Study: $813M needed to widen I-81 in Franklin County

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — An updated study related to widening Interstate 81 to six lanes estimates the full project in Pennsylvania could cost $2.9 billion, with the section in Franklin County representing $813 million of that price tag.

Mike Keiser, executive for Pennsylvania Department of Transportation District 8, spoke this week at a Carlisle (Pa.) Area Chamber of Commerce event and described the widening project.

“This will have to be done in small chunks. … The widening is needed to achieve acceptable levels of service for the 2030 projected traffic volumes,” Keiser said, according to

Documents provided by PennDOT show that the agency in 2018 updated a study first done in 2005.

The study looks at most of I-81 from the Mason-Dixon Line to Interstate 78 in Lebanon County, Pa., except for a portion in the Harrisburg area being addressed separately.

The study provides estimates for design and construction for most of the route.

The study notes improvements already have been made at the exit 3 interchange near Greencastle. It also mentions that the proposed exit 12 in Guilford Township, Pa., is being designed.

“The challenge is still funding, and the hope is that funding may come from federal infrastructure legislation,” PennDOT spokesman Greg Penny wrote in an email.

PennDOT is looking at using the interstate’s existing median to accomplish the widening.

By Jennifer Fitch, Herald Mail Newspaper 1-10-19

Need to start or move your business?