How to avoid confusion during the I-95 to 295 switcheroo
If you live or work near Interstate 95 in Mercer County, you’ve probably seen electronic message signs flashing about “95 changing to 295.”
The stretch of I-95 South, from the Route 1 exit to the Delaware River, is being renamed I-295 North, and on the other side of the highway, 95 North is becoming 295 South.
The State Department of Transportation is hard at work changing overhead and exit signs along that stretch of highway, but there have been some mixed messages over the past several days. Literally.
According to Steve Schapiro, a spokesman for the DOT, crews have already put down smaller 295 north and south mile marker signs on both sides of the highway. Now they’re swapping out other signage along the same stretch of highway.
In some locations, however, things get a bit jumbled.
Drivers heading down Route 1 follow an overhead sign directing them to 95 South.
But as soon as they get on the Interstate, a sign tells them they're on I-295 North.
A few minutes later, a sign on the side of the road reads “68 A Princeton Pike, ¼ mile.”
But at the turnoff, an overhead sign tells driver it’s Exit 8B.
Schapiro noted if you're getting mixed up by the changes and mismatches, all the signs also include the name and direction of the road, so that should help.
He also said as the project progresses over the next few weeks and the new signs are put in place, “there may be some signs further down the road that haven’t yet been changed, so you may have a new overhead with new exit numbers but you might have a sign on the side of the road with the old exit number.”
He stressed most of these signs will be changed in the coming days.
"If there’s any confusion, it should only be for a very short time.”
Schapiro explained changing a sign might seem like no big deal, but “the actual work that it takes to do so is a little involved."
"We do have to close lanes for those overhead signs. There’s a lot of equipment that’s necessary. Crews have to lift the signs to the overhead areas.”
He said all the new signs heading toward the Delaware River should be up in the next week or so, and then crews will begin swapping out signs on the other side of the highway, which will take about a month to complete.
After that, all the signs on all approach roads will also have to be replaced, directing motorists to what will then be 295 North and South.
“Most of the work is actually being done at night because of the signs are over the highway, so we have to close some of the lanes to put the new signs in.”
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