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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.[2]

Interstate 81 marker

Interstate 81
American Legion Memorial Highway
I-81 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by PennDOT
Length232.63 mi[1] (374.38 km)
Major junctions
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
CountiesFranklin, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lebanon, Schuylkill, Luzerne, Lackawanna, Susquehanna
Highway system
PA 80PA 81

Route descriptionEdit

Maryland to Interstate 78Edit

I-81 northbound at western terminus of I-78 in Lebanon County

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.[3] 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 StateEdit

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.


I-81 northbound approaching Central Scranton Expressway in Scranton

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.[2]

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.[4][5] The highway would not be fully reopened to traffic until the evening of May 13.[6]


Scranton BeltwayEdit

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[7] 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.[8]

New interchange in ChambersburgEdit

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.[9] The purpose for the exit is to improve access for trucks to the various distribution warehouses south of Chambersburg, such as Target.[10] 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.[9]

Exit listEdit

CountyLocationmikmOld exit
New exit
Mason–Dixon line0.000.00  I-81 south – HagerstownContinuation into Maryland
11  PA 163 (Mason Dixon Road)Southbound ramps are in Maryland
FranklinAntrim Township2.504.0223  US 11 (Molly Pitcher Highway)No southbound entrance from US 11 north
Greencastle4.807.7235  PA 16 – Greencastle, Waynesboro, Mercersburg
Guilford Township9.7015.61410  PA 914 – Marion
12.2019.6312Guilford Springs RoadPlanned new interchange; bidding set to start in 2023
Chambersburg14.0022.53514  PA 316 (Wayne Avenue) – Waynesboro
15.6025.11616  US 30 (Lincoln Way) – Gettysburg, Chambersburg
16.7026.88717Walker RoadServes Norland Avenue and Wilson College
Greene Township19.8031.87820  PA 997 – ScotlandServes Penn State Mont Alto and Letterkenny Army Depot
Southampton Township24.1038.79924  PA 696 (Fayette Street)
CumberlandSouthampton Township28.4045.711029  PA 174 (King Street)Serves Shippensburg University
Penn Township36.8059.221137  PA 233 – NewvilleServes Park and Ride Lot
Carlisle43.9070.651244  PA 465 – PlainfieldServes Carlisle Fairgrounds
45.5073.231345College StreetServes Dickinson College and Penn State Dickinson School of Law
46.4074.671447  PA 34 (Hanover Street)Signed as exits 47A (south) and 47B (north) southbound; serves U.S. Army War College
47.9077.091548  PA 74 (York Road)Northbound exit and southbound entrance
48.4077.891649  PA 641 (High Street)Southbound exit and northbound entrance
Middlesex Township51.5082.881752    US 11 to I-76 / Penna Turnpike – New Kingstown, MiddlesexSigned as exits 52A (north) and 52B (south) northbound; to Carlisle Interchange (Turnpike exit 226)
Silver Spring Township56.7091.251857  PA 114 – Mechanicsburg
Hampden Township59.0094.951959   PA 581 east (Harrisburg Expressway) / US 11 – Camp HillSouth end of concurrency with the Capital Beltway
60.7097.692061  PA 944 (Wertzville Road)
East Pennsboro Township64.60103.962165   US 11 / US 15 – Enola, MarysvilleSigned as exits 65A (south) and 65B (north); serves Central Pennsylvania College
Susquehanna River65.30105.09George N. Wade Memorial Bridge
DauphinHarrisburg65.80105.892266Front Street – Downtown HarrisburgServes Harrisburg Transportation Center
67.00107.8323E67A  US 22 east (Cameron Street)Serves Harrisburg Area Community College
23W67B   US 22 west / US 322 west – Lewistown, State CollegeSouth end of concurrency with US 322
68.70110.562469Progress AvenueServes Widener University
69.60112.0170    I-83 south / US 322 east to Penna Turnpike – South Harrisburg, Hershey, YorkNorth end of concurrency with US 322 / Capital Beltway; northern terminus of I-83
Lower Paxton Township72.30116.362672  To US 22 – Paxtonia, LinglestownAccess via Mountain Road; signed as exits 72A (south) and 72B (north) northbound
West Hanover Township76.60123.282777  PA 39 – Manada Hill, Hershey
80.30129.232880  To PA 743 – Grantville, HersheyAccess via Bow Creek Road; serves Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
LebanonEast Hanover Township85.10136.962985  PA 934 south – Annville, Fort Indiantown GapSigned as exits 85A (south) and 85B (north) northbound; serves Lebanon Valley College
Union Township88.50142.4389  I-78 east – AllentownWestern terminus of I-78; exit 1 on I-78
90.10145.003090  PA 72 – LebanonAccess via Fisher Avenue
SchuylkillPine Grove Township99.30159.8131100  PA 443 – Pine Grove
Tremont Township104.10167.5332104  PA 125 – Ravine
