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Work begins to overhaul 283, Turnpike exitHempt Bros. awarded $89.5M contract for the project

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The weekday commute in the Harrisburg area may soon get a little longer, at least temporarily, as road crews prepare to begin a nearly $89.5 million reconstruction project on the northern stretch of Route 283 around the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

Gov. Tom Wolf and officials from the state Department of Transportation on Thursday unveiled the Route 283 project as part of a $533 million state infrastructure investment in the eight-county District 8 region.

Route 283 is the 29-mile-long freeway near that connects the Harrisburg area to Lancaster. It intersects with Interstate 283, which starts at the Turnpike and heads north to I-83 and U.S. Route 322.

The reconstruction project will change the way drivers navigate between the two stretches of 283, as well as the entrance to the Turnpike.

The overall goal is to smooth out the transition between Route 283 and I-283 and to create a new exit ramp, with a traffic signal, that takes traffic to the Turnpike.

Work will include removing the ramp that takes Lancaster-bound traffic off I-283 just before the Turnpike. The area is frequently congested.

The new traffic pattern is expected to be in place by 2019, according to PennDOT.

The overall project, which includes the rehabilitation of 11 bridges, will start at Eisenhower Boulevard in Lower Swatara Township and end at Route 341 in Londonderry Township. The six-mile portion of Route 283 sees an average of nearly 56,000 vehicles per day.

Preparation work for the reconstruction effort should be completed over the coming weeks. Night work is scheduled to begin in June with milling and paving of road shoulders along Route 283, according to PennDOT.

Other paving work will follow in mid-June, along with the rehab of the Newberry Road bridge over Route 283. By early July, rehab work on the bridges at Union and Vine streets should begin, PennDOT said.

Hempt Bros. Inc. of Camp Hill was awarded the Route 283 reconstruction project. It is expected to be done by the end of 2020. 

Other local projects

Several major construction projects in the midstate are already underway, including:

  • A $34.2-million project to replace three bridges over Interstate 83 in preparation late next year for a project to rebuild and widen I-83 between the Eisenhower Interchange and Interstate 81.
  • A $13.6-million widening of I-81 with ramp extensions between I-83 (Exit 70) and Mountain Road (Exit 72) in Dauphin County.
  • A $19.5-million widening of I-81 with ramp extensions between Route 114 (Exit 57) and Route 581 (Exit 59) in Cumberland County.
  • A $58.3-million realignment and reconstruction of I-83 at the Exit 18 interchange with Mount Rose Avenue in York County.

For more information on regional road projects, PennDOT has set up county-specific websites for projects in Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry and York counties.

PennDOT anticipates repairing and resurfacing 547 miles of highways and fixing or replacing 154 bridges this year.

State officials credit Act 89, a state transportation law passed in 2013, for expanding the annual funding available for road and bridge projects. PennDOT anticipates awarding $2.4 billion in work statewide this year.

Without Act 89, which restructured the state's wholesale gas tax system and added inflation-based increases to license and vehicle registration fees for drivers, PennDOT would have been limited to about $1.6 billion in contracts each year, officials said.

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Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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fmd418 May 5, 2017 8:56 am

Their solution is to replace a ramp with a traffic signal?? Seems like it's a step in the opposite direction. And 3 years of construction?? Way to go, 1st place award for efficiency!