Interstate 95 (I-95) is the main Interstate Highway on the East Coast of the United States, running largely parallel to the Atlantic Ocean coast and U.S. Highway 1, serving areas from Florida to Maine. In general, I-95 serves the major cities of the Eastern Seaboard and metropolitan areas such as Miami, Jacksonville, Savannah, Fayetteville, and Richmond in the Southeast; and Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Wilmington, Philadelphia, New York City, New Haven, Providence, Boston, and Portland in the Mid-Atlantic up to the Northeast. The route follows a more direct inland route between Savannah and Washington, D.C., notably bypassing the coastal metropolitan areas of Charleston and Norfolk-Virginia Beach, which require connections through other Interstate Highways.
I-95 highlighted in red
|Length||1,915.34 mi (3,082.44 km)|
|Existed||1956 – present|
|South end||US 1 in Miami, FL|
|North end||Route 95 at the Houlton–Woodstock Border Crossing|
|States||Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine|
I-95 is one of the oldest routes of the Interstate Highway System, yet its completion is still dependent on a project in Pennsylvania and New Jersey that is scheduled to be finished in 2018. Currently, its role in that region has been filled in mainly by I-295, I-195, and an unsigned portion of the New Jersey Turnpike in Southern New Jersey. Many sections of I-95 incorporated pre-existing sections of toll roads where they served the same right of way. I-95's two pieces total 1,915.34 mi (3,082 km). The southern terminus of I-95 is at U.S. Route 1 (US 1) in Miami, Florida, while the northern terminus is at the Houlton–Woodstock Border Crossing with New Brunswick, Canada.
I-95 is the longest north–south Interstate, followed by I-75, and the sixth-longest Interstate Highway overall after I-70 (2,153 miles, 3,465 km), I-10 (2,460 miles, 3,959 km), I-40 (2,555 miles, 4,112 km), I-80 (2,899 miles, 4,665 km), and I-90 (3,020 miles, 4,860 km). I-95 passes through more states than any other Interstate Highway at 15 states, followed by I-90, which crosses 13 states. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only five of the 96 counties (or equivalents) along the route are completely rural, while statistics provided by the I-95 Corridor Coalition suggest that the region served is "over three times more densely populated than the U.S. average and as densely settled as much of Western Europe".
I-95 begins at U.S. Route 1 just south of downtown Miami and heads north through Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, the Gold Coast, Treasure Coast, Space Coast, Daytona Beach, Port Orange, Saint Augustine, and then Jacksonville before entering the U.S. state of Georgia near Brunswick. This portion of the highway was notably featured in the film Flight of the Navigator when the spaceship flew along the highway towards Miami. In Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, Sunpass only Express lanes pass over the highway
In the year 2010, the Florida section of I-95 had the most fatalities of all Interstate Highways.
The Georgia section of Interstate 95 travels through the marshlands closely following the coastline but bypassing the cities of Brunswick and Savannah. It intersects Interstate 16 and then crosses into South Carolina. The road is named the Tom P. Coleman Highway in honor of Senator Tom Coleman who served from 1981 to 1995. The exit numbers were converted from a sequential system to a mileage based system around the year 2000.
In the Carolinas, I-95 travels west of the coastal sections and indirectly serves popular destinations such as the Outer Banks, Myrtle Beach, and Hilton Head via various side routes. I-95 notably bypasses the major cities of Charleston and Raleigh while intersecting major Interstate highways at Florence and Benson. I-95 also passes the South of the Border attraction immediately before crossing into North Carolina.
In North Carolina, I-95 informally serves as the separation between the piedmont and coastal plain regions of North Carolina. Rocky Mount, NC is a notable control city that is seen from signage in Virginia heading into North Carolina. After Gaston, NC, I-95 crosses into Virginia.
I-95 enters the Mid-Atlantic region in Virginia and travels through some of the most populated areas along the east coast. I-95 is concurrent briefly with I-64 in the middle of Richmond before heading toward Northern Virginia. In the Washington Metropolitan Area, it is concurrent with the Capital Beltway, passing through the southernmost corner of the District of Columbia for about 0.11 miles (0.18 km) via the Woodrow Wilson Bridge before entering Maryland where it bends away from the Beltway toward Baltimore. From the tunnels of Baltimore to the bridges of New York, I-95 is mostly a tolled road. I-95 connects to an unsigned portion of the New Jersey Turnpike via I-295 near Wilmington, DE where drivers can bypass Philadelphia through South Jersey between exits 1 and 6, whereas I-95 itself passes through Philadelphia only to end at a notable gap in Bristol Township, PA until the Pennsylvania Turnpike/Interstate 95 Interchange Project fills this gap (estimated time of completion: August, 2018) by redesignating I-276 and using the New Jersey Turnpike north of exit 6. I-95 connects to New York via the George Washington Bridge.
