Traffic shifts on I-81 through Chambersburg begin Wed. night

August 25, 2009

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Motorists who use Interstate 81 through the Chambersburg area are getting a brief reprieve before construction work forces a change in traffic patterns for the next year.

Inclement weather over the past few days has delayed construction of the Interstate 81 "express lane" in the Chambersburg area, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said in a news release Monday.

Beginning Wednesday at 10 p.m., through 6 a.m. Thursday, construction crews, with the help of Pennsylvania State Police, are scheduled to shift traffic on I-81 northbound and southbound in the Chambersburg area, the release said.

o Northbound I-81 traffic will split south of Exit 14 for Pa. 316/Wayne Avenue.  The northbound right lane will shift into the passing lane and continue to use the existing northbound roadway.


o Exits 14, 16 and 17 will be accessible via the northbound right lane. 

o The northbound left lane will split south of Exit 14, cross over the median and use part of the existing southbound passing lane and the newly-constructed auxiliary lane.

o The northbound left lane will act as an 'express lane' serving only through traffic and will not be able to access exits 14, 16 or 17.

o The left lane will cross back to the northbound roadway north of Exit 16.

o A series of signs notifying motorists about the northbound I-81 express lane will start 1 1/2 miles before the crossover. 

o Southbound I-81 traffic will shift to the right using the existing southbound shoulder, right lane and a portion of the passing lane.  This pattern will start north of Exit 16 (U.S. 30/Lincoln Highway) and continue through Exit 14.

All I-81 southbound lanes will have access to exits 16 and 14. The contractor will place temporary concrete glare-screen barrier to the left of the southbound lanes to separate southbound traffic from the northbound express lane.

o Traffic will remain in this pattern until August 2010, PennDOT said.  Average daily traffic volumes on this section of I-81 range between 45,500 and 49,700 vehicles, according to the release.

Work in this area is part of an overall contract to rehabilitate six mainline and nine overhead bridges on the I-81 corridor between Chambersburg and Greencastle and widen the interstate to add auxiliary lanes in Chambersburg, the release said. 

PennDOT has contracted with HRI, Inc. of State College, Pa., to conduct the project at a cost of $19,624,442. 

The overall contract should be completed by the end of May 2011, the release said.


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