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Work underway to widen I-83 near Rt. 581 - abc27 WHTM

Cumberland County

Work underway to widen I-83 near Rt. 581

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LEMOYNE, Pa. (WHTM) -

There aren't many one lane interstates, but here in the Midstate we have one of the busiest. It's I-83 at the 581 Interchange and now plans are in motion to expand the pavement.

"Finally this project is getting underway," said PennDOT spokesperson, Mike Crochunis.

This is part of a decade-old master plan to widen Interstate 83.

"It backs up for miles every morning and every afternoon," he said.

Next month drivers should expect traffic on I-83 to shift west near exit 40B as crews open up a long-term work area on the northbound shoulder.

"It gets jammed up so badly there at times so I guess it's a good thing but two years?" said commuter Debbie McIntyre.

Two years at least, because in order to make room for the extra lane on either side the exits for Highland Park and Lemoyne must close.

"It's going to make it better," said Jesse Miller, who is looking on the bright side even though his drive to work will be disrupted, "In the long run it's going to be worth it."

Those exits will not close until traffic can be diverted.

"We will also have a dedicated ramp that will get you off and drop you off at Louther street," said Crochunis.

That new ramp hasn't been built yet.

According to PennDOT, these timelines always come down to funding, with much of it going to highways in metro Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas first.

Midstate projects are often pushed to the back burner, according to Crochunis.

"One of the projects is widening the South Bridge. I mean, how much do you think that's going to cost?" he added with a laugh.

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