Frailey Township106.60171.5633107  US 209 – Tremont, Tower City
111.30179.1234112  PA 25 – Hegins
Foster Township115.90186.5235116  PA 901 – Minersville, Mount Carmel
Butler Township118.40190.5535A119Highridge Park Road  – Heckscherville, GordonServes Schuylkill Highridge Business Park
Frackville123.70199.0836124  PA 61 – Saint Clair, FrackvilleSigned as exits 124A (south) and 124B (north)
Mahanoy Township130.70210.3437131  PA 54 – Hometown, Mahanoy CitySigned as exits 131A (east) and 131B (west)
Delano Township133.50214.8538134DelanoAccess via Lakeside Avenue
Kline Township137.60221.4539138  PA 309 – McAdoo, Tamaqua
LuzerneHazle Township141.10227.0839A141   PA 424 east (Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce Beltway) to PA 309
142.50229.3340143  PA 924 – HazletonServes Humboldt Industrial Park
Sugarloaf Township145.20233.6841145  PA 93 – West HazletonServes Penn State Hazleton
Butler Township150.50242.21151  I-80 – Bloomsburg, StroudsburgSigned as exits 151A (east) and 151B (west); exit 260 on I-80
Dorrance Township154.20248.1642155DorranceAccess via Blue Ridge Trail
Nuangola158.70255.4043159NuangolaAccess via Church Road
Hanover Township163.90263.7744164  PA 29 north (South Cross Valley Expressway) – NanticokeSouthern 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
167.90270.2146168Highland Park Boulevard – Wilkes-BarreServes 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 Township174.90281.4748175    PA 315 to I-476 / Penna Turnpike NE Extension – Pittston, DupontTo Wyoming Valley Interchange (I 476 / Turnpike exit 115)
Avoca177.50285.6649178   PA 315 – Avoca, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Airport
LackawannaMoosic179.20288.3950180   US 11 / PA 502 – MoosicNo southbound access to US 11 north
Scranton181.50292.1051182Montage Mountain Road / Davis StreetServes PNC Field and Montage Mountain Ski Resort
183.90295.9652184  To PA 307 (River Street)No southbound exit
184.20296.44  PA 307 (Moosic Street)Southbound exit only
184.30296.6053185Central Scranton ExpresswayServes Scranton Memorial Stadium and University of Scranton
Dunmore186.70300.4654186Drinker StreetNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
187.10301.11187    I-84 east / I-380 south / US 6 east – Milford, Mount Pocono, CarbondaleThroop Dunmore Interchange; south end of concurrency with US 6; terminus of I-84 and I-380
188.10302.7255188  PA 347 – Throop, DunmoreServes Penn State Worthington Scranton and Marywood University
Scranton189.80305.4556190Main 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 Township193.40311.2558194     US 6 west / US 11 / I-476 south / Penna Turnpike NE Extension south – Clarks SummitClarks Summit Interchange (I-476 / Turnpike exit 131); north end of concurrency with US 6; northern terminus of I-476 / Turnpike Extension
Scott Township197.20317.3659197  PA 632 – Waverly
198.80319.9460199  PA 524 – Scott
200.50322.6761201  PA 438 – East Benton
Benton Township201.60324.4462202  PA 107 – Fleetville, Tompkinsville
SusquehannaLenox Township206.00331.5263206  PA 374 – Glenwood, Lenoxville
211.10339.7364211  PA 106 – LenoxNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
211.40340.22  PA 92 – LenoxSouthbound exit and northbound entrance
Harford Township216.60348.5865217  PA 547 – Harford
New Milford Township219.30352.9366219  PA 848 – Gibson
New Milford223.50359.6967223  PA 492 – New Milford, Lakeside
Great Bend Township230.40370.7968230  PA 171 – Great Bend, Susquehanna
232.63374.38  I-81 north – BinghamtonContinuation into New York
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Route Log – Main Routes of the Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways – Table 1". Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b Kitsko, Jeffrey (September 30, 2014). "Interstate 81". Pennsylvania Highways. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  3. ^ Miracle Mile, Carlisle, PA Archived 2007-12-10 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ Heidenreich, Sari. "PennDOT updates road closures following tanker fire". ABC 27 WHTM. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
  6. ^ Snyder, Myles. "PennDOT Begins Reopening of I-81". ABC 27 WHTM. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "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.
  9. ^ a b Fitch, Jennifer. "Plans for I-81 exit 12 in Pennsylvania revealed to public". Herald-Mail Media. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  10. ^ Hook, Jim. "See plans for proposed I-81 Exit 12 at Guilford Springs Road in Chambersburg". Public Opinion Online. Retrieved 2019-08-09.
  11. ^ a b "Pennsylvania Exit Numbering" (PDF). Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Retrieved October 2, 2007.

External linksEdit

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata
  Interstate 81
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