The I-83 East Shore, Section 2 project is one of four projects PennDOT is pursuing along the I-83 Beltway, which extends from a junction with I-81 northeast of Harrisburg to the interchange with Route 581 to the south of Harrisburg. The Beltway is economically vital in the Harrisburg region and serves as a key hub in the northeast United States.
HOW WE HELPED
McCormick Taylor is challenged to address the deteriorating roadway conditions, modernize the roadway design to improve safety, reduce congestion, and minimize impacts to the environment, local property owners, and the traveling public. To do so, McCormick Taylor is coordinating closely with PennDOT and its consultants working on the other sections of the I-83 Beltway and implement a comprehensive public outreach program.
The proposed improvements include widening the I-83 mainline to three lanes in each direction with directional connections to I-283 and U.S. 322. In addition to the regional connections, the interchange will include local access connections to Derry Street and a new interchange that will connect I-83 to Paxton Street in the area of the Harrisburg Mall.
Preliminary environmental information and a scoping field view were completed in 2017 as part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process. Preliminary engineering design began at the conclusion of the data collection efforts. Alternatives analysis was completed, and a preferred alternative was presented in the Environmental Assessment document that was completed and publicly circulated in 2019.
After that circulation, a conceptual Point of Access (POA) approval was granted in June 2020, and a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was issued by FHWA that same month. The POA development used new PennDOT and FHWA guidelines, as well as analysis and review by FHWA Headquarters given the system-to-system nature of the interchange. A design field view was submitted in September 2020 with a preliminary project construction cost estimated at over $700 million.
Due to the size of the project, several construction contracts will be necessary. Once the sequencing of the contracts is established, a detailed schedule for obtaining environmental permits, acquiring necessary right-of-way, and relocating utilities can be established. Actual mainline construction could start as soon as 2023.