Ramps from Northbound I-81 on George Wade Memorial Bridge to Front Street to Reopen Friday Morning

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The ramps from northbound Interstate 81 on the George N. Wade Memorial Bridge to northbound and southbound Front Street on the east shore are scheduled to reopen to traffic early Friday morning, Dec. 21, and should be available for commuters that morning.

These ramps have been closed since Oct. 6.  The contractor will begin work to reopen the ramps at around 9 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 20, and expects to have them open by around 2 a.m. on Friday morning. The ramps will remain open over the winter season, but the contractor for the bridge rehabilitation project is scheduled to close the ramps again next April in order to finish the concrete repair work and the painting operation involving the ramps.

In addition, looking ahead to next month, a new traffic pattern for southbound I-81 will take place on January 7. The existing two lanes of southbound traffic across the southbound side of the bridge will be shifted to the right. This will allow space for the contractor to work on the left portion of the southbound side of the bridge. There will be no changes to the existing southbound express lane.

People can view the traffic patterns and traffic conditions on the I-81 George N. Wade Memorial Bridge by way of a traffic camera on PennDOT’s 511 traveler advisory website at www.511pa.com. Motorists can also use the website to check on travel conditions on other major expressways and interstate highways in south central Pennsylvania and statewide. In addition to the website, motorists can also check on travel conditions by way of their telephones or cell phones by calling 511. This is a free travel information service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

PennDOT has contracted with J.D. Eckman, Inc. of Atglen, Pennsylvania, to rehabilitate the Interstate 81 “George N. Wade Memorial Bridge” over the Susquehanna River at an original contract cost of $36.5 million.  This project on Interstate 81 extends from East Pennsboro Township on the west shore in Cumberland County to Susquehanna Township and the City of Harrisburg on the east shore in Dauphin County.   Work on the overall project began in October 2009 and is now scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2013. The southbound “express lane” over the bridge will continue until June next year. This is a major rehabilitation project to remove the bridge from being classified as structurally deficient (SD). Most of the work is not visible to motorists driving over the bridge. Instead, the majority of the work deals with metal and concrete repairs to the substructure and superstructure of the bridge.

The George N. Wade Memorial Bridge, also known as the North Bridge, was built in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s.  It was opened to traffic in August 1973. The bridge is 5,188 feet long and varies in width from 109 feet to 230 feet.  It carries six lanes of traffic and has two collector road and five ramp connections.  Average daily traffic counts for this section of Interstate 81 are nearly 32,000 vehicles in each direction.

The information above provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.