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I-81 Susquehanna Bridges Project

Project Description

The I-81 Susquehanna Bridges Project is a nine-mile stretch of reconstruction and repair work along I-81 from New Milford Borough to the New York border. Work includes the replacement of the dual bridges over the Susquehanna River between Hallstead Borough and Great Bend Borough, which were built in 1961 and rehabilitated in 1979, 1993 and 2006. Combined, the bridges carry about 27,000 vehicles per day, approximately 41 percent of which is truck traffic. The combined daily traffic is expected to more than double by 2045 to around 55,000.

The purpose of the I-81 Susquehanna Bridges Project is to address aging pavement and infrastructure along I-81 including the bridge over the Susquehanna River, and to lengthen on and off ramps to meet current interstate design standards and improve safety.

The project is intended to address the following needs:

  • Aging infrastructure. Most of the pavement in the corridor is nearly 60 years old, and the Susquehanna River bridges are approaching the end of their serviceable lifespan.
  • Outdated interchange designs. The on and off ramps at the interchanges throughout the corridor do not meet current and future traffic design standards.
  • Outdated construction methods. All structures on the corridor were constructed with reinforced concrete that contains more chloride ion content than modern standards allow. While safe, this type of reinforced concrete has a shorter lifespan than most reinforced concrete used today.
  • Drainage concerns. The storm system built into much of the corridor has exceeded its serviceable lifespan.

The project involves a number of construction activities, including:

  • Repaving all roadway in the corridor
  • Replacing five dual bridge structures, including the bridges over the Susquehanna River and one overpass structure
  • Replacing the drainage system
  • Replacing all guiderails, barriers and signage in the corridor
  • Construction work on Susquehanna Street, PA-171 and PA-1029 (Randolph Road)

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