Delaware Roads - US 301/DE 15/299, US 301/DE 71/DE 896
US 301, 301/DE 15/DE 299, 301/DE 71/DE 896
Video linked below!
US 301 was mysteriously moved at Mt. Pleasant from the southern leg of DE 896 (running east-west toward US 13) to the northern leg (running straight up toward Pennsylvania). It will return to being on an east-west corridor if a proposed freeway to DE 1 is constructed. Instead of heading into US 13 in Odessa, allowing northbound traffic to continue toward Philadelphia (on 13) and New Jersey (along US 301's natural continuation of US 130), 301 now ends awkwardly at US 40 basically in the middle of nowhere, while still multiplexed with 896. (Whether by US 13 or US 40, US 301 used to extend to where those routes met I-295 and the Delaware Memorial Bridge approach, but now has been truncated off much of its useless plexing habit.)
South of Middletown, US 301 (with DE 299) loses its divided status. Or does it gain it? No, the sign is upside-down, it definitely loses it. I think the constructor lost it.
Why so narrow? Why so off-center? Maybe it's the same reason that this is a one-piece sign, on US 301 southbound about to gain a triplex for a short stretch. DE 299 multiplexes southwest to almost the Maryland border, but MD 299 no longer rises to meet it.
The entirety of the triplex in the northbound direction, which coincides with the entirety of construction to extend dualization of the roadway toward Maryland. This leaves a few miles of US 301/DE 299 and US 301 alone to bring to the border with Maryland, where US 301 is already dualized as part of a corridor to Washington, DC. Along with the dualization, sadly, comes the extension of car-oriented development.
The southern end of the DE 896 multiplex, complete with decapitated shield number and a rogue Maryland shield. Earth to DelDOT - the detour to MD 286 is in fact DE 286. I understand the reason to keep the detour signed consistently, but a little more pride by the DOT in its own routes couldn't hurt. (Actually, it's DE 15 that begins to the right, and then DE 286 begins from there.)
Southbound across the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal on the Summit Bridge, which carries DE 71, DE 896, and now US 301 as well. Now, drive the C-D Bridge! (Southbound.)
There are problems on DE 896 NB at the end of US 301 NB. Awhile ago, US 301 did turn right here onto US 40, but it was never a "TO". It's impossible for this to be a "TO" unless US 301 is rerouted away from this interchange to the east and then extended north of the US 40 corridor. Since that has never happened and is not proposed, these signs are clearly errors. Also notice that the advance sign implies US 40 should be used to I-95 (which it should, at least to the south to avoid the state border toll), but the intersection overhead signs try to keep traffic on 896.
Onto DE 15 alone
Onto DE 299 alone
Onto DE 71 alone
Onto DE 896 alone
Into Maryland on US 301
Onto US 40
Unbuilt US 301 freeway on Steve Anderson's phillyroads.com
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