I-83/PA 581 Interchange Bottleneck Safety Project
The I-83/PA 581 Interchange Bottleneck Safety Project, also called the ‘York Split,’ is located in Lemoyne, New Cumberland, and Lower Allen Township in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. The interchange carries approximately 130,000 vehicles per day and serves as an important local commuter route and a key connection for freight movement and interstate travel throughout the northeast.
Prior to construction, the interchange included a one-lane ramp for I-83 northbound traffic which routinely generated mile-long backlogs, particularly at peak travel times. The traffic queues combined with numerous access points to and from the local roadway network fueled congestion and weaving movements that resulted in an accident rate higher than the statewide average.
The I-83 Master Plan proposed long-term improvements at this location including the construction of a full-system interchange with PA 581. However, PennDOT was able to utilize available roadway funding to construct an early-action safety improvement project to relieve the congestion and reduce the frequency of vehicle accidents. This work included the widening of the I-83 northbound ramp to two lanes, and modification/elimination of the existing ramp movements to minimize traffic conflicts.
Additional improvements included:
- Replacement and widening of the existing Lowther Street Bridge over I-83 to accommodate the additional northbound lane and future Master Plan improvements
- Extension of the auxiliary lane using the northbound shoulder area of the South Bridge over the Susquehanna River, connecting the new northbound lane of I-83 to the off-ramp at the adjacent 2nd Street interchange
- Improvements to Lowther Street and its intersection at 10th Street, Maple Street and 3rd Street, and
- Replacement of the PA 581 Bridge over 10th Street utilizing Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC)
Work on this project was initiated in April 2012, and completed in September 2015 under two construction contracts valued at a combined total cost of $30.2 million.
This project was one of three PennDOT nominations for a national competition highlighting excellence in construction projects that improve travel safety, reduce roadway congestion and provide more mobility options. A brief video developed as part of this award submission can be viewed below.