Capital Beltway (Harrisburg)

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Capital Beltway
Harrisburg Expressway
Route information
Maintained by PennDOT
Length: 27.51 mi[2] (44.27 km)
PA 581: 7.36 mi (11.84 km)[1]
Existed: 1997 – present
Component
highways:
I-83 from Lemoyne to Colonial Park
I-81 from Colonial Park to west of Enola
PA 581 from west of Enola to Lemoyne
Major junctions
Beltway around Harrisburg
  I-83 in Lemoyne
I-283 / US 322 in Lawnton
I-81 in Colonial Park
I-81 west of Enola
Location
Counties: Cumberland, Dauphin
Highway system
PA 580 PA 581 PA 582

The Capital Beltway is a beltway surrounding Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in the United States. It is co-designated as Interstate 81 (I-81), I-83, U.S. Route 11 (US 11), US 322, and Pennsylvania Route 581 (PA 581) at various locations along the route. The beltway is primarily located in the suburbs of Harrisburg; however, part of its southern leg passes along the southern edge of downtown. The southwestern section of the highway is named the Harrisburg Expressway. All of the beltway was complete by 1995; however, it was not designated as the Capital Beltway until 1997.

Route description[edit]

The Capital Beltway begins at the interchange of the eastern terminus of PA 581 and I-83 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Harrisburg in Lemoyne. This junction is colloquially known as the "York split".[3] From the split, the beltway crosses the Susquehanna River on the John Harris Bridge, connecting Harrisburg to its west shore (a colloquialism of the western bank of the Susquehanna across from Harrisburg) suburbs of the city.

Continuing on I-83, the beltway parallels Paxton Street (formerly US 322), passing the Harrisburg Mall as the road approaches the Eisenhower Interchange. At the junction, the Capital Beltway continues on I-83 as it turns north, while beginning a concurrency with US 322. Continuing for three miles (5 km), I-83 ends at I-81 at an interchange locally known as the "81/83 split".[4][5] US 322 and the Capital Beltway continue on I-81 south.

On I-81, US 322 exits off I-81 at exit 67B, heading in a northerly direction to State College, beginning a concurrency with US 22 west. Exit 67A is for US 22 east, Cameron Street, which is where the Farm Show Arena Complex is located (a half mile south of the beltway). The Capital Beltway crosses the Susquehanna the second time on the George N. Wade Memorial Bridge. The beltway makes a southerly turn just beyond the bridge, near the western end of the Susquehanna Water Gap of Blue Mountain.

Continuing on I-81 until exit 59, the Capital Beltway exits onto PA 581, also known as the Harrisburg Expressway. US 11 begins a concurrency with PA 581 starting at exit 3, and then exits off and starts a concurrency with US 15 in Camp Hill, at the Camp Hill Shopping Center (formerly Camp Hill Mall). The beltway continues for two miles (3 km) until it completes the loop by reaching I-83 at the York split.

History[edit]

The I-81 and I-83 sections of the beltway were both fully completed by the 1970s. A expressway connecting I-81 to I-83 had been planned, and the portion of the highway from the York split to US 11 and US 15 in Camp Hill was completed in 1992. It became known as the Harrisburg Expressway, and it was given the PA 581 designation. The section from Camp Hill to I-81 remained incomplete until 1995 when construction began on the segment. It was finally completed and opened for public use in 1997. The PA 581 designation was extended northwestward to the interchange with I-81 when it opened. The Capital Beltway designation was assigned to its current alignment at this time. Engineering for the project was provided by Gannett Fleming of Camp Hill.[citation needed]

On May 9, 2013, a tanker crashed and caught fire at the interchange between I-81 and US 22/US 322 in Harrisburg. The fire damaged the bridges carrying westbound US 22/US 322 and a ramp over I-81. At least one of those bridges, carrying US 22 eastbound over I-81 and several ramps, and possibly another, the ramp carrying traffic from I-81 northbound to US 22/US 322 westbound, will have to be demolished and replaced. The fire resulted in about ten miles of I-81, from the PA 581 interchange to the I-83 interchange, being closed in both directions, with traffic being diverted along the southern portion of the Capital Beltway.[6][7]

Exit list[edit]

