I-95 & Route 1 Interchange. While morning and evening traffic volumes continue to struggle, this area also has deteriorating traffic conditions at many other times of the day and often throughout the weekends.” 
This major project is adding elevated “fly-over” connecting ramps from northbound and southbound Route 1 to northbound and southbound I-95 which will allow for smoother merging patterns and the elimination of lengthy backups typical of the current ramp design. This work is the last phase of a multi-year, multi-project Interstate Improvement Program that has included; the replacement of the Churchmans Road Bridge over I-95, the fifth-lane widening project, and the reconstruction of the I-95 Newark Toll Plaza.  
“This federally-funded improvement project will allow travelers to quickly and easily drive through what is now a congested part of the highway for those traveling to Delaware’s tax-free shopping and beach attractions,” said Sen. Carper. “Infrastructure projects like these strengthen our economy, decrease traffic congestion and harmful air pollution, and increase highway safety. That’s what I call a ‘win-win-win’ for Delaware’s residents and businesses who rely on these vital highways.” 
Cherry Hill Construction, a Jessup, Maryland-based contractor, was awarded the construction contract with a bid of $85.7 million, the lowest of eight bids received.  The winning bid was approximately $20 million below DelDOT’s engineering estimate.   Construction is anticipated to be completed by October 2013, pending weather, and other factors.     
DelDOT’s engineering estimate of $105 million for construction costs was based on a work schedule of 1,153 days, or just over three years.  Cherry Hill Construction developed their submission on a work schedule of roughly 25 months, or 747 days.  That difference in time resulted in the cost savings for the project.  
To mitigate traffic impacts, the contract was procured using an A + B bidding format. The contractor bids his proposed construction costs (the "A" Portion) and his proposed contract duration in calendar days (the "B" Portion) when they submit the bid. The number of calendar days is then multiplied by a user cost (determined from a user delay calculation that takes into account traffic, potential detours, delay impacts etc). The Department determines the best value by combining the construction costs and the dollar value of the time. The contractor is only paid the “A” portion for the work performed and is held to the “B” portion for a completion time.  
"Anyone who has sat in I-95 or Route 1 traffic knows the value of investments in our infrastructure to our families, our businesses, and our communities," Senator Coons said. "The Route 1/I-95 Interchange is a gateway to so many of Delaware’s treasured destinations - beautiful beaches, tax-free shopping and outdoor recreational activities. It's been a long road, but as the project inches closer to completion, I am pleased that we can finally see a day when smooth sailing has replaced chronic congestion.  Congratulations to Governor Markell, Secretary Bhatt and the scores of Delawareans who have worked on this project over the years.” 
Details on all the proposed projects can be found online at http://www.deldot.gov/">www.deldot.gov. For information on all I-95 related projects and how they impact each other can be found at http://www.I95.deldot.gov">www.I95.deldot.gov.

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