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PennDOT unveils latest I83 improvement project plans

HARRISBURG, Pa. - PennDOT hosted an open house Thursday to reveal additional stages of their I-83 East Shore Improvement Plan. These are preliminary plans and PennDOT hopes to improve them with input from motorists.

Widening I-83 from four lanes to 12, including six collector distributor lanes to make it easier for people getting on and off and to keep traffic flowing. And adding an I-83 interchange at Cameron Street and taking away the one currently at 13th Street. Those are just a few of the plans that are expected to happen during sections two and three of the I-83 East Shore Improvement project.

“Whether it’s where you work or where you live," said Mike Crochunis with PennDOT. "It will change the way you drove around the area.”

Crochunis says deteriorating conditions and safety are the reasons for the project. The road's surface is original from its construction in the 60's. There's also the need to accommodate the growing amount of people using I-83. Right now, PennDOT averages about 90,000 people traveling the interstate each days. By 2040, that number is expected to reach 150,000.

“So it’s certainly at it's maximum capacity," said Crochunis. "And it’s pretty saturated especially at the evening and morning rush hours.”

The biggest questions PennDOT hears from people about this project is, "How will it impact everyday travel?" They plan to keep disruption as low as possible.

“The widening of the interstate corridor would be done off alignment," said Crochunis. "So we would be widening on the outside and then moving traffic to that roadway and then reconstructing in the middle.”

For people worried about the traffic this section of the project will cause, well, you won't have to deal with it for a few more years. Construction is not set to start until 2022.

More information on the I-83 East Shore Improvement project can be found here: www.i-83beltway.com