Capital Beltway highlighted in three colors:
red (I-81), green (I-83), and blue (PA 581)
|Maintained by PennDOT|
|Length||27.6 mi (44.4 km)|
PA 581: 7.36 mi (11.84 km)
| from Lemoyne to Colonial Park|
from Colonial Park to west of Enola
PA 581 from west of Enola to Lemoyne
|Beltway around Harrisburg|
| in Lemoyne|
/ in Lawnton
in Colonial Park
west of Enola
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.
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". 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". 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.
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.
Mileposts follow individual component highways.
|County||Location||mi||km||Old exit||New exit||Destinations||Notes|
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|
|41.438||66.688||22||41B||Lemoyne||Inner loop exit and outer loop entrance|
|John Harris Bridge over the Susquehanna River|
|42.671||68.672||23||43||2nd Street - Capitol||Directional T interchange|
|43.149||69.442||24||44A||/ 13th Street|
|43.450||69.926||25||44B||17th Street||Inner loop exit and entrance|
|43.653||70.253||19th Street||Outer loop exit and entrance|
|26||45||Paxton Street / Bass Pro Drive||Bass Pro Drive not signed on outer loop|
|Swatara Township||45.927||73.912||27||46A||south to / - Airport, Lancaster||I-283 exits 3A-B; Eisenhower Interchange|
|46.852||75.401||28||46B||east / Paxton Street / Derry Street - Hershey||Signed as exit 47 on inner loop; south end of concurrency with US 322; outer loop signed as US 322 only|
|Lower Paxton Township||47.940||77.152||29||48||Union Deposit Road|
|49.220||79.212||30||50||(Jonestown Road) - Colonial Park, Progress||Split into exits 50A (east) and 50B (west) on outer loop|
|51B||north to - Hazleton, Allentown||No exit number on inner loop; I-81 exit 70; north end of concurrency with I-83; east end of concurrency with I-81|
|Susquehanna Township||68.70||110.56||24||69||Progress Avenue||Serves Widener University|
|67.13||108.04||23W||67B||/ west - Lewistown, State College||West end of concurrency with US 322; left exit on inner loop|
|23E||67A||east to (Cameron Street)||Serves Harrisburg Area Community College; left exit on outer loop|
|65.97||106.17||22||66||Front Street - Downtown Harrisburg||Serves Amtrak Terminal|
|Dauphin-Cumberland county line||Susquehanna-Hampden township line||George N. Wade Memorial Bridge over the Susquehanna River|
|64.78||104.25||21||65||/ - Enola, Marysville||Serves Central Pennsylvania College; split into exits 65A (south) and 65B (north)|
|Cumberland||Hampden Township||60.85||97.93||20||61||(Wertzville Road)|
|1B|| south - Carlisle|
|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|
|2.10||3.38||3||south (Carlisle Pike)||West end of concurrency with US 11|
|Camp Hill||4.09||6.58||4||- Mechanicsburg||Inner loop exit and outer loop entrance; exit includes direct ramp onto Central Boulevard north to PA 581 west/|
|5.07||8.16||5A-B||north / - Camp Hill, Gettysburg||Partial cloverleaf interchange; east end of concurrency with US 11; split into exits 5A (north) and 5B (south)|
south (VFW Memorial Highway) to / - Lemoyne, York, Baltimore
|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|