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PennDOT Resumes Environmental Reviews for I-81 Susquehanna Bridges Project


Dunmore, PA - The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced that it has resumed planning work and federal environmental reviews for six bridge replacement projects proposed as part of the Major Bridge Public-Private Partnership (MBP3).

A Categorical Exclusion (CE) Reevaluation is being prepared for the I-81 Susquehanna Bridges Project to evaluate and document how the project would affect the surrounding community's quality of life, including health, safety, cultural resources, environmental resources and more. Approval of the CE Reevaluation is anticipated this fall (2022).

The I-81 Susquehanna Bridges Project will replace the dual bridges carrying I-81 over the Susquehanna River between Hallstead Borough and Great Bend Borough, which were built in 1961 and rehabilitated in 1979, 1993 and 2006. The project also includes the full repaving and replacement of guide rail and barrier systems, signage, the drainage network, one overpass structure and four dual bridges over local creeks, roads and a railroad in a nine-mile stretch of interstate from New Milford Borough to the New York border.

Through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) environmental review process, the I-81 Susquehanna Bridges Project was approved as a CE in 2017, and the project team was allowed to move forward with final design and right-of-way acquisition.

In November 2020, the MBP3 was proposed by PennDOT and approved by the Pennsylvania P3 Board, which includes representatives from all four legislative caucuses, to rehabilitate or replace major Interstate bridges using toll revenues, providing PennDOT with a means of addressing the state's growing backlog of needs without using or impacting the funding for PennDOT's larger program. In February 2021, PennDOT announced nine candidate bridge projects, including the I-81 Susquehanna Bridges Project, for inclusion in the program. 

Updated information on the project and potential impacts is available on the project website at A comment form is available on the website.

In July 2022, the General Assembly amended the state's P3 law to remove tolling as a means of funding the MBP3. This means PennDOT will have to reallocate currently programmed state funds and federal funds now available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which will result in the deferral or elimination of some projects in the 2023 12-Year Program (TYP).   

PennDOT entered into a Pre-Development Agreement (PDA) with Bridging Pennsylvania Partners (BPP) to advance preliminary design work for the MBP3 bridges. The PDA will lead to separate contracts to finalize design, build, finance and maintain packages of bridges in the MBP3, including the I-81 Susquehanna Bridges. PennDOT will repay the amounts financed by the development entity through recurring availability payments over 30 years, beginning when construction is complete.

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Information about infrastructure in District 4, including completed work and significant projects, is available at

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MEDIA CONTACT: Jessica Ruddy, 570-963-4044

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