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Old 03-29-2015, 05:56 PM   #1
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I-95 vs I-81

I am heading north up I-95 and have a stop near Richmond tomorrow and then continue on to Mass.

I am looking for a current report on the conditions of I-95 after this past winter. I am sure there are more than a few potholes and the road surface is probably in worse than usual condition.

I generally travel on I-81 to avoid the traffic and road conditions on I-95 but have to stop in Richmond. If anyone has traveled either I-81 or I-95 recently I was wondering if I-81 is in as bad shape after this winter. I know in the fall I-81 had some really rough spots in PA and NY. Especially in and around Scraton/Wilkes-Barre and the NY/PA border bridge construction.

Thanks
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Old 03-29-2015, 06:24 PM   #2
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I don't care how bad I 81 is, it's a whole lot better than the I 95 parking lot.
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Old 03-29-2015, 06:36 PM   #3
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I was headed east on I64 thru Richmond today. Cross over I95 and north bound was a parking lot as always. Take I81. Just going thru DC, Baltimore, Philly, NYC and what not isn't something I would want to do again having experienced it before.
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Old 03-29-2015, 08:00 PM   #4
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Came up yesterday from NC to Chester. We are just south of Richmond off I95 and the road is no worse than when I left in Dec. Can't really say north of here. Hope this helps. Depending on where you are going you can use I295 and drop back on 95 just north of Richmond.
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Old 03-29-2015, 08:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
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I don't care how bad I 81 is, it's a whole lot better than the I 95 parking lot.

+1, love I 81 compared to 95.
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Old 03-29-2015, 08:56 PM   #6
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After Richmond, turn off 95 on Rt. 17 and take that to I-66 and catch I-81 in Winchester.

Instead of staying on I-81 through all of PA, you can split off on I-78 and take that into NJ. Turn off on I-287 and take that to NYS Thruway/87 which will lead you to 84 or 90.

Did the 81/78 route with my MH yesterday and no road problems. Did hit some snow squalls in Harrisburg and the Susquehanna River bridge was a sheet of ice with 6 cars banged up northbound and a 5th wheel flipped over southbound.
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Old 03-29-2015, 09:10 PM   #7
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We went from the DC/Balt area to Maine last summer and didn't get on 95 until north of Boston. We took 81 to 84 to 87 to 90 and it was as pleasant as interstates can be.

Even if you do take 95 north from Richmond what are you planning to do around NY City? Taking 95 north across the George Washington Bridge is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy!
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Old 03-29-2015, 09:10 PM   #8
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The only time I-95 is in good shape is late night, and even that's not a given. I make a trip form NJ to NC several times a year, and I always try to be on the stretch between Richmond and DC at night to avoid the parking lot. It works most of the time.

Good luck.
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Old 03-30-2015, 06:55 AM   #9
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[QUOTE=RVThere;2487123]
Instead of staying on I-81 through all of PA, you can split off on I-78 and take that into NJ. Turn off on I-287 and take that to NYS Thruway/87 which will lead you to 84 or 90.

I've thought of taking your suggestion before, but have been reluctant because of the proximity to New York using 287. Also what's the toll damage using the NYS Thruway to 84? I'm 40' with a towed. I did the mileage between using 81 to 84 in Pa., and what you suggest, and the PA. route is approx. 10 miles further. Am I missing something??
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Old 03-30-2015, 07:14 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=Ramets;2487508]
Quote:
Originally Posted by RVThere View Post
Instead of staying on I-81 through all of PA, you can split off on I-78 and take that into NJ. Turn off on I-287 and take that to NYS Thruway/87 which will lead you to 84 or 90.

I've thought of taking your suggestion before, but have been reluctant because of the proximity to New York using 287. Also what's the toll damage using the NYS Thruway to 84? I'm 40' with a towed.
Avoid 287 during rush hour.
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Old 03-31-2015, 12:57 PM   #11
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Ramets,

287 vs. NYC is like night and day. 287 takes you through the outer suburbs and is a smooth ride from 78 up to 87. Like another poster said, if you're driving during rush hour in the morning or evening, you will hit traffic on 287.

Tolls? When you burn fuel like most RVers do, driving miles out of my way to avoid a toll does not make economic sense. Using round numbers, diesel is $3 a gallon and I get 7 miles to the gallon. So a 30 mile detour to avoid a toll will end up costing me $12 and the toll may only be $10. You said the route I suggested is 10 miles more AND you have to pay a toll, but it does give the OP an option when traveling through the PA/NJ/NY area.

I haven't driven I-81 above 78, but I've seen some other posts where people have said that the road conditions are very poor.
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Old 03-31-2015, 04:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Ramets,

287 vs. NYC is like night and day. 287 takes you through the outer suburbs and is a smooth ride from 78 up to 87. Like another poster said, if you're driving during rush hour in the morning or evening, you will hit traffic on 287.

Tolls? When you burn fuel like most RVers do, driving miles out of my way to avoid a toll does not make economic sense. Using round numbers, diesel is $3 a gallon and I get 7 miles to the gallon. So a 30 mile detour to avoid a toll will end up costing me $12 and the toll may only be $10. You said the route I suggested is 10 miles more AND you have to pay a toll, but it does give the OP an option when traveling through the PA/NJ/NY area.

I haven't driven I-81 above 78, but I've seen some other posts where people have said that the road conditions are very poor.
X2; it's amazing how many people don't seem to understand this. They're the same folks who will drive 20 miles or more to save a few pennies per gallon on fuel.
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Old 03-31-2015, 05:36 PM   #13
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I agree with you statement having lived in NYC area, all my life.
Just a point about metro NY, NJ tolls. I have a class C, with a toad and the George Washington Bridge cost me $34.00. It is a one way toll but wow! ( only $26 with EZpass)
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Old 03-31-2015, 06:31 PM   #14
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FWIW we usually go straight down Rt 15 for other reasons. Most of that is now country or bypass super slabs once one is past DC. Just for grins I ran Richmond to Middletown, NY as a common point.

I-95 through the cities 395 mi @6:32 est time

I-81 via Charlottesville 504 mi @ 7:30

Rt-15 turn off on the way to Charlottesville 450 mi @ 7:50 est time

The last route picks up 81 in Harrisburg. I can lose 20 minutes to save 50 miles worth of fuel. ;-) It's always interesting to look at the alternatives. I find it a tossup whether the super slabs are worth the effort. Sometimes they are and sometimes they add enough miles to make it questionable.
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