The I-83 East Shore Section 2 Eisenhower Interchange Reconstruction project in Dauphin County, PA is one of several projects The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is advancing along a portion of the I-83 Capital Beltway, which extends from a junction with I-81 northeast of Harrisburg to the interchange with Route 581 across the Susquehanna River, south of Harrisburg in Cumberland County. The Harrisburg Capital Beltway encircles the city of Harrisburg, which is the capital of Pennsylvania, and surrounding municipalities. The Capital Beltway is vital to the economy of the Harrisburg region and is an important hub in the transportation network of the northeastern United States.
PennDOT selected McCormick Taylor in 2016 to perform preliminary engineering, environmental studies, and final design for this project that includes the reconstruction of the Eisenhower Interchange and portions of I-283, U.S. 322, and Eisenhower Boulevard. A design field view was submitted in September 2020 with a preliminary project construction cost estimated at over $700 million. This is one of PennDOT District 8’s biggest projects and one of the largest projects in Pennsylvania.
Below is a Q&A with Ed Semborski, PE, who serves as the discipline lead for the drainage and stormwater management designs and the NPDES Permit for earth disturbance and construction activities. This involves multidisciplinary design coordination with roadway, structures, and traffic control staff, as well as Quality Control and Quality Assurance reviews of design and plan submissions. Throughout the design process, Ed's responsibilities also included significant client and agency coordination with PennDOT, Dauphin County Conservation District, and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
What about the project highlights McCormick Taylor’s talents?
This is one of the largest and most complicated roadway improvement projects in the state. It involves five construction contracts that span over 14 years and requires design and coordination among roadway, structures, traffic control, environmental, stormwater management, erosion and sediment control, stream relocation, hydrologic and hydraulic analysis, geotechnical and hazardous waste study, right-of-way, and utilities. McCormick Taylor’s diverse staff, equipped with a wide range of experience and expertise, has been able to meet the unique demands of the project while meeting critical scheduling deadlines throughout the process.
Have you come across any challenges or concerns while working on this project?
With a project of this size and complexity, unique challenges always arise and lend themselves to collaborative and unique solutions. Several challenges related to the drainage and stormwater management designs for the project were identified when evaluating the final design schedule.
The overall project is being split into five construction contracts, requiring each of the final design components to be completed over two- to three-year periods. This requires careful planning and a thorough understanding of the various design sections and their correlation to each other so that the designs can adequately account for temporary and interim conditions that may be required during construction. This requires a considerable amount of planning and forethought since not all of the drainage or stormwater infrastructure for the entire project will be installed during the same timeframe.
Additionally, there are specific stormwater management requirements and regulations for compliance with permit conditions that must be navigated throughout the various stages of construction prior to achieving the overall final design completion.
What has the feedback been like from the community?
Feedback from the local municipality has been overwhelmingly positive regarding stormwater management. McCormick Taylor and PennDOT have developed a good working relationship with Swatara Township since the project began. The Township has placed a priority on the management of stormwater runoff in the community to resolve known nuisance flooding and existing drainage issues and envisions the project as a way to provide some relief with these problems. From a project perspective, our overall goal is to minimize the effects of the increases in impervious areas by providing stormwater control measures that reduce peak rates and volumes of runoff as well as improve water quality.