Delaware Roads - DE 9/9A

DE 9 and 9A

All photos are northbound until the breakline.

Okay, I understand how it's possible to invert a number like 8, even though it's noticeable even in my rear-view mirror (I did turn around to get a photo of this clarity). But prove to me now that the "9" shield isn't simply a "6" from the next state route up. Incidentally, the other three approaches to the DE 6/DE 9 junction all put the 9 on the left and the 6 on the right. I couldn't imagine why... Erm, notice that the arrow is missing below the 9.

The only LGS I spied on the route - wait a minute, it just might be the only one I saw in Delaware that looks anything like this. Pretty haphazardly arranged, meaning the signs have been stuck on and weren't made as part of the sign.

North of DE 299, DE 9 makes a few random and close-spaced turns between a number of farm roads, which is where these assemblies are. It's a narrow road with a high speed limit and a fair amount of oncoming traffic, making it quite an experience to drive. Then, up comes a high and narrow bridge:

This is the Reedy Point Bridge, photographed northbound.

This historical sign is just before that bridge. I think I did a great job of capturing the essence of it in the dead of night - you can almost make out many of the words! From the great State of Delaware's website, unprecedented in listing sign text (and certainly a great example to other states): "In 1875, Congress approved funding to build several lighthouses along this segment of the Delaware River. This site was purchased in April 1876, and by December the Port Penn Front Range Light was completed. Constructed under the direction of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, it was a two-story frame structure with a lantern room above. The light was powered by a double-wick oil burner. The floors below served as living space for the lighthouse keeper and his family. Keepers were Henry C. Walter (1876-1885) and George W. Duncan (1885-1904). The facility was renovated and expanded circa 1898. D ue to changes in the shipping channel, the light was closed in October 1904. The property was sold as surplus in 1911."

DE 9 NB realigned out of New Castle, which used to be DE 141, at DE 273 and itself. 141 begins straight ahead, and SOUTH 9 most definitely is not to the left. US 13 and US 40 are to the left, but both directions of each route can be reached that way, and US 40 doesn't even have a SOUTH. For some time, officially, DE 273 continued to the right along DE 9, not ending until 9 returns to its former alignment. That time appears to have passed.

DE 9 SB, former DE 273 WB, at the same intersection. The sign is sorely lacking.

Chestnut St. WB leaving New Castle. DE 9 SB used to go left onto 6th St. before it was rerouted onto DE 273 in the 1980s. It's possible the shields are exactly that old (so about 30 years old by this 2013 photo), or it's possible they predated the switch and were rearranged to stay relevant; the M6-3 (up arrow) on the left looks a little newer than the others. Click the first photo for a closeup to see the cool old font for the M1-3-A sign designation.

I crave a little consistency here. Say, centering the 9 shield so you're not expecting another one, or providing honest-to-goodness adult-sized shields (I'm guessing DelDOT forgot one originally). Also, the LGS is more than a little redundant. (What did I say before about not seeing another LGS? Call this a mini-BGS.)

Back to daylight, everything about this NB sign is out of date, including font, font size, shape, and former paint job. It's right by Rogers Road, which becomes US 13 Business just to the north.

Since it bends at a 135-degree angle, I'll call DE 9A a north-south route. These are therefore both northbound at DE 9 and US 13, near Wilmington. DE 9A is not intended to be an Alternate to DE 9, and thus shouldn't be lettered with an A - it's a truck route to the Port of Wilmington. Also, this northern leg, Christiana Ave., is the original route of DE 48 to the ferry to New Jersey (and NJ 48) - thanks to Alex Nitzman for that info.

DE 9 SB is duplexed here, but inside Wilmington, not every route shield is found where you'd like there to be one.

Adams St. NB at DE 9/4th St., Wilmington.

Onto DE 8
Onto US 13
To I-95
Onto DE 273
Into New Castle
Onto US 40
Onto I-295
To I-495
To the NJ Turnpike
See more of Wilmington
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