Delaware Route 1

Delaware Route 1 marker

Delaware Route 1
Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway
Coastal Highway
Route information
Maintained by DelDOT and USACE
Length: 103.02 mi[1] (165.79 km)
Existed: 1978 – present
History: Completed in 2003
Major junctions
South end: MD 528 in Ocean City, MD
 

US 9 near Lewes
US 113 in Milford
DE 9 near Dover AFB
US 13 (multiple locations)
DE 896 near Odessa
US 301 in St. Georges (future)
DE 72 near Delaware City
US 40 in Bear
DE 273 near Christiana
DE 7 in Christiana

I-95/DE Tpk in Christiana
North end: DE 7 / DE 58 in Christiana
Highway system

Routes in Delaware

DE 896 DE 2

Delaware Route 1 (DE 1) is a 103.02-mile-long (165.79 km), four- to six-lane highway going from the MarylandDelaware line on the eastern Atlantic shoreline to the Delaware Turnpike (Interstate 95) outside of Wilmington.

The highway, which came into existence in the late 1970s, was originally a two-lane road signed as DE 14, but was truncated to Milford when the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) adopted a U.S. Highway-style system for its state routes. From the early 1970s to 1995, the highway ended at is what is now U.S. Route 113 (US 113), but in the mid-1970s, the DOT studied a "Dover Extension" of the Delaware Turnpike, which evolved into today's Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway.

Contents

Route description

Delaware–Maryland state line to Lewes

DE 1 starts at the Maryland–Delaware state line at the intersection with DE 54 in Fenwick Island, Delaware, as an extension of Maryland Route 528 (MD 528) at the border with Ocean City, Maryland. The road, mostly four lanes with six-lane sections in the resort areas, follows the Atlantic shore line as Coastal Highway through Fenwick Island State Park, South Bethany and Bethany Beach before reaching the Delaware Seashore State Park. Upon entering the park, DE 1 crosses over the Indian River Inlet, a connection between the Rehoboth and Indian River Bays and the Atlantic Ocean itself. Currently, the twin span box-beam bridges, constructed in the mid-1970s during a major widening project, are being replaced with a cable-stayed bridge (similar in design to the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal Bridge) that will allow both the State of Delaware and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to eventually dredge and widen the inlet.

Past the inlet, DE 1 continues north through the state park, passing lookout towers used by the U.S. Army's Coastal Artillery forces during World War II, until the road enters Dewey Beach. It is here in Dewey Beach that DE 1A branches off and heads towards Rehoboth Beach, while DE 1 curves towards the west and then crosses over the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal on a high-level, twin span crossing (completed in the mid-1980s) before reabsorbing DE 1A. Between the northern junction of DE 1A and Lewes, DE 1, now a six-lane road, passes through an array of outlet shopping centers in Midway (known collectively as the "Rehoboth Outlets"), before intersecting with US 9 and DE 404 near Lewes. US 9 allows direct access to the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey shore via the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, while DE 404 allows access to Central Maryland via the Chesapeake Bay Bridge on US 50.

Lewes to Dover Air Force Base

Southbound DE 1 between Milford and Milton

Past the US 9 / DE 404 intersection, and crossing over the Delaware Coast Line Railway's Lewes Branch, DE 1 starts a 20-mile (32.19 km) run through a rural stretch of Sussex County, going past the Primehook National Wildlife Refuge near Milton, while at the same time, intersecting both DE 5 and DE 16 in the process. At the former intersection of DE 1 and DE 30, which now follows a different alignment in the area, DE 1 Business (DE 1 Bus.), a former two-lane stretch of DE 1, breaks off, and the roadway continues east of Milford, Delaware on the Milford Bypass, where it meets DE 36 at a diamond interchange. Unlike a true bypass, which has grade-separated interchanges, the Milford Bypass has both grade-separated interchanges and at-grade intersections, of which one of them intersects with DE 14, an east–west state highway that originally went from Fenwick Island to Harrington, but was truncated to Milford in 1978 when DelDOT renumbered its state highway system to be consistent with the numbering used for the U.S. Highway System.

Southbound DE 1 at Frederica Road south of Frederica

North of DE 14, the Milford Bypass portion of DE 1 ends with the junction of DE 1 with US 113. Prior to 2004, both DE 1 and US 113 continued north together to Dover Air Force Base on a two-route concurrency; after numerous petitions by DelDOT, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, which governs the regulation of designating Interstate and U.S. Highways, allowed DelDOT to truncate US 113 at this interchange. Prior to 1992, the DE 1/US 113 interchange served as the northern terminus for DE 1, but with the construction of the Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway, DelDOT extended the DE 1 designation north of this interchange to prevent a "gap" between the Fenwick Island – Milford section and the toll highway.

