Plan for New I-81 Exit Gains Traction


FRANKLIN COUNTY, Pa. - For many in Guilford Township, the creation of exit 12 south of Chambersburg on Interstate-81 has been a long time coming. The idea's been discussed for more than 20 years. Now, the ball seems to be rolling.

"About two weeks ago, we talked to the Department of Transportation and they indicated that they're ready to begin design on the entire interchange,” said Greg Cook, Chairman of the Guildford Township Board of Supervisors.

PennDOT says construction for the exit, which would be placed between the Wayne Avenue and Marion exits, will probably begin in 2019 or 2020.

Originally, PennDOT said they only had enough money to build an exit on the southbound side, but a new state tax on wholesale gasoline will likely bring in enough funding to build one on the northbound side as well.

It is news officials in surrounding areas are embracing.

"The regional planner, the township, PennDOT, everybody seems to be moving to a consensus here of what we want to do,” said PennDOT Spokesperson Mike Crochunis. “So by October, there's a good chance we'll see something there for preliminary engineering."

The potential new exit would improve traffic flow, one of the main reasons why building the exit is justified, according to a 2010 PennDOT feasibility study.

"Well, we will take a tremendous amount of tractor trailer traffic off of Kriner road, which is a township road, and also State Route 11, Molly Pitcher Highway,” said Cook. "Hamilton Township, Guilford Township and the Borough of Chambersburg, you know three local governments side-by-side, We all agree and support the building of this interchange."

The project still needs to clear a few hurdles though. An official 12 year plan still needs to be approved by PennDOT. However, many residents say they already approve.

"Well, I think this exit will be a great idea because it will keep the traffic moving and the roads safer,” said Guildford Township resident Tony Cucuzza.

"Well, my mom lives over where the exit is going to be put,” said local resident Danielle Higgins. “It would help her because of the traffic and the trucks getting on and off and back in there where the warehouses are. And it would help her also because she wouldn't have to go all the way back into town just to get on the Interstate."

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