In late summer 2018, the goal originally set by President Dwight Eisenhower and congress in the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 will finally be achieved.
I-95 will run from the Canadian border in Maine to Miami without interruption, which is the route originally planned at the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s. Currently, I-95 stops in Lawrence, New Jersey, and routes motorists to I-195 or I-295. Those looking to connect to I-95 in Pennsylvania often have to take back roads, the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Route 13 or Route 1 to reconnect with the interstate in Bucks County.
The change over will open in August or September 2018 when the ramps to connect I-95 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike are completed. The 10.4-mile portion of the Turnpike from Durham Road in Bristol Township to I-95 in Lawrence, New Jersey, will change from I-295 to I-95 while current I-95 from the Veterans Highway (Route 413) interchange through Middletown and Lower Makefield and into New Jersey will be designated I-295.
Officials from the Turnpike project said the change will be marked well in advance and all signs will be updated when the designation happens.
The current stretch of I-95 through Middletown and Lower Makefield will complete a beltway through the region and central New Jersey when the I-295 designation is made.
Turnpike officials told NewtownPANow.com several weeks ago that there is ongoing consideration to add to second bridge next to the Delaware River Bridge to handle future traffic needs. However, no decisions have been made and the plan is one of several options being looked at by the Turnpike Commission.
From the 1960s until the 1980s, there was a plan for the Somerset Freeway that would connect I-95 from north of the Scudders Falls Bridge to I-95 in northern central New Jersey. The plan never moved forward due to rising cost proposals and protests from New Jersey residents.
When the Turnpike and I-95 connector project is finished, it will mark the last piece of work completed under the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, which has helped create 47,000 miles of highway in throughout the United States.