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I-83/581 interchange ramps ready for blacktop

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The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is making progress in its reconstruction of the Interstate 83 and Route 581 interchange in Cumberland County, saying the new exit ramps are ready for the first layers of blacktop.

"The wall along I-83 north is just about complete, and we will begin placing blacktop on the new I-83 southbound ramps and the I-81 north ramp to Lowther Street (Ramp R) as soon as the weather permits," PennDOT spokesman Mike Crochunis said in an email.

He did not have specific weather conditions that would make that possible, but said freezing temperatures and precipitation would certainly delay the start of the blacktop base layers.

Traffic patterns will remain the same through the interchange in New Cumberland and Lemoyne for the rest of the winter, Crochunis said.

In the spring, work crews will finish the ramp paving — the final layer of blacktop requires higher temperatures to be placed — and pave the widened section of I-83 north, Crochunis said. By late May, traffic will be shifted east to begin widening the southbound lanes.

By the fall, existing lanes will get new blacktop and the traffic will settle into its final configuration, he said. PennDOT will replace the Route 581 bridge over 10th Street in 2015.

PennDOT finalized plans for the $24 million interchange reconstruction in 2011 and started construction work in 2012 with replacing the Lowther Street bridge.

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