|American Legion Memorial Highway|
I-81 highlighted in red
|Maintained by PennDOT|
|Length||232.63 mi (374.38 km)|
|South end||I-81 at the Maryland state line near Greencastle|
| US 30 in Chambersburg|
US 11 / I-76 / Penna Turnpike in Carlisle
PA 581 near Camp Hill
US 22 / US 322 in Harrisburg
I-83 / US 322 in Colonial Park
I-78 in Lickdale
I-80 near Hazleton
PA 309 in Wilkes-Barre
I-84 / I-380 / US 6 in Dunmore
I-476 / US 6 / US 11 / Penna Turnpike NE Extension near Scranton
|North end||I-81 at the New York state line near Hallstead|
|Counties||Franklin, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon, Schuylkill, Luzerne, Lackawanna, Susquehanna|
Interstate 81 (I-81) is an 854.89-mile-long (1,375.81 km) north–south Interstate Highway, stretching from Dandridge, Tennessee to Fisher's Landing, New York at the United States/Canadian border. In the state of Pennsylvania, I-81 runs for 232.63 miles (374.38 km) from the Maryland state line near Greencastle to the New York state line near Hallstead and is called the American Legion Memorial Highway. It is the longest north–south Interstate in Pennsylvania.
Maryland to Interstate 78
I-81 enters Pennsylvania at the Maryland state line about 13 miles (21 km) south of Chambersburg. In Chambersburg at exit 16, it meets U.S. Route 30 (the Chambersburg Pike to Gettysburg). About a mile north of Carlisle at exit 52, it meets U.S. Route 11, which takes passengers to the Pennsylvania Turnpike/ Interstate 76, since I-81 has no direct interchange with I-76. The stretch of US 11 connecting I-81 to I-76 is known locally as the "Miracle Mile" since it contains plenty of traveler services including restaurants, gas stations, lodging, truck stops, shops, etc. From here, I-81 travels in an almost precisely east–west direction for the next 37 miles (until exit 89). At exit 59, it has an interchange with the western terminus of Pennsylvania Route 581. I-81 becomes the Capital Beltway from exit 59 to exit 70. As passengers approach exit 67, a major complex interchange is seen. The interchange consists of U.S. Route 22 and U.S. Route 322; U.S. Route 322 merges with Interstate 81. Exit 70 is the eastern terminus of the US 322 concurrency and the northern terminus of Interstate 83, and is located in Colonial Park. For the entire segment between the Mason–Dixon line and Interstate 78, I-81 runs through the Great Valley. North of Harrisburg between Interstate 83/U.S. Route 322 and Interstate 78, the highway passes near Hershey and Fort Indiantown Gap.
Interstate 78 to New York State
At mile marker 89, I-81 meets the western terminus of I-78, I-78 picks up the eastward route through the Great Valley and heads toward Allentown and New York City, while I-81 turns back northward, cutting through the Blue Mountain at Swatara Gap. From mile marker 141 to mile marker 146, I-81 passes near the city of Hazleton. At exit 151, I-81 meets Interstate 80. As motorists enter Wilkes-Barre at mile marker 165, Interstate 81 merges with Pennsylvania Route 309 for 5 miles (8.0 km). At exit 175, I-81 meets with Pennsylvania Route 315, which will lead passengers to the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. In Scranton at mile marker 185, there is a short freeway called the Central Scranton Expressway, which will lead passengers into downtown Scranton. At mile marker 187, I-81 is at the Throop Dunmore Interchange, which consists of Interstate 84, Interstate 380, and U.S. Route 6. US 6 merges with I-81 for 7 miles (11 km) from mile marker 187 to mile marker 194. At mile marker 194 is the northern terminus of Interstate 476 and the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The last exit in Pennsylvania is exit 230, which is Pennsylvania Route 171 near Hallstead. 4 miles (6.4 km) north of exit 230 is the New York state line.
A toll highway along the present-day I-81 corridor through Pennsylvania was planned in the 1950s. The section from Scranton to the New York State line was planned as a continuation of the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. A new extension of the turnpike Between Harrisburg and Scranton was also proposed. After the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 was passed, plans were changed to build a freeway rather than a toll road. The first section to be built ran from PA 347 in Dunmore to US 11 in northern Scranton. This section opened in 1960. All of I-81 in Pennsylvania was completed by the 1970s. Construction cost nearly $443 million.
