SHOULD THE US 1 ALIGNMENT BE PART OF I-95? When the Federal-aid Interstate highway system was taking shape in the mid-1950's, state highway officials in Pennsylvania and New Jersey considered an alignment roughly along the US 1 corridor. While this alignment was compatible with the Interstate system objective of connecting major metropolitan and industrial areas, the Federal Bureau of Public Roads (BPR) was concerned that this proposed alignment would serve the same corridor as the New Jersey Turnpike.

Nevertheless, after extensive study and discussion between the involved agencies, the BPR approved the general alignment in New Jersey, from Ewing Township north to Piscataway, in 1957. However, the BPR withheld approval of the proposed alignment from Ewing Township south to the Delaware River, pending coordination of an acceptable routing with the Pennsylvania Department of Highways.

Pennsylvania initially sought to route I-95 from the original Delaware Expressway alignment to the current US 1 alignment in Langhorne, veering onto the US 1 alignment across the Delaware River along the Trenton Toll Bridge, and continuing north through Trenton along the Trenton Freeway. New Jersey, however, opposed this routing on the basis of the physical and capacity constraints on the four-lane bridge and freeway.

The two states jointly investigated three alternative river crossings: Scudder Falls (west of Trenton), existing Trenton Toll Bridge-Trenton Freeway (through downtown), and Biles Island (east of Trenton). After further study, the two states approved the Scudder Falls alignment in 1960. Four years later, the BPR finally approved this more westerly alignment for I-95.

CONNECTING TRENTON TO NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA: Even with the realignment of I-95, the Pennsylvania Department of Highways and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) recommended construction of the US 1 Expressway. The four-lane, controlled-access route would provide a direct route from Roosevelt Boulevard (and the unbuilt Northeast Expressway, which was to carry the US 1 designation through Northeast Philadelphia) to the Trenton Toll Bridge. When most construction began in the 1960's, the expressway through Bucks County was estimated to cost $33 million.

Original construction dates along the US 1 Expressway through Bucks County were as follows:

  • 1953-1955: US 13 Expressway in Morrisville north to PA-NJ border

  • 1968-1970: Philadelphia city line north to I-95 in Langhorne

  • 1970-1972: I-95 in Langhorne north to Oxford Valley Road in Langhorne

  • 1976-1978: Lincoln Highway (Business US 1) in Fallingston north to US 13 Expressway in Morrisville

  • 1984-1987: Oxford Valley Road in Langhorne north to Lincoln Highway (Business US 1) in Fallingston

Steel-guardrail medians, limited acceleration-deceleration lanes and a lack of standard-width shoulders characterize older sections of the expressway. Along sections flanked by service roads, there are no shoulders at all. Interestingly, there are only curbed slabs of concrete separating the expressway mainline and the service roads, giving homes and businesses a full view of the expressway. Newer sections of expressway constructed from the late 1970's through the mid-1980's have corrected these earlier design flaws.

This 2000 photo shows the southbound US 1 Expressway at PA 132 (Street Road) in Bensalem. Built during the 1960's, this section of US 1 has a steel guardrail median, inadequate shoulders, and inadequate acceleration-deceleration lanes. (Photo by Alex Nitzman.)

SOURCES: 1985 Regional Transportation Plan, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (1969); "Interstate 95," Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (1979); "I-95 Corridor in the Tri-State Region," Tri-State Regional Planning Commission (1979); Jeff Kitsko; Raymond C. Martin; Alex Nitzman.

  • US 1 shield by Ralph Herman.
  • Lightpost by Millerbernd Manufacturing Company.




  • US 1 (Pennsylvania) exit list by Jeff Kitsko.


  • US 1 Expressway (North of Philadelphia Section)

  • Trenton-Morrisville Bridge (US 1)

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