Frequent driver discounts available on Route 301 toll road as Maryland feels impact

Photo courtesy of WHYY

The Delaware Department of Transportation announced that the newly opened Route 301 will offer a 50 percent discount for frequent users.

The announcement comes as a nearby Maryland community feels the impact of heavy trucks and lighter vehicles looking for a way to avoid tolls.

The discount program has been available on Route 1, which connects to the new Route 301.

DelDOT spokesman Charles McLeod passed along news of the discount after an Our View column in Delaware Business Now took note of social media posts that criticized the $4 E-ZPass charge for the newly opened route and suggested that relief was needed for commuters.

McLeod noted that 30 trips in 30 days result in the motorist getting a 50 percent total discount.

One individual indicated that in a Facebook Post that using the bypass would add $2,000 in tolls to the cost of his commute.

Ouch – Those Route 301 tolls

The 14 mile-long US 301 route aims to improve safety and reducing congestion with the bypassing of 29 at-grade intersections, 18 of which have signals.

The existing US 301 will be converted to a local roadway, with truck restrictions in place except for local services.

The toll road led to drivers of tractor-trailers and other vehicles looking for side roads as a way to avoid tolls. Cecil Daily reported heavy traffic in the once-quiet community of Warwick, MD, near the Delawareline.

Maryland and Delaware officials were reportedly in contact in an effort to come up with solutions.

The new US 301 mainline is the first road in Delaware to use all-electronic tolling, and tolling is active with users paying via their E-ZPass or being billed in the mail.

Ground was broken for the US 301 project on February 5, 2016. The project is partially funded by a $211 million U.S. Department of Transportation loan that will be paid back through toll collections on the highway. The total cost of the project is estimated at $636 million.

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