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PennDOT plans open house on major I-83 widening project

In this time-exposed shot from 2015, traffic flows by the Interstate 83/Colonial Park interchange in Lower Paxton Township, Dauphin County. - (Photo / File)

The state Department of Transportation will hold an open house on Oct. 18 to provide an update on construction plans for the widening of the Interstate 83 Capital Beltway between Harrisburg and Lower Paxton Township.

PennDOT will hold the open house at the Harrisburg Mall on Paxton Street in Swatara Township from 1 to 7 p.m. The state plans to spend $800 million to improve the I-83 corridor over the next decade, including a $400 million redesign of the Eisenhower Interchange between I-83, Interstate 283 and U.S. Route 322.

The open house will include an introductory video and displays that highlight the next two phase of improvements along I-83. Work on the second phase will cover the Eisenhower Interchange and extends westward to 29th Street. The third East Shore section would extend over the John Harris Bridge to the Cumberland County line.

The first section of improvements between the Interstate 81 junction to south of the Union Deposit Interchange near Peiffers Lane has been under construction since 2016.

The full I-83 master plan covers an 11-mile stretch. The goal of the master plan is to widen the interstate to three travel lanes in each direction, improve on- and off-ramps to the interstate and make better connections to local roads. PennDOT also wants to eliminate the single-lane northbound I-83 traffic bottleneck through the Eisenhower Interchange. 

Widening the interstate not only will help improve the traffic flow for current businesses and residents, it could help attract more development to Central Pennsylvania, which has some of the fastest-growing counties in the commonwealth.

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