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Long-Term Ramp Closure Starts Monday for Northbound I-81

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Motorists are advised that the ramp on the east shore from northbound Interstate 81 to Front Street will be closed for approximately 90 days starting Monday, April 8. The ramp from northbound I-81 to Front Street includes both southbound and northbound Front Street. Weather permitting, this ramp is scheduled to close early Monday morning, April 8 – prior to the morning commuter rush hours — and remain closed for approximately three months. The detour will direct motorists to continue northbound on I-81 to the interchange with Route 22/322 (I-81 Exit 67B), west on Route 22/322 to the interchange with Linglestown Road, and then west on Linglestown Road to Front Street.

The ramp closure is necessary as part of the major rehabilitation project that has been underway for the George N. Wade Memorial Bridge and will wrap up this summer. Nearly all of the ramps associated with the bridge have been repaired over the past three years. In general, the rehabilitation work for this ramp involves structural steel repairs, repairs to the concrete piers, and protective painting of portions of the steel.

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 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” should be removed in June and traffic should then be returned to its normal traffic patterns over the bridge. This has been 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 article above provided by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

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