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, would have to be demolished and replaced. The fire resulted in about ten miles of I-81 being closed in both directions, with traffic being diverted along the southern portion of the Capital Beltway. The highway would not be fully reopened to traffic until the evening of May 13.
On April 28, 2016, plans were announced for a Scranton Beltway to use the Pennsylvania Turnpike Northeast Extension (I-476) as a bypass for I-81 around the heavily congested segment through Scranton and its suburbs. The turnpike between the two I-81 interchanges carries an average of 10,000 vehicles per day vs. 80,000 on the parallel segment of I-81. This project will build two high-speed connections between I-476 and I-81: one south of Scranton in Dupont and one north of Scranton in South Abington Township. Tolls on the connections will be paid with E-ZPass or toll-by-plate. Construction on this project, which is expected to cost $160 million, could begin as soon as 2021.
New interchange in Chambersburg
On October 24, 2018, PennDOT released their plans for a new exit 12 on I-81, at Guilford Springs Road, estimated to cost around $23 million. The purpose for the exit is to improve access for trucks to the various distribution warehouses south of Chambersburg, such as Target. As such, Guilford Springs Road will be widened to three lanes as a part of this project. PennDOT has started obtaining environmental clearances and will start to seek rights of way in 2020 from approximately 7-10 properties. PennDOT will look at bids for construction starting in 2023.
|Mason–Dixon line||0.00||0.00||–||–||I-81 south – Hagerstown||Continuation into Maryland|
|1||1||PA 163 (Mason Dixon Road)||Southbound ramps are in Maryland|
|Franklin||Antrim Township||2.50||4.02||2||3||US 11 (Molly Pitcher Highway)||No southbound entrance from US 11 north|
|Greencastle||4.80||7.72||3||5||PA 16 – Greencastle, Waynesboro, Mercersburg|
|Guilford Township||9.70||15.61||4||10||PA 914 – Marion|
|12.20||19.63||–||12||Guilford Springs Road||Planned new interchange; bidding set to start in 2023|
|Chambersburg||14.00||22.53||5||14||PA 316 (Wayne Avenue) – Waynesboro|
|15.60||25.11||6||16||US 30 (Lincoln Way) – Gettysburg, Chambersburg|
|16.70||26.88||7||17||Walker Road||Serves Norland Avenue and Wilson College|
|Greene Township||19.80||31.87||8||20||PA 997 – Scotland||Serves Penn State Mont Alto and Letterkenny Army Depot|
|Southampton Township||24.10||38.79||9||24||PA 696 (Fayette Street)|
|Cumberland||Southampton Township||28.40||45.71||10||29||PA 174 (King Street)||Serves Shippensburg University|
|Penn Township||36.80||59.22||11||37||PA 233 – Newville||Serves Park and Ride Lot|
|Carlisle||43.90||70.65||12||44||PA 465 – Plainfield||Serves Carlisle Fairgrounds|
|45.50||73.23||13||45||College Street||Serves Dickinson College and Penn State Dickinson School of Law|
|46.40||74.67||14||47||PA 34 (Hanover Street)||Signed as exits 47A (south) and 47B (north) southbound; serves U.S. Army War College|
|47.90||77.09||15||48||PA 74 (York Road)||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|48.40||77.89||16||49||PA 641 (High Street)||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|Middlesex Township||51.50||82.88||17||52||US 11 to I-76 / Penna Turnpike – New Kingstown, Middlesex||Signed as exits 52A (north) and 52B (south) northbound; to Carlisle Interchange (Turnpike exit 226)|
|Silver Spring Township||56.70||91.25||18||57||PA 114 – Mechanicsburg|
|Hampden Township||59.00||94.95||19||59||PA 581 east (Harrisburg Expressway) / US 11 – Camp Hill||South end of concurrency with the Capital Beltway|
|60.70||97.69||20||61||PA 944 (Wertzville Road)|
|East Pennsboro Township||64.60||103.96||21||65||US 11 / US 15 – Enola, Marysville||Signed as exits 65A (south) and 65B (north); serves Central Pennsylvania College|
