HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A new ramp on the south side of Route 22 will open Monday night for drivers heading south on I-83. Leaders at PennDOT expect traffic delays to occur.
The ramp on the north side will close as part of a project to replace three bridges over I-83. Drivers will no longer shift to the right to get to the ramp once they’ve crossed the bridge over the interstate. Instead, they’ll be directed to a turning lane on the left and a traffic signal will control traffic to I-83 South.
“I don’t think a lot of people are going to be pleased,” Michael Brown, who travels through frequently, said. “People are slaves to routine. They’re so used to it every day. It’s almost like muscle memory. I’m pretty sure there probably will be an accident or two where people are trying to go up on it or go the wrong way.”
“I expect a number of people when they get up Tuesday morning to forget the ramp is closed and come upon it by surprise,” PennDOT spokesman Greg Penny said.
The construction is part of a $34 million contract to replace the bridges at Route 22, Elmerton Avenue, and Union Deposit Road.
“The purpose for replacing all three bridges is to allow wider space underneath the bridges so that we can widen interstate 83 in a couple of years,” Penny said.
The finished project is expected to take up to five years. Leaders at PennDOT suggest drivers give themselves a little bit of extra time before they head out the door.
“I think initially there will be some confusion. It’s normal whenever we make any major change,” Penny said. “I’ve worked for the department now for a couple of decades and I’ve been waiting for this to happen for a long time.”