Delaware’s newest toll road, dubbed the U.S. 301 mainline, opened to traffic earlier this week. The existing U.S. 301 has been converted to a local roadway, with truck restrictions in place except local deliveries, according to the Delaware Department of Transportation.
The 14-mile stretch of road took just under three years to complete and came in with a $636 million price tag, or over $45 million per mile. The project was partially funded by a $211 million U.S. Department of Transportation loan, which will be paid back through collected tolls.
"Opening the new US 301 to traffic is an important milestone in what has been a decades-long effort to address the safety and congestion issues created by the existing roadway," Delaware Governor John Carney said. "This new road will only enhance our economic development efforts for businesses that are looking to grow and move their goods around Delaware and beyond as efficiently possible."
The main objective of U.S. 301 mainline is to improve safety and reduce congestion. It will bypass 29 at-grade intersections, 18 of which are signalized, and numerous driveways with direct access to existing US 301, according to DelDOT.
"As a more than 20-year resident of Middletown, I've seen firsthand the growth that has and continues to take place in and around Middletown,” State Representative Quinn Johnson (D-Middletown) said. “The entire community will benefit from the reduction in truck traffic on local roads and the economic opportunities that arise from new companies looking to locate in this area."
The new toll road will utilize an all-electronic tolling system, with drivers either using E-Z Pass or being billed by mail. If a vehicles does not have an E-ZPass, the bill will be mailed to the person the vehicle is registered to. There will be no booths along the road, and cash will not be accepted.
"The U.S. 301 project and its all-electronic tolling system are a testament to smart planning and forward-looking infrastructure projects that ease congestion and boost our economy," said Congresswoman Blunt Rochester. "This state-of-the-art roadway accounts for increases in our population and is an investment in our future that improves safety and mobility throughout the region."
The U.S. 301 mainline is the first road in Delaware to use all-electronic tolling.
For two-axle vehicles traveling the entire road the toll is $4 with E-ZPass or $5.60 without it.
The prices climbs as the number of axles increase. Three-axle vehicles will be charged $9 with the pass or $10.80 without it, four-axle vehicles will be charged $10 or $12 and five-axle vehicles will be charged $11 or $13.20. Six-axle vehicles will rack up a $12 charge with the pass or a $14.40 charge without it.