Public forums seek input on I-81

Two online public forums are seeking input on a proposed I-81 Improvement Strategy initiatives this month. Those initiatives include potential plans for improving the north-south Interstate highway in Franklin and Cumberland Counties.

Franklin County Commissioners are encouraging the local residents to attend the public forums and give their feedback on proposals. Leaders of the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission (TCRPC) will discuss proposed changes, including safety and congestion improvements, within the Chambersburg and Carlisle region during a virtual meeting beginning at 7 p.m. Dec. 14.

Attendees can offer planning-level feedback in real time during these interactive online forums. TCRPC leaders will use the feedback to develop a playbook of initiatives and establish priorities as funding sources become available.

“The potential for economic development and job growth along Interstate 81 is further enhanced by two major railroads and interchanges along the corridor.”

Steve Thomas, Executive Director
Franklin County Planning Department

Meeting registration is encouraged. There is no fee to attend either or both public forums. Go to this link to register.


Public and stakeholder feedback has been gathered at every step of strategy development. This includes legislative briefings, an online public survey, and a general public meeting. In total, more than 2,000 comments were submitted and are reflected in the interactive map.

A second meeting, set for 7 p.m. Dec. 15, will focus on the greater Harrisburg area as well as the rural Dauphin/Lebanon county region.

  • Evaluating safety, mobility, access, and infrastructure condition needs
  • Dividing the corridor into Focus Areas that share related needs
  • Prioritizing the Focus Areas in each Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) region
  • Collecting public and stakeholder feedback through an online survey, special interest meetings and an online public forum.

The Needs Assessment & Prioritization phase of the project is complete and included:

What to Expect at the December 14 Meeting

Greater Chambersburg

  • Enhancing safety at Exit 14 (PA 316 Wayne Ave)
  • Mobility improvements at Exit 16 (US 30 Lincoln Way)

Greater Carlisle

  • Mobility and safety improvements from Exit 44 (PA 465 Allen Rd) to Exit 49 (PA 641 York St)
  • Mobility and safety improvements at Exit 52 (US 11 Middlesex/New Kingston)
  • Additional possibilities for a I-81 to PA Turnpike Connection

What to Expect at the December 15 Meeting

Greater Harrisburg

  • Safety at Exit 67 (US 22/322)
  • Mobility improvements between Exit 69 (Progress Ave) and Exit 72 (Linglestown/Paxtonia)
  • Safety Improvements at Exit 72 (Linglestown/Paxtonia)

Rural Dauphin/Lebanon

  • Mobility improvements between Exit 72 (Linglestown/Paxtonia) and I-78 Split

The I-81 Improvement Strategy is a collaborative effort of the TCRPC and the Metropolitan Planning Organizations of Franklin and Lebanon counties. The goal to improve a 100-mile corridor of Interstate 81 from the Mason-Dixon Line through Lebanon County.

TCRPC, which includes Cumberland, Dauphin and Perry counties, is spearheading this effort in coordination with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.

For more information on the I-81 Improvement Strategy in south central Pennsylvania, visit