I-81 open to 3 lanes of traffic in both directions between Exits 70-72 in Dauphin County

DAUPHIN COUNTY — For the first time, Interstate 81 is open to three lanes of traffic in both directions between Exit 70 (Interstate 83) and Exit 72 (Mountain Road), the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced Monday.

Northbound I-81 was opened to three lanes of traffic Sunday morning, PennDOT announced. Northbound I-81 has been opened to three lanes since Oct. 27.

The affected area of I-81 carries an average of 75,810 vehicles per day, PennDOT says.

Some night work (between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.) will continue for another week or more to take care of miscellaneous items, according to PennDOT.

After a winter shut-down, the contractor will return to the project next March or April to complete some additional concrete repairs to northbound I-81 and then diamond grind the concrete pavement in both directions to smooth out the rough areas, improve its rideability, and help extend the pavement life of the concrete. The overall project should wrap up by the end of June, if not sooner.

PennDOT has contracted with Hempt Bros., Inc. of Camp Hill for $13.6 million to widen this section of I-81 to provide an auxiliary lane in each direction to reduce traffic congestion, improve traffic flow, and also improve safety. Prep work for the project began last fall. The bulk of the work was conducted this year.