County Location Mile[1] km Exit Destinations Notes
Cumberland Lemoyne 41.41 66.64 I-83 south (VFW Memorial Highway) to Penna. Tpk. / I-76 – York, Baltimore Inner loop exit and outer loop entrance; east end of concurrency with PA 581; south end of concurrency with I-83
41.31 66.48 41B Highland Park Outer loop exit and entrance
41.63 67.00 42 South 3rd Street Outer loop exit and inner loop entrance
42.01 67.61 42 Lowther Street Inner loop exit and outer loop entrance
Susquehanna River John Harris Bridge
Dauphin Harrisburg 42.70 68.72 43 2nd Street – Capitol
43.13 69.41 44A 13th Street
43.54 70.07 44B 17th Street / 19th Street
Swatara Township 45.11 72.60 45 32nd Street Outer loop exit
45.11 72.60 45 Paxton Street Inner loop exit
45.92 73.90 46 I-283 south (Eisenhower Interchange)
45.96 73.97 47 US 322 east (Eisenhower Interchange) Outer loop exit and inner loop entrance; south end of concurrency with US 322
46.76 75.25 47 US 322 east / Derry Street / Paxton Street Inner loop exit and outer loop entrance; south end of concurrency with US 322
Lower Paxton Township 47.92 77.12 48 Union Deposit Road
49.23 79.23 50 US 22 (Jonestown Road) – Colonial Park, Progress Split into exits 50A (east) and 50B (west) on outer loop
50.21–
69.70
80.81–
112.17
51B I-81 north to I-78 – Hazleton, Allentown Exit 51B on outer loop; east end of concurrency with I-81; north end of concurrency with I-83
Susquehanna Township 68.70 110.56 69 Progress Avenue Serves Widener University
67.13 108.04 67B US 22 / US 322 west – Lewistown, State College North end of US 322 overlap; left exit on inner loop
67.13 108.04 67A US 22 east to PA 230 (Cameron Street) Serves Harrisburg Area Community College; left exit on outer loop
65.97 106.17 66 Front Street – Downtown Harrisburg Serves Amtrak Terminal
Susquehanna River George N. Wade Memorial Bridge
Cumberland East Pennsboro Township 64.78 104.25 65 US 11 / US 15 – Enola, Marysville Serves Central Pennsylvania College; split into exits 65A (south) and 65B (north)
Hampden Township 60.85 97.93 61 PA 944 (Wertzville Road)
59.13–
0.00
95.16–
0.00
1 I-81 – Carlisle, Harrisburg Split into PA 581 exit 1A (Harrisburg) and 1B (Carlisle); west end of concurrency with PA 581 and I-81
1.00 1.61 2 Creekview Road
2.10 3.38 3 US 11 north (Carlisle Pike) West end of concurrency with US 11
Camp Hill 4.09 6.58 4 PA 641 (Trindle Road) / Central Boulevard / Church Street
5.07 8.16 5B US 15 south (Corps League Memorial Highway) – Gettysburg
5.07 8.16 5A US 11 / US 15 north (32nd Street) – Camp Hill Cloverleaf interchange; east end of concurrency with US 11
Lemoyne 7.36 11.84 6 I-83 (VFW Memorial Highway) – Harrisburg, Hershey, York Split into exits 6A (north) and 6B (south) on outer loop; east end of PA 581 overlap; south end of I-83 overlap
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing

  1. ^ a b DeLorme Street Atlas USA 2007 software
  2. ^ "National Highway Planning Network GIS data". FHWA. version 2005.08. Retrieved 2008-04-11. 
  3. ^ "The Profile" (PDF). ASHE Harrisburg. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  4. ^ "Fatal Crash Closes Interstate 81 for Nine Hours". ABC27. 2007-08-22. Archived from the original on 2008-03-29. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  5. ^ "Police Charge Truck Driver for Deadly Crash on Interstate 81". ABC27. 2007-08-22. Archived from the original on 2008-03-29. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  6. ^ "Governor: 'No clear timetable' for I-81 repairs". Lancaster, PA: WGAL-TV. May 9, 2013. Retrieved May 9, 2013. 
  7. ^ Heidenreich, Sari. "PennDOT updates road closures following tanker fire". ABC 27 WHTM. Retrieved 10 May 2013.