Pennsylvania

PennsDOT previews major I-81 projects

Planes TWP. — Tuesday night, a 7.5-mile reconstruction plan for Interstate 81 was unveiled at the Open House and presented at Wilkes-Barre Regional High School. With some residents in the area near the interstate highway, the project may make sense for their homes and their lives.

The Partnership 81 project, represented by PennDOT and design firm Michael Baker International Inc., has improved traffic flow with existing ramps connecting I-81 to routes 29 and 309, strengthening safety and operational concerns, and several. It aims to update existing bridges and stretches. Of the pavement that has reached the end of their life.

The 7.5-mile project corridor extends from Mile Marker 161.2, just north of the Nuangola exit, to the Highland Park Boulevard exit (Exit 168).

Within the corridor, PennsDOT adds a third lane on both the north and south sides of the I-81, coordinates and secures the interchanges on Route 29 and Route 309, and the north and south lanes. Aims to branch. Together, with this stretch each other.

The project, which is currently in pre-engineering, was announced by Kevin James of Michael Baker International in an auditorium in the Wilkes-Barre area and was attended by an audience of approximately 40 people. Prior to the presentation, an open house was opened in the lobby outside the auditorium, and a series of slides were blown up for the general public to view and see for themselves.

These slides were incorporated into James’ presentation and engineers guided the audience through a preparatory process that included ongoing environmental and noise surveys.

Noise and other concerns

Noise was one of the concerns raised by Wilkes-Barre Township resident Ed Colm. He said he lives about 50 yards from Interstate 81 in the Georgetown district of Township.

“We need to know what the impact will be on my home,” Collum said, noting the additional dust and dirt contamination that major projects can cause.

According to James, a preliminary study showed 11 areas along the project corridor that appeared to be particularly noise-sensitive, and people living within those areas were contacted by project members for that purpose. We will discuss what measures can be taken.

Environmental safety issues, such as hazardous waste and old mining issues as interstate highways pass through Wilkes-Barre Township, have also been raised by some members of the audience.

“There are a few things to think about,” said George Dal, the former mayor of the town. “I hope they don’t come back to bite us.”

The slideshow that James said will be open to the public at some point (currently you can see some slides). PennDOT website), Rendering of the proposed changes to the interchanges on routes 29 and 309 is also included.

Expected to increase traffic

The overall purpose of these changes, new ramps, and additional lanes is to reduce congestion so that interstate highways reach regions and locations that meet regional traffic needs.

By that time, one of James’ presentation slides predicted that by 2047, traffic along the project corridors would increase by nearly 40%, making current roads more congested and navigable. Indicates that it will be lower.

“By 2047, road degradation will actually be seen,” James said.

The currently proposed project will not begin construction until at least 2025 until all required approvals and approved final designs have been made.

Estimated costs range from $ 250 million to $ 350 million, and under the project’s Public-Private Partnership (P3) designation, some of these funds will come from private financial institutions. Tolls are not expected to be included as part of this project.

Public comments will remain published in the Partnership 81 project until August 26, with the option to publish comments to everyone attending the meeting on Tuesday. Those who want to participate online can publish their comments on the PennDOT website.



PennsDOT previews major I-81 projects

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