Traffic changes will impact rush-hour travel over the next several months.
HARRISBURG, PA (Sept. 19, 2006) — The Turnpike will open new exit lanes — numbers 7, 8 and 9 — at the Harrisburg East Interchange (#247) between 7 and 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 20. These three new lanes are located on the far right side of the plaza for motorists exiting the Turnpike.
With the opening, several other changes will occur in the toll-plaza area; motorists using Harrisburg East must be aware of changing patterns and their effect on area travel.
Exiting traffic will have five lanes available: lanes 4 and 5 (to the far left) and new lanes 7, 8 and 9 (to the far right). Entering traffic will have three lanes available: lanes 1, 2 and 3. Exit lane 1 will remain a “cars-only” lane. (Traffic getting on the Turnpike will have one less entry lane; lane 4, the far left entry lane, will be converted to an exit lane.)
Turnpike traffic exiting from the west (coming across the Susquehanna River Bridge) and headed to the airport or Lancaster on State Route 283 East will need to keep right while approaching the toll plaza and use the new lanes on the right. If you cannot make the move to the right, take Exit 1B (Highspire) off I-283 North and follow detour signs to Route 283 East.
Traffic exiting from the west and traveling to Harrisburg, Hershey or Interstate 81 can use all five lanes. Traffic exiting from the east will be restricted to using lanes 7, 8 or 9. Exit lane 7 will be an E-ZPass lane with no tollbooth.
This shift in traffic patterns is expected to cause congestion and delays, especially during the peak traffic hours. Commuters might consider an alternate route to avoid delays at Harrisburg East.
These changes will be in place throughout this stage of construction, which is expected to be completed some time in January, 2007. The work is weather permitting and may be rescheduled. As a reminder, it is illegal to make u-turns anywhere on the Turnpike, including at a toll plaza.
The work is part of a $150 million project to replace the Susquehanna River Bridge, approach roadway, interchange ramps and bridges, and toll plaza. Construction of the toll plaza is scheduled to be completed in late summer 2007.