|Susquehanna River||65.30||105.09||George N. Wade Memorial Bridge|
|Dauphin||Harrisburg||65.80||105.89||22||66||Front Street – Downtown Harrisburg||Serves Harrisburg Transportation Center|
|67.00||107.83||23E||67A||US 22 east (Cameron Street)||Serves Harrisburg Area Community College|
|23W||67B||US 22 west / US 322 west – Lewistown, State College||South end of concurrency with US 322|
|68.70||110.56||24||69||Progress Avenue||Serves Widener University|
|69.60||112.01||—||70||I-83 south / US 322 east to Penna Turnpike – South Harrisburg, Hershey, York||North end of concurrency with US 322 / Capital Beltway; northern terminus of I-83|
|Lower Paxton Township||72.30||116.36||26||72||To US 22 – Paxtonia, Linglestown||Access via Mountain Road; signed as exits 72A (south) and 72B (north) northbound|
|West Hanover Township||76.60||123.28||27||77||PA 39 – Manada Hill, Hershey|
|80.30||129.23||28||80||To PA 743 – Grantville, Hershey||Access via Bow Creek Road; serves Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course|
|Lebanon||East Hanover Township||85.10||136.96||29||85||PA 934 south – Annville, Fort Indiantown Gap||Signed as exits 85A (south) and 85B (north) northbound; serves Lebanon Valley College|
|Union Township||88.50||142.43||—||89||I-78 east – Allentown||Western terminus of I-78; exit 1 on I-78|
|90.10||145.00||30||90||PA 72 – Lebanon||Access via Fisher Avenue|
|Schuylkill||Pine Grove Township||99.30||159.81||31||100||PA 443 – Pine Grove|
|Tremont Township||104.10||167.53||32||104||PA 125 – Ravine|
|Frailey Township||106.60||171.56||33||107||US 209 – Tremont, Tower City|
|111.30||179.12||34||112||PA 25 – Hegins|
|Foster Township||115.90||186.52||35||116||PA 901 – Minersville, Mount Carmel|
|Butler Township||118.40||190.55||35A||119||Highridge Park Road – Heckscherville, Gordon||Serves Schuylkill Highridge Business Park|
|Frackville||123.70||199.08||36||124||PA 61 – Saint Clair, Frackville||Signed as exits 124A (south) and 124B (north)|
|Mahanoy Township||130.70||210.34||37||131||PA 54 – Hometown, Mahanoy City||Signed as exits 131A (east) and 131B (west)|
|Delano Township||133.50||214.85||38||134||Delano||Access via Lakeside Avenue|
|Kline Township||137.60||221.45||39||138||PA 309 – McAdoo, Tamaqua|
|Luzerne||Hazle Township||141.10||227.08||39A||141||PA 424 east (Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce Beltway) to PA 309|
|142.50||229.33||40||143||PA 924 – Hazleton||Serves Humboldt Industrial Park|
|Sugarloaf Township||145.20||233.68||41||145||PA 93 – West Hazleton||Serves Penn State Hazleton|
|Butler Township||150.50||242.21||—||151||I-80 – Bloomsburg, Stroudsburg||Signed as exits 151A (east) and 151B (west); exit 260 on I-80|
|Dorrance Township||154.20||248.16||42||155||Dorrance||Access via Blue Ridge Trail|
|Nuangola||158.70||255.40||43||159||Nuangola||Access via Church Road|
|Hanover Township||163.90||263.77||44||164||PA 29 north (South Cross Valley Expressway) – Nanticoke||Southern terminus of PA 29|
PA 309 south / PA 309 Bus. – Wilkes-Barre, Mountain Top
|South end of concurrency with PA 309; signed as exits 165A (south) and 165B (north) northbound|
|167.90||270.21||46||168||Highland Park Boulevard – Wilkes-Barre||Serves Mohegan Sun Arena|
PA 309 north (North Cross Valley Expressway) to PA 315 north / PA 309 Bus. south – Wilkes-Barre, King's College
PA 115 south – Bear Creek
|Signed as exits 170A (east) and 170B (west); northern terminus of PA 115 / concurrency with PA 309|
|Pittston Township||174.90||281.47||48||175||PA 315 to I-476 / Penna Turnpike NE Extension – Pittston, Dupont||To Wyoming Valley Interchange (I 476 / Turnpike exit 115)|
|Avoca||177.50||285.66||49||178||PA 315 – Avoca, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Airport|
