Skip to comments.PennDOT P3 Project Will Address I-81 Improvements
Posted on 12/15/2019 7:53:22 AM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Leaders within the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation have approved a public-private partnership to reconstruct a portion of Interstate 81.
PennDOTs P3 Board approved the project, which will involve the reconstruction of a 4.5-mile section of the route near Wilkes-Barre, on Dec. 4. Wilkes-Barre, the seat of Luzerne County in northeastern Pennsylvania, is 20 miles southwest of Scranton.
The project will involve widening a portion of I-81 to three lanes in both directions, realigning 2.5 miles of southbound interstate and replacing eight bridges. Other safety measures include eliminating a left-hand exit and improving a substandard weave distance between two routes that intersect with I-81.
Michael Bonini, director of PennDOTs P3 Office, said the area presents an opportunity for capacity and safety improvements. He noted that traffic numbers have increased, as has development along the corridor south of Wilkes-Barre.
We view these capacity and safety improvements as being necessary in the departments ongoing opportunities to improve the interstate, Bonini told Transport Topics. Not only do these bridges need to be replaced, but we see this particular P3 project fitting in the long-term vision of really improving I-81 for not only freight traffic, but for motorists as well.
According to PennDOT, the major corridors in northeastern Pennsylvania include interstates 80 and 81, which see between 25,000 and 50,000 vehicles every day. PennDOTs announcement about the projects approval indicates that the P3 delivery method will allow the agency to address the corridors infrastructure needs quicker than a traditional delivery method.
PennDOT spokeswoman Alexis Campbell said I-81 is an important freight corridor, providing connections to markets in New York and New England.
(Excerpt) Read more at ttnews.com ...
We just spent some time on a portion of PA’s hunk of I-81. Yikes.
Gee, where were you 10 years ago when I regularly made the drive up I-81 going from Illinois to Connecticut? This is a long overdue development, and it will be hell as it is being built (but worth it).
The entire stretch of I-81 from south of Wilkes-Barre to the NY state line needs redone. Though it isn’t as bad as the reconstruction of Snow Shoe Mountain on I-80, it will be a pain in the a**.
That particular stretch of Hell In Asphalt needed fixing 15 years ago.
Thank the Lord we got the worst of I-81 in Virginia fixed. It was a pig path.
The joke in PA is that I81 is always under construction. And traffic is always at a standstill because of it. I81 in PA has been under construction for decades.
This road is always under construction and has been under construction since I moved here in 94. And probably before that.
Theres a no window, trucker strip joint in Duncannon.
Lovely people around there.
PS. I stop at the Subway across the street.
That sounds like Independence Blvd in Charlotte.
Even hearing traffic reports on the radio as a kid. That stretch was always under construction.
Yes, I-81 between Scranton and Wilkes Barre has always had construction. Just like Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.
Yes, this is 20 years overdue.
What is infuriating is that the project will not start until 2025 (if the environuts do not block it) and will probably last until 2030.
I-81 needs to be widened from Route 29 all the way to the PA Turnpike Exit 194 Clarks Summit.
Since widening this will take 30 years, they should go for 4 lanes in each direction, not just 3.
But, this is PennDOT....they will screw it up, just like the Susquehanna Valley Bypass for Route 11/15
As a lifelong Pa resident I can say that road construction and maintenance throughout the state has been a disgrace. I will never understand why when they needed 3 lanes they build 2, when they need 4 lanes they build 3. Look at the mess they created on the southern end of I -476 known as the blue route. It bottlenecks from 3 lanes down to 2 as it approaches I - 95. Guaranteeing daily traffic jams. I -76 near Phila ( Schuylkill Expressway ) is one of the mostly poorly designed roads ever. I could go on and on but I think I made my point.
There are many problems with how PA handles its roads.
First, it spends more on maintenance than other states.
Second, repair and expansion projects must pay “prevailing wage” to all workers, making the projects just as expensive as if we used high-priced union labor.
Third, the Commonwealth has an addiction to “studies” as an alternative to action. We spend hundreds of millions on “studies” of roads and then do nothing. When someone brings up the need for expansion/changes, PennDOT says we need a new “study” at millions of dollars each.
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