I-95 in New York comprises several named expressways, the Trans-Manhattan Expressway, the Cross Bronx Expressway, the Bruckner Expressway, and the New England Thruway. From New Jersey, it is briefly co-signed with U.S. 1 and U.S. 9 (U.S. 9 quickly exits in NY and heads toward Broadway and U.S. 1 stays on I-95 to the Webster Ave exit). There are many interchanges within this 23-mile (37 km) stretch that connects New York City to Albany, Upstate New York, and Long Island. I-95 then becomes the New England Thruway to Connecticut, where it continues as the Connecticut Turnpike.
I-95 enters New England in the state of Connecticut, and follows along the southern part of the state within miles of the coast in a more east–west direction. In New Haven, I-95 intersects the south end of I-91. It then gradually curves back northward, passing through Rhode Island's capital of Providence. The highway then enters Massachusetts heading around Boston via Route 128 before turning north and passing briefly into and through New Hampshire, and then into Maine, following the Maine Turnpike to the Houlton–Woodstock Border Crossing. It intersects US 1 and the east end of US 2 before entering the province of New Brunswick as Route 95.
Many parts of I-95 were made up of toll roads that had already been constructed or planned, particularly in the northeast. Many of these routes still exist today, but some have removed their tolls. Outside of Florida, current I-95 toll facilities are compatible with the E-ZPass electronic payment system; in Florida, while I-95 can be driven toll-free, use of the '95 Express Managed Toll Lanes' requires a SunPass transponder.
The toll roads utilized as part of I-95 formerly included Florida's Turnpike, the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike (tolled until 1992), and the Connecticut Turnpike (tolled until 1985). Today, I-95 utilitizes the John F. Kennedy Memorial Highway, the Delaware Turnpike, the New Jersey Turnpike, the New England Thruway, the New Hampshire Turnpike, and the Maine Turnpike.
In Florida, the missing link was filled in 1987. Once the Pennsylvania Turnpike/Interstate 95 Interchange Project completes, the last remaining gap in New Jersey will be filled making I-95 continuous from Florida to Canada.
Many notable bridges and tunnels along I-95 were also tolled. The Fuller Warren Bridge, spanning the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida, was tolled until the 1980s and was replaced in 2002. The Fort McHenry Tunnel is underneath the harbor of Baltimore, Maryland and was opened in 1985. The George Washington Bridge, opened in 1931, carries I-95, US 1, US 9, and US 46 (latter is officially considered to end at the NY state line) across the Hudson River between New Jersey and Upper Manhattan.
A study that could lead to the imposition of tolls on I-95 in North Carolina is under way as of March 2010.
Between Richmond, Virginia, and New Jersey are a few large projects that are helping to ease traffic along the corridor. The reconstruction of the Springfield Interchange in Northern Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., helped to ease traffic at the intersection of I-95, I-495, and I-395, and surrounding interchanges. The Springfield Interchange is one of the busiest highway junctions on the East Coast, serving between 400,000 and 500,000 vehicles per day. With the exception of HOT lanes on the Capital Beltway (I-495/I-95), this project was completed in July 2007. A few miles to the east is another major project: the Woodrow Wilson Bridge replacement. The bridge carries I-95/I-495 over the Potomac River. The former Woodrow Wilson Bridge, which has since been demolished, was a six-lane bridge that was severely over-capacity. The new bridge is actually two bridges with a total of 12 lanes; five in each direction, with an additional lane in each direction for future use (rapid-bus or train). This project is nearly complete. The 10 lanes opened on December 13, 2008, greatly reducing the traffic delays on the beltway. The lanes are divided into two thru-lanes and three local lanes in each direction. About 30 miles (48 km) north of the Wilson Bridge, and about 20 miles (32 km) south of Baltimore near Laurel, Maryland, a large new interchange is under construction as of 2008 was scheduled for completion in late 2011, and opened to traffic on November 9, 2014, which will connect I-95 to Maryland Route 200.