Past US 113, the highway continues north towards Dover, passing Frederica (on a high-speed bypass), where it intersects DE 12. In November 2009, construction began for a grade-separated interchange between these two routes; the interchange was completed in June 2011.[2][3] After this, the route passes through Little Heaven before crossing over the St. Jones River on a high-level crossing that was built in the mid-1980s as part of a US 113 widening project between Dover and Milford. Past the St. Jones River crossing, DE 1 now meets DE 9 at a grade-separated interchange (completed in October 2009). DE 9 is a two-lane rural road that, prior to the completion of the Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway, served as a "bypass" of the usually congested US 13.

Dover Air Force Base to Wilmington

Southbound DE 1 between Smyrna and Dover

After passing DE 9, DE 1 becomes the 51-mile (82.08 km) tolled "Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway" (originally called the "Relief Route", the current name being given after the dedication of the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., in 1995). After passing another exit, for access to both the base itself and its housing complex, DE  1 then splits off from the former US 113 highway at DE 10 and then follows a high-speed four-lane highway east of Dover. This section, opened in 1992 and built (like all of its sections) to Interstate Highway standards, was the first highway on the East Coast to be marked with metric measurements. The metric measurements are due to anticipation during the administration of then-President Bill Clinton that the standard U.S. measurement would be dropped and the metric system be adopted. Although the route is now marked with standard milepost markers, the experimental signs with metric measurements are still in place today—the exit numbers on the highway are still in metric as opposed to the standard U.S. milepost exit system used on the majority of Interstate Highways in the U.S.

After passing through the toll plaza in Dover, which has, since 2004, both cash and high-speed E-ZPass lanes, DE 1 meets US 13 for the first time, north of both the toll plaza and Dover International Speedway. Between Dover and Wilmington, DE 1 will pass over US 13 a total of five times, with direct access to the highway a total of three times. Other connections between the routes are via Delaware State Highway routes or with US 40.

Route 1 (Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway) approaching the Senator William V. Roth, Jr. Bridge that crosses Chesapeake and Delaware Canal near St. Georges

North of the first DE 1/US 13 interchange, the highway roughly parallels US 13 through the northern fringes of Dover, interchanges with US 13 in the southern part of Smyrna, and enters New Castle County to the east of Smyrna. At the third interchange with US 13, which served as a temporary northern terminus between 1992 and 2003, the highway crosses over US 13 and then travels for the next 8 miles (13 km) past the small rural community of Townsend, before crossing over the Appoquinimink River and meeting DE 299 on the way to Odessa and Middletown. Past DE 299, DE 1 then crosses over US 13 and the Drawyer Creek, interchanging with DE 896 in Boyds Corner.

After DE 896, the road then crosses over US 13 before reaching the Biddles Corner Toll Plaza, the first toll plaza on the East Coast to have both high-speed E-ZPass and cash lanes, and, with some design changes, has served as a model for dual-speed mainline toll barriers on both the Pennsylvania Turnpike, New Jersey Turnpike, as well as the Garden State Parkway and Atlantic City Expressway. Passing through the toll barrier, the highway then crosses the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal on the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge which was originally opened in 1995 as a replacement for the aging St. Georges Bridge and now serving as an integral part of the DE 1/US 13 corridor between Dover and Wilmington. DE 1 widens to six lanes after the toll plaza, and passes through the interchange with DE 72, where US 13 joins the DE 1 freeway. The two highways separate shortly after in Tybouts Corner.

North of the DE 1/US 13 split, the highway, now back to four lanes, starts a short trip north towards I-95 (Delaware Turnpike), passing US 40 and DE 273 before merging with DE 7 near the Christiana Mall in Christiana. After merging with DE 7, the route continues north until it meets I-95 at a full cloverleaf interchange, and then immediately after interchanges with DE 58 near Churchmans Crossing. After the DE 58 interchange, the DE 1 designation is dropped, and the now at-grade highway becomes just DE 7.

History

Tolls

The Biddles Corner mainline toll plaza, with high speed E-ZPass lanes

As of October 1, 2007, DelDOT charges a total of $2 on weekdays ($4 on weekends) for the entire 51-mile (82 km) length of highway, while it charges a $0.50 toll at US 13 in North Dover (southbound off, northbound on), DE 896 in Boyds Corner (northbound off, southbound on) and a $0.25 toll on US 13 in South Smyrna (southbound off, northbound on). Unlike the Delaware Turnpike, which charges a $4 toll for a total of 11.2 miles (18.02 km) (the highest toll road rate in the U.S.), the lower rate on DE 1 was possible due the majority of the funding (60% total) from the federal government.[4]

Interchange numbering

Unlike I-95, I-495, DE 141, and the New Jersey Turnpike, which use a sequential exit system, or the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Atlantic City Expressway, and Garden State Parkway, which use a mileage-based system, the Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway segment of DE 1, along with the DE 9 and DE 12 interchanges, utilizes a kilometer-based system, in anticipation of a mid-1990s conversion of all measurements in the U.S. from the standard US measurement system to the metric system. All distance markers were in kilometers, as well as all exit numbers. Since then, the distance markers were replaced with standard mile markers, but the exit numbers are still in metric. In addition, the exits north of US 13 in Tybouts Corner were in standard miles, reflecting DE 1 mileage from Ocean City, Maryland, but were converted in 1995 with the opening of the C&D Canal Bridge.

