The I-83 East Shore Section 1 Project extends from the I-81 junction to south of the Union Deposit Interchange near Peiffers Lane. Problems with this roadway included deteriorating pavement, high traffic volumes, and operational safety concerns with the existing mainline and interchange configurations. To address these challenges, the project required the reconstruction and widening of I-83, with three lanes in each direction throughout the project limits, plus a fourth continuous auxiliary lane in each direction between interchanges. The project also included reconstruction of the US 22/ I-83 Interchange, widening and resurfacing of US 22 between South Franklin Street and Colonial Road, and the replacement and widening of the US 22, Elmerton Avenue, and Union Deposit Road bridges over I-83. Work also included reconstruction and reconfiguration of the Union Deposit Interchange, retaining walls, and sound barriers.
To minimize right-of-way impacts to residential and business properties, very large retaining walls, some more than 30 feet tall, were constructed to support the mainline widening. However, the project still required the acquisition of 113 parcels, including 99 residential (28 displacements) and 14 commercial properties (4 displacements). Due to these and other complexities, close coordination with FHWA and environmental resource agencies was necessary. A CLOMR was completed as part of the project and several stormwater and E&S details were developed working with DEP and Dauphin County Conservation District.
Additionally, high traffic volumes (exceeding 90,000 vehicles per day (VPD)) required complex phased construction. Traffic control plans for the first construction contract included 201 plan sheets with three main stages, each having three sub-stages. The second contract contained 124 plan sheets with three main stages with several smaller shifts.
HOW WE HELPED
McCormick Taylor managed and led the preliminary engineering and final design for the I-83 East Shore Section 1 Project. As such, McCormick Taylor completed the environmental clearance; conducted traffic analyses; led the roadway, structural, and stormwater engineering; managed utility coordination and right-of-way acquisition efforts; obtained multiple environmental permits; and facilitated public and agency coordination. Highlights associated with these activities included:
- Moved the low-point north beyond the US 22 bridge limits to accommodate increased clearances over three local roads and drainage needs for the project.
- Completed the design, development, and staged construction of a number of structures, including twin I-83 structures over Valley Road; two overhead structures carrying Union Deposit and US 22 over I-83; and the extension of a box culvert, seven retaining walls, six structure-mounted sound barriers, 11 design-build ground-mounted sound barriers, and nine overhead sign structures.
- Use of Accelerated Bridge Construction techniques to minimize the overall construction duration of the bridges.
- Implemented special provisions for a variable speed limit because of safety concerns and speeding encountered during the SR 0081-070 Project.
- The US 22/I-83 Interchange included a unique off-ramp with three lanes and a center choice lane to accommodate through traffic on eastbound 22 as well as traffic that wanted to go north on Colonial Road.
- A modified point of access study process was completed for this project to gain efficient FHWA buy-in and approval.
- Sidewalks were added to the Union Deposit bridge, improving safety and access for numerous pedestrians in the area.
- A thorough Public Involvement Program was incorporated.
- An Environmental Justice (EJ) analysis was conducted to identify any disproportionately high and adverse impacts on minority or low-income populations.
The completed I-83 East Shore Section 1 Project provides a safe and efficient interstate facility that meets the high traffic and mobility demands of the Capital Beltway System. Some of the safety enhancements facilitated by this project include:
- The US 22/ I-83 Interchange resulted in a 70% reduction in crashes.
- Auxiliary lane connections between Union Deposit and US 22 created an area for lane changes and lower speed maneuvers to stay out of the mainline travel lanes.
- Inside and outside shoulders improved safety and incident response significantly.
- Pedestrian safety and connections were greatly improved along US 22 and Union Deposit.
Several sustainable and aesthetic features were also developed as part of this project, including:
- The Master Plan was part of the Advancing the Application of Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS): The CSS National Dialog 2 at the national level.
- New fencing along Shoop’s Cemetery in consideration of visitors.
- Architectural treatments and the development of a Capital Beltway branding of all projects in and around the beltway, including the Keystone symbol on the bridges.
In summary, as the first widening project to be constructed as part of the Master Plan, this project set several standards and methods for the remainder of the Capital Beltway widening program. The project was recognized by ASHE Harrisburg for its complexity and innovation at their 2022 Awards Banquet.
McCormick Taylor is currently leading the design of I-83 East Shore Section 2.
Learn more about that project here: