A new website was launched to collect feedback from the public on Interstate 81 safety, congestion, condition and access needs in the region.
The I-81 Improvement Strategy efforts are driven by three metropolitan planning organizations in the corridor.
These include Franklin County, Tri-County Regional Planning Commission/Harrisburg Area Transportation Study and Lebanon County.
The process will study I-81 from the Maryland state line through Lebanon County, and will be done in coordination with PennDOT and the Federal Highway Administration.
Organizers said the effort will serve as a playbook for setting priorities and funding projects.
The effort will address needs along the I-81 corridor through analysis that will be supported by feedback from the public, municipal officials, business owners, emergency service providers, transportation and trucking organizations, tourism groups and chambers.
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“Phase one will be completed by next summer and includes developing a prioritized list of specific needs that will be grouped into logical project sections for presentation to stakeholders and the general public,” said Steve Deck, executive director of the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission.
“Phase two will be completed by this time next year and includes the development of conceptual improvements and initiatives that will be considered for funding as resources become available.”
Deck said a strategy is needed to address certain issues, including railroad-related traffic and truck traffic because of the development of new warehouses and distribution centers in the region.
“We know we don’t have to wait until 2040 or 2050 for problems on I-81 to emerge,” he said in a news release.
“We are identifying the improvements we need to address today in order to maintain the roadway so it can continue to be a viable asset for mobility and sustaining our region’s economy.”
For more information or to provide feedback, visit the strategy’s website at www.I81SouthCentralPa.com.