Future

As the main north–south state highway in Delaware, as well as the primary route to the Atlantic Seashore, DE 1 is currently seeing major problems with its existing infrastructure, most of which dates back to its 1978 inception. In addition to the building of a new cable-stayed bridge over the Indian River Inlet to replace aging twin box-beam bridges built in the 1970s, DelDOT has been rebuilding DE 1 between Dewey Beach and the Rehoboth Outlets, primarily to give DE 1 a "Main Street" feel, but at the same time, making improvements on underground utilities. At the US 9/DE 404 junction near Lewes, DelDOT is currently undertaking a widening project that will have DE 1 widened to a total of six lanes between the junction and DE 1A, relieving congestion to both beachgoers and those wishing to shop at the numerous outlet stores that dot the area.

Even on the toll road between Dover and Wilmington, there are plans to widen the highway between Tybouts Corner and I-95/Delaware Turnpike to six lanes, as a need to reduce congestion, as well as rebuilding the DE 1/I-95 cloverleaf interchange to one with high-speed ramps, allowing southbound and northbound traffic to access I-95 without having to "mix" in with merging traffic (the new DE 58 bridge over I-95, completed in 2006, being long enough to accompany the additional lanes). In addition to the expansion projects, plans are underway to build an "extension" of the highway, which will carry the US 301 designation, that will bypass Middletown and allow an alternative route to Baltimore, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., via the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, without having to travel on the heavily congested I-95/John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway on Maryland's Western Shore.

Other plans, including rebuilding DE 1 to a "semi-freeway" (similar in nature to US 301 in Maryland) have also been floated, but the future currently lies in the possible privatization of both DE 1 and the Delaware Turnpike, as well as the possible upgrading of the highway to an Interstate Highway route.[citation needed]

Major intersections

County Location Mile[1] Exit Destinations Notes
Sussex
Fenwick Island 0.00 MD 528 south (Coastal Highway) Southern terminus
DE 54 west (Lighthouse Road)
Bethany Beach 6.08 DE 26 west (Garfield Parkway)
Dewey Beach 17.17 DE 1A north (King Charles Avenue) – Rehoboth Beach
Rehoboth Beach DE 1B (State Road) – Rehoboth Beach Interchange
Oyster House Road Interchange; no southbound entrance
18.93 DE 1A south (Rehoboth Avenue) – Rehoboth Beach, Henlopen Acres
Midway 21.13 DE 24 west / DE 1D north (John J. Williams Highway) – Oak Orchard, Millsboro
Carpenters Corner 22.55 US 9 east (Dartmouth Drive) – Cape May-Lewes Ferry South end of US 9 overlap
Five Points 23.67
US 9 west / DE 404 west (Lewes Georgetown Highway) / US 9 Bus. east (Savannah Road) to DE 23 / DE 1D – Georgetown, Bay Bridge, Lewes
North end of US 9 overlap
Milton 30.46 DE 16 (Broadkill Road)
32.68 DE 5 south (Union Street Extended)
Milford
DE 30 Alt. south (Johnson Road)
To DE 30 south (Wilkins Road)
39.91
DE 1 Bus. north – Milford
Interchange; northbound exit and southbound entrance
41.42 DE 36 – Milford, Slaughter Beach Interchange
Kent
DE 14 west (Northeast Front Street)
Northeast 10th Street – North Milford
43.96
US 113 south / DE 1 Bus. south – Milford, Georgetown
Interchange; southbound exit and northbound entrance
  Thompsonville Road – Thompsonville, South Bowers
Frederica 49.89 86 DE 12 west (Frederica Road) – North Frederica Interchange
  51.66 Bowers Beach Road – Bowers Beach
Little Heaven 52.12 Clapham Road – Magnolia, Rising Sun, Moores Lake Former US 113 Alt. north
  Road 107 – Magnolia Interchange
Dover AFB 56.22 91 DE 9 north – Kitts Hummock, Little Creek Interchange
South end of freeway
92 Dover AFB Commercial Gate Northbound exit and entrance
57.88 93 Dover AFB Main Gate, Visitors
59.71 95 DE 10 – Dover, Camden Former U.S. 113 north
97 To US 13 (via Puncheon Run Connector) – Salisbury, Norfolk Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Dover 61.37 98 DE 8 – Downtown Dover, Little Creek Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Dover Toll Plaza
65.24 104 US 13 to DE 8 / Scarborough Road – North Dover
Smyrna 71.47 114 US 13 to DE 6 / DE 300 – South Smyrna
New Castle
76.17 119 US 13 to DE 6 / DE 300 – Smyrna, Townsend Signed as exits 119A (south) and 119B (north) southbound
Odessa 85.20 136 DE 299 to US 13 – Odessa, Middletown, Townsend
Boyds Corner 89.12 142 US 13 / DE 896 to US 301 – Mt. Pleasant, St. Georges, Boyds Corner
Biddles Corner Biddles Corner Toll Plaza
St. Georges 148 To US 13 – South St. Georges Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Bridge
Tybouts Corner 94.89 152 US 13 south / DE 72 to DE 7 – Delaware City, Newark, St. Georges South end of US 13 overlap
97.08 156 US 13 north / DE 71 south to I-295 – New Castle, Wilmington, Red Lion, New Jersey, New York North end of US 13 overlap; signed as exits 156A (SR 71) and 156B (US 13) southbound
Bear 99.28 160 US 40 – Elkton, State Road
Christiana 101.01 162 DE 273 – Newark, New Castle
164 DE 7 south / Mall Road – Christiana South end of DE 7 overlap; signed as exits 164A (Mall Road) and 164B (DE 7) southbound
102.63 165 I-95 south (Delaware Turnpike) – Newark, Baltimore
I-95 north to I-295 / I-495 – Wilmington, Philadelphia
Signed as exits 165A (south) and 165B (north)
Churchmans Crossing 103.02 166 DE 58 (Churchmans Road) – Churchmans Crossing
DE 7 north (Stanton Christiana Road)
End DE  1; roadway continues beyond DE 58 as DE 7
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Bannered and suffixed routes