Farther north in Pennsylvania, a project is underway at the intersection of I-95 and I-276. The Pennsylvania Turnpike/Interstate 95 Interchange Project will construct an interchange between I-95, I-276, and once completed, I-295, as I-95 will no longer go through Trenton, New Jersey (actually the townships of Hopewell, Lawrence and Ewing). This project will result in another toll being added to the route, that of the Delaware River-Turnpike Toll Bridge over the Delaware River. The toll, much like the other crossings of the river, will be for traffic leaving New Jersey only (I-95 southbound). More critically, completion of this project will close the remaining gap in the route.
In 2006, the Virginia General Assembly passed SJ184, a resolution calling for an interstate compact to build a toll highway between Dover, Delaware, and Charleston, South Carolina, as an alternative to I-95 that would allow long-distance traffic to avoid the D.C. Metropolitan area.
Federal legislation has identified I-95 through Connecticut as High Priority Corridor 65. A long-term multibillion-dollar program to upgrade the entire length of I-95 through Connecticut has been underway since the mid-1990s and is expected to continue through at least 2020. Several miles of the Connecticut Turnpike through Bridgeport were recently widened and brought up to Interstate standards. Work has shifted to reconstructing and widening 12 miles (19 km) of I-95 through New Haven, which includes replacing the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge. Environmental studies for reconstructing and widening 60 miles (97 km) of I-95 from New Haven to the Rhode Island state line are also progressing.
There are plans to expand the 1,054-mile (1,696 km) I-95 corridor from Petersburg, Virginia, to Florida through a U.S. multi-state agreement to study how to improve the corridor through widening and reconstruction, with the goal of reducing congestion and improving overall safety for years to come.
Florida continues to complete widening projects. As of December 2010, I-95 from the South Carolina–Georgia line south to Jacksonville, Florida has been upgraded to six lanes. The section from Jacksonville to the I-4 junction in Daytona Beach was expanded to six lanes in 2005. As of 2009, widening projects continue in Brevard County from the SR 528 junction in Cocoa to Palm Bay, as well as in northern Palm Beach County.
In 2009, state legislators representing Maine's Aroostook County proposed using federal economic stimulus funds to extend I-95 north to Maine's northernmost border community of Fort Kent via Caribou and Presque Isle. The proposed route would parallel New Brunswick's four-lane, limited access Trans-Canada Highway on the U.S. side of the Canada–United States border. Legislators argued that extension of the Interstate would promote economic growth in the region.
- US 1 in Miami
- Florida's Turnpike in Golden Glades
- I‑4 in Daytona Beach
- I‑10 in Jacksonville
- I‑16 in Savannah
- South Carolina
- I‑26 near Harleyville
- I‑20 in Florence
- North Carolina
- I‑74 near Lumberton
- I‑40 in Benson
- I‑85 in Petersburg
- I‑64 for four miles (6.4 km) in Richmond
- I‑76 in Philadelphia
- I-295 near Yardley
- Temporary Gap in route
- New Jersey
- N.J. Turnpike in Mansfield Township
- G.S. Parkway in Woodbridge Township
- I‑78 in Newark
- I‑80 in Teaneck
- New York
- I-87 in The Bronx
- I‑91 in New Haven
- I‑93 in Canton
- I‑90 in Weston
- I‑93 in Woburn
Interstate 95 has many auxiliary routes. They can be found in most states the route runs through; with exceptions being Georgia, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire. Business Routes also exist in both Georgia and North Carolina.
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- "Gap In I-95 To Close Saturday". Miami Herald. December 13, 1987. p. 1A.
- Samuel, Peter (March 30, 2010). "North Carolina tolling I-95 being studied". TOLLROADSnews. Retrieved August 20, 2010.
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- Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission I-95/I-276 Interchange Project Meeting Design Management Summary – DRAFT: Design Advisory Committee Meeting #2
- "Pennsylvania Turnpike/Interstate 95 Interchange Project".
- "SJ 184 Interstate Route 95; Construction and Operation of Controlled-Access Highway as Alternative Thereto". Virginia Legislature. Archived from the original on 2011-05-24.
- Drewes, Britt (February 3, 2009). "Five States and USDOT Partner to Improve Interstate 95 Through Corridor of the Future Program: Development Agreement Aims to Reduce Congestion, Increase Safety and Reliability" (Press release). Virginia Department of Transportation. CO-0903. Archived from the original on February 11, 2009.
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