PennDOT Construction Project Updates - Issued 9.25.18


Status Updates on PennDOT Construction Projects in Lower Paxton Township
--  Where things stand on I-81, Route 22, I-83 and Colonial Road projects. Also looking ahead to public meeting for Eisenhower Interchange and more I-83 widening further south.--

Harrisburg, PA – Four significant construction projects are notable this year in Lower Paxton Township, Dauphin County. The status of each project is listed below:

• Interstate 81 Widening between Exit 70 (I-83) and Exit 72 (Mountain Road): This $13.6-million project is essentially complete, awaiting the delivery and application of thermoplastic shield legends on the pavement indicating  lanes for I-81 and I-83. Final inspection is scheduled for mid-October. Work started in the fall of 2016. The actual widening to create three lanes in each direction was accomplished last November (2017). The work this year involved concrete pavement repairs and diamond grinding of the concrete pavement. Physical work wrapped up at the end of August, with “punch list” items that the contractor (Hempt Bros., Inc. of Camp Hill) addressed this month.

• Colonial Road: The $1.7-million repair and resurfacing project of Colonial Road between Route 22 and Linglestown Road (Route 39) began in mid-July. Pavement repairs have been made and ADA-compliant curb cuts have been installed. The leveling course (also known as the scratch coat) has been paved. The paving of the wearing course (i.e., the top coat) is scheduled to start this week, weather permitting, and take five nights to complete. When the paving is complete, the contractor {Pennsy Supply, Inc. of Annville) will set guide rail, place shoulder backup, and install final pavement markings and signs. The contract completion date is early November, but the contractor will likely finish earlier.

• Route 22 Interchange with I-83 (Exit 50):   We’re nearing the end of this project – or at least we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The week before last, 14 bridge beams (7 beams for each span) were installed for completing the widening of the Route 22 bridge over I-83. The bridge beams were delivered with a portion of the concrete deck already attached to them (see attached photo). This is a technique for accelerated bridge construction. The same approach was used last year for the completion of the Union Deposit Road bridge over I-83. The contractor now fills the gaps between the concrete deck sections with concrete (these are called “closure pours”) and pours concrete for the parapet. The concrete deck will then receive an application of latex concrete to seal and protect the deck. This should be accomplished this fall. The bridge will then be completely opened to traffic, and all the traffic lanes will be placed in their final alignment. What will remain to be completed is the final asphalt paving of the road at both ends of the concrete bridge. This will be accomplished next spring (2019) when temperatures are more conducive to asphalt paving. This work at the I-83 Exit 50 interchange is part of an overall construction contract that began in 2016 to replace three bridges that cross over I-83 in Lower Paxton Township – Elmerton Avenue (State Route 3026), Route 22 (Jonestown Road) and Union Deposit Road (SR 3020). The Elmerton Avenue bridge was rebuilt in 2016. Construction of the Union Deposit Road bridge at I-83 Exit 48 wrapped up last fall (2017). All three new bridges provide greater lateral under clearance to provide the width necessary to widen I-83 to six lanes. The contractor for this $34.2-million contract is New Enterprise Stone & Lime Company, Inc. of New Enterprise, Pennsylvania.

• Interstate 83 Widening and Reconstruction: This is the long-awaited project to rebuild and widen I-83 to three lanes in each direction between Interstate 81 and just south of Exit 48 (Union Deposit Road). The contractor is J.D. Eckman, Inc. of Atglen, Pennsylvania, for $104.7-million. Clearing and grubbing – which is the removal of brush, trees and other vegetation and debris from the construction area – started in mid-August. In the beginning of October, the contractor will shift traffic and place concrete barrier at the north end of the project to begin work on replacing the I-83 bridges over Valley Road. Work this fall will focus on preparations to widen the interstate along the outside of the current alignment for the additional northbound and southbound lanes on I-83, construct retaining walls, and begin work to widen the mainline bridge structures. This will continue into next year, also with the construction of sound barriers. This work will be conducted off of the present highway’s alignment with minimal impact to mainline traffic. Reconstruction of the existing lanes in the middle will follow, most likely in 2020. The project is scheduled to wrap up in 2021.

o By the way, design studies are underway for widening I-83 between this project and the Susquehanna River. This includes a major undertaking to redesign and rebuild the Eisenhower Interchange and finally widen I-83 to six lanes between the Eisenhower Interchange and the John Harris Memorial Bridge over the Susquehanna River. An open house plans display to share what improvements are proposed will be held for the public on Thursday, October 18, from 1 PM to 7 PM, at the Harrisburg Mall. More information is available at

Motorists can also check traffic conditions on nearly 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 850 traffic cameras. 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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