I-495 is a local bypass that carries traffic to the city of Wilmington. After a complete emergency shutdown of I-495 in 2014, all traffic on was detoured onto I-95, which caused traffic and delays. In order to address the traffic congestion and to provide a better solution in the future, the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) needed to prioritize successful operations. A traffic analysis was conducted to see if the congestion could be elevated with a new traffic pattern. After the analysis results indicated a new traffic pattern would be beneficial, DelDOT began work on the $1.5 million I-495 Southbound Lane Extension Project in 2018. Many innovative traffic monitoring tools were used for the traffic simulation models; all used to identify the preferred alternative route, maximizing improvements to traffic flow.
Completed in just two months, this project eliminated weekday evening back-ups and boosted average travel speeds by almost 30 mph on southbound I-495. The project is expected to eliminate more than 20,000 hours of delay each year for travelers using southbound I-495.