YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – PennDOT wants to update a busy stretch of Interstate 83 in York County in order to reduce congestion and provide relief to several major interchanges.

PennDOT representatives met Tuesday with residents at Central York Middle School to address the widening project.

One man took PennDOT to the task, saying in front of the whole room he doesn’t believe the department will do an adequate job.

“You are putting lipstick on a pig here. Interstate 83 is an obsolete road. It was obsolete 10 years ago, it was obsolete 20 years ago,” York resident Tom Small said. “We have created a monster. We’ve built warehouses. We’ve increased truck traffic. We’ve increased residential traffic.”

Small is talking about the often-congested stretch of 83 from Exit 19/Market Street in the south to Exit 22/George Street in the north. That’s the same stretch where PennDOT’s widening project is planned.

“We want to completely reconstruct the roadway. We want to provide three lanes in each direction,” PennDOT engineer Mike Keiser said. “We want to modernize the facility, provide the additional capacity to meet the volumes both now and in the future.

“It really was never built to interstate standards. We have over three million miles traveled every day on I-83. That’s not gonna change for any time in the future,” Small said.

The project will cost more than $320 million and will also fix on- and off-ramps to improve connections to and from Route 30.

It will also address flooding issues with Mill Creek, and increase the length of acceleration lanes in several areas to help reduce rear-end crashes.

“If we don’t have a project of this size, we’re gonna be out here doing repairs on a regular basis,” Keiser said.

Small is worried adding more lanes will only lead to more cars.

“Instead of dealing with growth, instead of dealing with the real issues, we continue to exacerbate and it’s going to affect all of us,” Small said.

PennDOT hopes to begin the finalized design phase in early 2020, with major project construction set to start in 2022. Before that, smaller projects like bridge and ramp updates will be done.

More information about the project can be found here.