CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Franklin County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is asking residents and other stakeholders to come and weigh in on the future of I-81 at a planning meeting later this month.
The public planning meeting will be held in person from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on September 19 at the Franklin County Administration Building, 272 N. Second St. in Chambersburg.
Residents and stakeholders who attend will be able to share their thoughts and review a draft of recommended I-81 project priorities.
“Despite being only 24 linear miles in length, I-81 accommodates approximately 43% of all travel that takes place within Franklin County which underscores its importance as a vitally strategic roadway,” Steve Thomas, director of the Franklin County Planning Department said. “Public feedback on recommended priorities is a critical part of the process in planning for the interstate’s future.”
The recommended priorities were determined after the Franklin County MPO reviewed previous studies on I-81. The commission will use the public’s feedback to develop a long-term strategy for improving the interstate.
“There have been many studies completed in the last twenty years related to I-81. It is very important to identify our top priorities from these studies to position ourselves for funding as it becomes available,” Sam Cressler, Franklin County MPO chairman said. “We need to move these projects off paper and start seeing work to address the congestion and growing density of commercial trucks on the interstate.”
This move comes after the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of November 2021 which added $20 billion to PennDOT’s Twelve-Year Program, increasing the program’s budget to a record-high of $83.7 billion.
In Franklin County, the additional funding allowed the MPO to add 15 new projects to its Transportation Improvement Program.
In addition to the in-person meeting on September 19, residents can also share their thoughts on I-81 by filling out an online survey. The survey will be available through October 12.
People who need assistance completing the survey or who lack internet access can also request a printed copy by emailing the Franklin County Planning Department at email@example.com or calling them at 717-261-3855.