NEW CASTLE COUNTY, Del. — The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) has banned big rigs on Interstate 95 northbound from Interstate 495 to north of the Brandywine River Bridge in Wilmington after two dozen wrecks involving 18-wheelers in a construction zone.
Major construction on I-95 began in February and the project, which includes the repair of 19 bridges and several ramps, will take years to complete.
According to a DelDOT news release, the area will be restricted to two-axle vehicles and buses only. New signage regarding the restriction is now in place approaching the I-95/I-495 northbound split.
DelDOT said it is enacting this temporary restriction following discussions with the Delaware State Police as the agencies work to reduce the number of crashes occurring in the I-95 construction zone.
“Since the beginning of the I-95 rehabilitation project there have been nearly two dozen crashes involving tractor-trailers in the construction zone,” said Delaware Secretary of Transportation Nicole Majeski. “While the tractor-trailer operators are not always at fault in these incidents, these crashes have shut down the roadway for lengthy periods of time, and this is an additional step we are taking to increase safety in this construction zone.”
The restriction does not apply to I-95 southbound due to multiple access points and difficulty enforcing the restriction, however, DelDOT urges tractor-trailers and other vehicles with more than two axles to useI-495 as an alternate route. The northbound restriction will remain in place until the project is completed.
The announcement created a mild stir on some trucking-related social-media pages.
On the Everything Trucking Facebook page, Stewart Vance said, “If they really wanted to improve safety through there, they would ban cars instead.”
User Eric Hoss Shimer echoed Vance, saying, “Got that right, and most of the accident times are during rush hour. Usually local jerks in a hurry who could go another route and get where they need to be with time to spare.”