Interstate 95

From Academic Kids

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Interstate 95 or (I-95) is an interstate highway that runs 1907 miles (3070 kilometers) north and south along the eastern United States coast. The southernmost point is in the city of Miami, Florida; the northern terminus is at the Canadian border at Houlton, Maine and it continues as New Brunswick Highway 95. This is the one of two places where an Interstate and its Canadian extension have the same route number; the other is at the north end of Interstate 29.



199322South Carolina
182295North Carolina
77.96125.5New Jersey (main route) (see note)
8.7714.1New Jersey (north of Trenton)
11.0317.8New Jersey (NJ Turnpike west alignment)
2439New York
4268Rhode Island
1626New Hampshire
1921 3112Total

Major cities along the route

Intersections with other Interstates

Spur routes



Portions of the highway have or used to have tolls:


Interstate 95 is one of the most well-known and travelled highways in the Interstate system, connecting the cities along the Northeast corridor with the sunny environs of Florida.

The highway's spurs have set two records. There are seven separate I-295s, making this designation used for the most number of highways. Also, six I-695s were planned, but postponed or never built, setting another record.

I-495 was supposed to link New Jersey and Long Island, but the portion across Manhattan was never built, and the New Jersey section of the freeway was downgraded to NJ 495.

I-895 around Providence was also planned, but it was never built.

There is a gap in New Jersey where local opposition groups managed to stop construction of the interstate through the area. Heading northbound from Pennsylvania into Ewing Township (by Trenton), one must travel south on Interstate 295 then east on Interstate 195 (or use a non-freeway section of US 1) in order to continue on I-95, which the northern New Jersey Turnpike is signed as. This situation is scheduled to be fixed sometime in the 2010s when a new interchange is to be built, updated signage posted, and I-95 re-routed north of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to the Pennsylvania Turnpike Extension of the New Jersey Turnpike. Some highway mavens think that this will be an inadequate solution, and want the Somerset Freeway built; others want the entire main trunk of the New Jersey Turnpike designated as I-95, as that is where most of the traffic goes anyway; however, this would bypass Philadelphia.

Also, an I-895 was planned to connect I-95 and I-295 south of Trenton, with the bridge over the Delaware River being a replacement of the Burlington-Bristol Bridge, making a complete loop of Trenton. This was never built, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Extension would be the interstate in the area if a connection between it and I-295 were ever built.

There are two unsigned spur routes from the Washington area. I-695 is an unsigned route that connects I-395 and I-295; and I-595 to Annapolis is better known as US 50/301. (There is another I-695 not too far to the north, a full beltway around Baltimore.)

Originally, I-95 was supposed to go through Washington, D.C. instead of around it. The section through the city was re-designated as I-395; it does not connect with I-95 at the northern end, but does at the southern end. The Baltimore-Washington Parkway is not an interstate, but if it were, it would have been I-295; the section not controlled by the National Park Service is designated MD 295, while the portion of the Anacostia Freeway in Washington not designated I-295 is DC 295 – the District's only "state highway". The Capital Beltway article has more about this stretch of highway.

On portion of the Capital Beltway which is also Interstate 95, there is a very small portion at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge where the road actually crosses through an edge of the District of Columbia in the Potomac River. This small area is within the boundaries surveyed in straight lines when the District was carved out of Virginia and Maryland upon formation in 1790.

The light towers along I-95 between the I-495 Capital Beltway and the Baltimore city line contain either mercury vapor or metal halide streetlights, both of which cast a soft white light. Once I-95 enters Baltimore, the light towers contain high-pressure sodium lights, which are bright orange. North of Baltimore, there are mercury vapor/metal halide towers at four more interchanges. Light towers are very common on Interstate highways, especially in urban areas, and most of them contain sodium lighting. They usually carry three or four lights, but some light towers can carry as many as 12.

At eight lanes wide, the Fort McHenry Tunnel is among the widest underwater tunnels in the world. There are four tubes, each of them carrying two lanes.

In Baltimore, two interstate highways (I-70 and I-83) were planned to intersect with I-95, but they were both cancelled, along with I-170 (which is now part of US 40). I-70 ends unceremoniously at a Park & Ride lot just before the Baltimore city line, and I-83 ends in the downtown district. Ramp stubs remain from both interchanges.

Originally, a bridge, possibly a suspension bridge, was planned to carry I-95 over Baltimore Harbor, and a tunnel was planned for I-695. Opposition prevented the I-95 bridge from being built (because it would've blocked the view of the Baltimore skyline and Fort McHenry), and it switched positions with the I-695 tunnel, which had also been rejected. The two crossings became the Key Bridge for I-695, and the Fort McHenry Tunnel for I-95.

The I-895 Harbor Tunnel Thruway in Baltimore intersects with I-95 at three different points. At one of those crossings (where the two Baltimore tunnels are located), there are no ramps between the Thruway and the I-95 freeway.

I-395, a skyway into downtown Baltimore, was once considered the shortest three-digit Interstate route in the country.

I-95 in Massachusetts loops around Boston along Massachusetts State Highway 128. I-95 was supposed to go through Boston instead of around it but locals nixed the idea of having the highway go through the city. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation did build a part of the highway north of Boston, then abandoned that section of road. It would have extended from the northend of Northeast Expressway in Revere, Massachusetts north to Saugus River in Saugus, Massachusetts paralleling the Salem Turnpike. On the south end, there is an abandoned stretch north of the trumpet interchange at I-95 and I-93. From aerial photographs, the planned configuration of the junctions is apparent.

The Miami hip-hop group 95 South is named after this highway.

The highway was known as a drug route and was nicknamed Cocaine Alley.


In January 1983, a truck with a brake failure slammed into a line of cars waiting to pay a toll on I-95 in Stratford, Connecticut. Seven people were killed and this accident prompted the state to remove tolls from its portion of I-95.

On the morning of June 28, 1983, a 100 ft (30 meter) section of the Mianus River Bridge in the Cos Cob section of Greenwich, Connecticut collapsed, plunging northbound I-95 traffic into the river below, killing three. The collapse was blamed on the failure of the steel pins to hold the horizontal beams together and inadequate inspection prior to the collapse. Northbound traffic was diverted on this section of I-95 for 25 days. Southbound traffic was unaffected.

On February 1, 2004, a tanker truck fell onto the northbound lanes of I-95 as it was entering the southbound side from the Harbor Tunnel Thruway in Howard County, Maryland, near Baltimore. The truck driver was killed, along with the occupants in additional vehicles traveling north on I-95 (including a pickup truck). The northbound lanes of I-95 were closed to traffic overnight, as cleanup crews cleared the highway of debris from the crash. It is believed that the truck fell onto I-95 while it was crossing the overpass marking the Thruway's southern terminus.

On March 26, 2004 a bridge on I-95 near Bridgeport, Connecticut was partly melted by the explosion of a tanker truck carrying over 45,000 liters (11,900 gallons) of fuel oil. Repairs were estimated to take at least two weeks, but the highway was opened to northbound traffic in only a few days. Southbound traffic resumed about a week later.

External links

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Interstate Highway marker

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Unsigned Interstate Highways
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Two-digit Interstates - Three-digit Interstates
Gaps in Interstates - Intrastate Interstates
Interstate standards - Proposed Interstates


  • 2005 Rand McNally "The Road Atlas 2005" - newest feature- interstate mileage by state
  • FDOT ( GIS data
  • NJDOT ( Straight Line Diagrams

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