Officials from the Federal Highway Administration, New Jersey Turnpike Authority, Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, New Jersey Department of Transportation, and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation held meetings years ago to determine the best redesignation option. During these meetings, the officials discussed the advantages of each option. Part of the discussions evaluating future designation options indicated that there had always been driver confusion in New Jersey at the I-295/US 1/I-95 interchange and approaches, and that the impacts of the selected alternative needed to consider those drivers, as well as those who use portions of the interstate between US 1 and the Scudder Falls Bridge.
Ultimately, after a submittal to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)'s Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering, the I-295 extension was recommended as the preferred option. This even numbered option was selected due to the segment's new configuration as a loop/beltway, connecting I-95 in both Bristol, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware. The option was formally approved in May 2015.
The determination for the cardinal directions was also part of the recommendation by the Special Committee on U.S. Numbering. The North/South directions in New Jersey were directed to maintain consistency with the rest of I-295 throughout the state, addressing previous driver confusion, mentioned above, at the I-295/US 1/I-95 interchange. The East/West directions in Pennsylvania were directed in order to reinforce the obvious exit/departure from the I-95 North/South alignment at the point of the new flyovers (current PA Turnpike crossing in Bristol, Pennsylvania), which will be opened this Fall.
The final result provides a natural transition point from North/South to East/West at the Scudder Falls bridge (PA/NJ state line). It also allows for an extension of continuous I-295 North/South mileage and exit numbers in New Jersey, while distinguishing it from the segment of I-295 in Pennsylvania.
Yes. You may have already noticed that several of the mapping applications are currently showing the new designation for I-295 North/South on the New Jersey side of the Scudder Falls bridge. The agencies’ representatives have continued to coordinate with mapping/navigation applications’ representatives to facilitate the implementation of the change. Additionally, as the applications are user-based, this has helped to dynamically transition the change in the interstates’ designations. To supplement the changes, “old exit” numbers and portable message signs will be utilized throughout the transition time period.