DE 1A

Delaware Route 1A
Location: Dewey Beach-Rehoboth Beach
Length: 2.92 mi[1] (4.70 km)

Delaware Route 1A (DE 1A) is a state highway spur that allows access to and from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Formed in 1978, the route was originally DE 14A, but was renumbered when DE 14 was truncated to Milford, Delaware and DE 1 took its place. In addition to serving Rehoboth Beach, DE 1A also serves the northern sections of Dewey Beach, Delaware.

A two- to four-lane road, the road starts as a slow-speed (25 mph, 40 km/h), two-lane road through the northern section of Dewey Beach. After leaving Dewey Beach, the road crosses over Silver Lake, a privately-owned brackish water pond and enters Rehoboth Beach, upon which the road takes on a "Main Street" like appearance. Upon reaching Rehoboth Avenue, the main business area for the resort, DE 1A then make a left turn and proceeds for about a mile on a four-lane, heavily controlled roadway. The route intersects DE 1B and then passes through a roundabout in the northern sections of the business district. DE 1A, again a two-lane road, then crosses over the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal on a double-leaf bascule drawbridge and then rejoins DE 1 near the Rehoboth Outlets.

DE 1B

Delaware Route 1B
Location: Rehoboth Beach
Length: 1.11 mi[1] (1.79 km)

Delaware Route 1B (DE 1B) is a state highway spur that allows access to and from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Formed in 1978, the route was originally DE 14B, but was renumbered when DE 14 was truncated to Milford, Delaware and DE 1 took its place.

A two-lane, residential-like road, DE 1B starts at the southern approach to the Lewes and Rehoboth Canal on DE 1 just 2 miles (3.2 km) south of the northern terminus of DE 1A. After crossing underneath of the high-level canal crossing, DE 1B then travels east for approximately one mile until it joins with DE 1A in the city's northern limits. Unlike the heavily-traveled DE 1A, which is subject to the periodical opening of a double-leaf bascule drawbridge, DE 1B is lightly traveled, but yet serves as an alternate route because the road begins south of a high-level canal crossing.

DE 1D

Delaware Route 1D
Location: Midway-Five Points

Delaware Route 1D (DE 1D) is an auxiliary route of DE 1 in Sussex County, Delaware. It begins in Five Points at US 9 and DE 404. It briefly runs concurrent with DE 23 before heading south on Plantation Road along with DE 24 Alternate. It then turns east for a brief concurrency with DE 24 before returning to DE 1 in Midway.

DE 1 Business


Delaware Route 1 Business
Location: Milford
Length: 3.90 mi[1] (6.28 km)

Delaware Route 1 Business (DE 1 Bus.) is a business route of DE 1 that runs through Milford, Delaware. The route used to be a part of DE 1 until it was rerouted onto the Milford Bypass. DE 1 Bus. starts at a partial interchange with DE 1 south of Milford. The route passes through the heart of Milford on Rehoboth Boulevard, where it intersects DE 36 first and then DE 14. The route then merges into U.S. Route 113 (US 113) at the north end of Milford before ending, along with US 113, at an interchange with DE 1.

See also

References


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