The Harrisburg Capital Beltway encircles the City of Harrisburg, which is the State Capital of Pennsylvania, and surrounding municipalities. The Beltway includes a section of Interstate 81 (I-81), a section of Interstate 83 (I-83), and Route 581, and is a limited-access facility. The Capital Beltway is vital to the economy of the Harrisburg region, and is an important hub in the transportation network of the northeastern United States. This website focuses on the I-83 section of the Beltway, which extends from a junction with I-81 northeast of Harrisburg to the interchange with Route 581 to the south of Harrisburg. An I-83 Master Plan was prepared by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) in 2003 for this section of the Capital Beltway to identify, plan, and program future transportation improvement projects.
The I-83 Capital Beltway has three major issues that the projects will address:
- Worsening roadway conditions – Most of the pavement in the I-83 corridor is over 50 years old and has been repeatedly patched and overlaid while the base pavement continues to age.
- High traffic volumes and congestion – The existing traffic and the traffic predicted to use the roadway in the future, are more than the roadway can effectively carry.
- Safety – The roadway was designed more than 50 years ago and does not include the modern safety features needed for roadways that have many vehicles traveling at high speeds.
- I-83 East Shore Section 3 (ESS3) - PennDOT addressed comments on the Environmental Assessment (EA) document for the I-83 East Shore Section 3 (ESS3) project in a document called the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI). The FONSI documents that the Selected Alternative for the project will have no significant impacts to the human environment with the mitigation measures that will avoid, minimize, or mitigate any impacts from the project that were included in the EA. FHWA approved the FONSI on March 2, 2023. For more information and details, view the I-83 East Shore Section 3 project page.
- I-83 East Shore Section 2 (ESS2) is under the Final Design Phase of the project. For more information and status of this project, view the I-83 East Shore Section 2 project page.
- Proposed construction contract sequencing graphics have been added to both I-83 East Shore Section 2 and Section 3 project pages.