Remember when Wilmington was split in two? - Technical.ly Delaware

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Dec. 5, 2018 8:00 am

Remember when Wilmington was split in two?

The Wilmington History Museum looks back, 50 years after the interstate as we know it was constructed.
It’s hard to imagine Wilmington without I-95.

For a lot of people from other parts of the country, the stretch of highway that intersects the city is, sadly, all they know about the state of Delaware.

What they – and even some locals under a certain age – may not know is that Wilmington didn’t use to have a highway running through the middle of it. The I-95 construction, known in the 1960s as “the ditch,” changed the city forever, as more than 20 once-vibrant city blocks, including over 1,000 homes, were bulldozed over and rebuilt as road.

The I-95 project

The I-95 project

How did Wilmington change, socially, economically and environmentally, as the interstate crossed through the picturesque Brandywine Park and plowed right through the Cool Springs neighborhood, establishing what we now call the East Side and West Side of the city?

The Wilmington History Society will explore the I-95 project on Dec. 12 during a discussion titled: I-95: 50 Years in Wilmington. The talk will feature Sarah Lester, a Cool Springs resident who heads West Side Grows, a coalition aimed at improving the quality of life of neighborhoods adjacent to and West of I-95.

The two-hour after-work event at Chelsea Tavern Basement Bar starts at 6 p.m. with a networking Happy Hour. The speaker and discussion will begin at 6:40.

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