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The original item was published from 11/13/2017 9:09:16 AM to 11/13/2017 9:40:46 AM.

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Public Safety

Posted on: November 13, 2017

[ARCHIVED] I-81 Construction Project Update: Three Lanes to Soon be Open



November 11, 2017

Status Update on Interstate 81 Construction Project in Cumberland County

-- Three lanes will soon be available for traffic in both directions for the first time. --


Harrisburg, PA – We are set for a traffic switch starting Sunday night, Nov. 12, that will continue throughout the week until all the work is complete for the highway construction project on Interstate 81 in Cumberland County, between Exit 57 (Route 114) and Exit 59 (Route 581).  It will likely take from Sunday night through Friday night, and perhaps also include Saturday and Sunday nights, depending on the weather (cold temperatures and rain can affect the traffic line painting operation). Single lane traffic patterns will be in effect from 9 PM to 6 AM each night.  Motorists should expect single lane patterns in both the northbound and southbound directions during this timeframe.  The contractor will start with the northbound traffic switch by first removing the barrier, milling a taper in the asphalt between the exiting interstate and the new widening (this takes away the drop-off next to the traffic), and then eradicating the existing traffic lines and painting new lines.  Traffic will then be opened for the first time to its final configuration of three lanes in each direction.  

There will be sporadic single lane closures within the project limits after the traffic switch through the end of November and possibly into December for the removal of the emergency pull-offs in the median, resetting guiderail, and miscellaneous construction activities.  Additionally, the contractor will continue to work off of the interstate roadway at the sound barrier walls to complete panel installation, painting and grading.  


PennDOT has contracted with Blooming Glen Contractors of Blooming Glen, Pennsylvania, for $19.5 million to widen this section of I-81.The project involves extending the northbound on-ramp as an auxiliary ramp between the two interchanges and extending the westbound ramp from Route 581 along southbound I-81 to the interchange with Route 114.


Prep work on this project began in September 2016. There will be a winter shutdown of work until probably late March 2018 when the contractor will resume work to perform base repair, mill the original 2 lanes of I-81 in each direction and then pave the final wearing course (i.e., the top coat) across the entire project. Project completion is scheduled for the end of May 2018.


Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles by visiting 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 770 traffic cameras, 94 of which are in south central Pennsylvania. 511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

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