Alternate Routes on the Drive between DC and New York

I drive the I-95 route quite a bit between DC and New York and the travel time can vary significantly based on traffic, construction, and just general congestion. I never really feel the difference when it takes an hour more but when it gets to be more than that, one starts to wish that one took an alternate route around some of the madness. I have a neighbor that drives from DC to Boston and ALWAYS takes the routes through Pennsylvania to get around I-95, even though it automatically guarantees adding on 1-2 hours extra on the DC to NY portion. I would rather gamble that time on I-95 and hopefully find ways around those pockets of predictable traffic. As such – I found this excerpt from my local paper interesting. It provides various alternate ways around traffic on the I-95 corridor, especially these days, with significant traffic occurring due to construction on a toll plaza in Delaware. So for my reference more than anything else, I’m re-typing/re-printing the pieces I though were relevance. Thanks to Dr. Gridlock from the December 9, 2010 issue of the Washington Post.

Around the construction for new EZPass lanes in Delaware:

The “local streets” detour that travelers most frequently recommmend is this: From I-95 North, take Routh 279 toward Newark, Del. Turn right onto Iron Hill Road. At the end, turn left onto Chestnut Hill Road. Then turn right onto Route 896 (South College Avenue). I-95 will be a quarter-mile down the road.

Some travelers wrote in to say there’s a better way that keeps off local streets. They recommend: I-95 to Route 279 to Elkton Road, which becomes Route 2. Then go north about two miles, right on Route 4 (Christiana Parkway) for about a mile, then right again on College Avenue, with I-95 ahead.

Alternate route around southbound NJ Turnpike when it goes from six to 2 lanes.

A better choice is to cross into Pennsylvania near Philly. The extra tolls involved are worth the annoyance avoided. There are several ways to do this. One I use is to take NJ Turnpike exit 7A near Allentown, and go to I-195 West then I-295 South. At the intersection with I-76/676, go west. Follow the signs to I-95 South. Continue into Delaware and Maryland, avoiding the Delaware Bridge. One piece of advice. Refuel on the NJ Turnpike first because the price is lower and it avoids having to exit the interstates to get gas, which has the potential to get you lost in local traffic.

I’m looking forward to trying these out to see if they actually save time!


  1. Kevin said:

    Tried both of these suggestions on my trip up to Long Island (and back) from DC over the Christmas holiday weekend. Happy to say that the combination of both detours completely bypassed the traditional Delaware backups.

    Making the same trip this weekend and will be using the same route. I’ll let you know how it works out.

    Many thanks.

    April 20, 2011
  2. MadRover said:

    Glad it helped you! Sorry for the delayed response – as you can see I’m not as active as I should be on my blog but I do like the nuggets of content I manage to get on here – like this.

    August 15, 2011

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