|Lackawanna||Moosic||179.20||288.39||50||180||US 11 / PA 502 – Moosic||No southbound access to US 11 north|
|Scranton||181.50||292.10||51||182||Montage Mountain Road / Davis Street||Serves PNC Field and Montage Mountain Ski Resort|
|183.90||295.96||52||184||To PA 307 (River Street)||No southbound exit|
|184.20||296.44||PA 307 (Moosic Street)||Southbound exit only|
|184.30||296.60||53||185||Central Scranton Expressway||Serves Scranton Memorial Stadium and University of Scranton|
|Dunmore||186.70||300.46||54||186||Drinker Street||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|187.10||301.11||—||187||I-84 east / I-380 south / US 6 east – Milford, Mount Pocono, Carbondale||Throop Dunmore Interchange; south end of concurrency with US 6; terminus of I-84 and I-380|
|188.10||302.72||55||188||PA 347 – Throop, Dunmore||Serves Penn State Worthington Scranton and Marywood University|
|Scranton||189.80||305.45||56||190||Main Avenue – Dickson City|
US 6 Bus. / US 11 (North Scranton Expressway) – Dickson City, North Scranton
|Signed as exits 191A (US 6 Bus.) and 191B (US 11)|
|South Abington Township||193.40||311.25||58||194||US 6 west / US 11 / I-476 south / Penna Turnpike NE Extension south – Clarks Summit||Clarks Summit Interchange (I-476 / Turnpike exit 131); north end of concurrency with US 6; northern terminus of I-476 / Turnpike Extension|
|Scott Township||197.20||317.36||59||197||PA 632 – Waverly|
|198.80||319.94||60||199||PA 524 – Scott|
|200.50||322.67||61||201||PA 438 – East Benton|
|Benton Township||201.60||324.44||62||202||PA 107 – Fleetville, Tompkinsville|
|Susquehanna||Lenox Township||206.00||331.52||63||206||PA 374 – Glenwood, Lenoxville|
|211.10||339.73||64||211||PA 106 – Lenox||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|211.40||340.22||PA 92 – Lenox||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|Harford Township||216.60||348.58||65||217||PA 547 – Harford|
|New Milford Township||219.30||352.93||66||219||PA 848 – Gibson|
|New Milford||223.50||359.69||67||223||PA 492 – New Milford, Lakeside|
|Great Bend Township||230.40||370.79||68||230||PA 171 – Great Bend, Susquehanna|
|232.63||374.38||–||–||I-81 north – Binghamton||Continuation into New York|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- "Route Log – Main Routes of the Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways – Table 1". Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
- Kitsko, Jeffrey (September 30, 2014). "Interstate 81". Pennsylvania Highways. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
- Miracle Mile, Carlisle, PA Archived 2007-12-10 at the Wayback Machine
- "Governor: 'No clear timetable' for I-81 repairs". Lancaster, Pennsylvania: WGAL-TV. May 9, 2013. Archived from the original on June 10, 2013. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
- Heidenreich, Sari. "PennDOT updates road closures following tanker fire". ABC 27 WHTM. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
- Snyder, Myles. "PennDOT Begins Reopening of I-81". ABC 27 WHTM. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
- "Pennsylvania Turnpike and PennDOT Announce Next Step for Planned I-81-Turnpike Beltway for Scranton Region – Plan to Address Congestion Relief" (Press release). Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. April 28, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
- Fitch, Jennifer. "Plans for I-81 exit 12 in Pennsylvania revealed to public". Herald-Mail Media. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
- Hook, Jim. "See plans for proposed I-81 Exit 12 at Guilford Springs Road in Chambersburg". Public Opinion Online. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
- "Pennsylvania Exit Numbering" (PDF). Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 2, 2007.
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