Pennsylvania Route 581
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Pennsylvania Route 581

Interstate 81 markerInterstate 83 markerPA Route 581 marker

Capital Beltway
Harrisburg Expressway
Capital Beltway highlighted in three colors:
red (I-81), green (I-83), and blue (PA 581)
Route information
Maintained by PennDOT
Length27.6 mi[2] (44.4 km)
PA 581: 7.36 mi (11.84 km)[1]
Existed1997-present
Component
highways
from Lemoyne to Colonial Park
from Colonial Park to west of Enola
PA 581 from west of Enola to Lemoyne
Major junctions
Beltway around Harrisburg
  in Lemoyne
/ in Lawnton
in Colonial Park
west of Enola
Location
CountiesCumberland, Dauphin
Highway system
PA 581 ->

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

The Capital Beltway begins at the interchange of the eastern terminus of PA 581 at 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

PA 581 eastbound approaching the Creekview Road exit in Hampden Township

The I-81 and I-83 sections of the beltway were both fully completed by the 1970s. An 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.[]

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

Mileposts follow individual component highways.

CountyLocationmi[1]kmOld exitNew exitDestinationsNotes
CumberlandLemoyne41.4166.64
south (VFW Memorial Highway) to /  - York, Baltimore
PA 581 exit 6A; east end of concurrency with PA 581; west end of concurrency with I-83
41.43866.6882241BLemoyneInner loop exit and outer loop entrance
DauphinHarrisburg42.006-
42.636
67.602-
68.616
John Harris Bridge over the Susquehanna River
42.67168.67223432nd Street - CapitolDirectional T interchange
43.14969.4422444A / 13th Street
43.45069.9262544B17th StreetInner loop exit and entrance
43.65370.25319th StreetOuter loop exit and entrance
44.658-
45.512
71.870-
73.244
2645Paxton Street / Bass Pro DriveBass Pro Drive not signed on outer loop
Swatara Township45.92773.9122746A south to /  - Airport, LancasterI-283 exits 3A-B; Eisenhower Interchange
46.85275.4012846B east / Paxton Street / Derry Street - HersheySigned as exit 47 on inner loop; south end of concurrency with US 322; outer loop signed as US 322 only
Lower Paxton Township47.94077.1522948Union Deposit Road
49.22079.2123050 (Jonestown Road) - Colonial Park, ProgressSplit into exits 50A (east) and 50B (west) on outer loop
50.21
69.70
80.81
112.17
51B north to  - Hazleton, AllentownNo exit number on inner loop; I-81 exit 70; north end of concurrency with I-83; east end of concurrency with I-81
Susquehanna Township68.70110.562469Progress AvenueServes Widener University
67.13108.0423W67B / west - Lewistown, State CollegeWest end of concurrency with US 322; left exit on inner loop
23E67A east to (Cameron Street)Serves Harrisburg Area Community College; left exit on outer loop
65.97106.172266Front Street - Downtown HarrisburgServes Amtrak Terminal
Dauphin-Cumberland county lineSusquehanna-Hampden township lineGeorge N. Wade Memorial Bridge over the Susquehanna River
64.78104.252165 /  - Enola, MarysvilleServes Central Pennsylvania College; split into exits 65A (south) and 65B (north)
CumberlandHampden Township60.8597.932061 (Wertzville Road)
59.13
0.00
95.16
0.00
1B south - Carlisle
begins
No exit number on outer loop; I-81 exit 59; west end of concurrency with I-81; north end of concurrency with PA 581; inner loop follows exit 1A
1.001.612Creekview Road
2.103.383 south (Carlisle Pike)West end of concurrency with US 11
Camp Hill4.096.584 - MechanicsburgInner loop exit and outer loop entrance; exit includes direct ramp onto Central Boulevard north to PA 581 west/
5.078.165A-B north /  - Camp Hill, GettysburgPartial cloverleaf interchange; east end of concurrency with US 11; split into exits 5A (north) and 5B (south)
Lemoyne7.3611.84
south (VFW Memorial Highway) to /  - Lemoyne, York, Baltimore
ends
I-83 exit 41A; east end of concurrency with PA 581; west end of concurrency with I-83; split into exits 6B (I-83 south) and 6C (Lemoyne)
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also

References

Route map:

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

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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