A three-phase I-80 construction project is set to start by end of year, overhauling the highway, bridges, ramps and exits and putting up sound barrier walls. It will start west of Exit 303 in Stroud Township and continue east of exit 307 and the Brodhead Creek bridge in East Stroudsburg.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is moving forward with the final design of the Interstate 80 Reconstruction Project in eastern Monroe County in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration.
The project passes through three municipalities, with construction progressing from west to east through Stroud Township, Stroudsburg and East Stroudsburg and affecting exits 303, 304, 305, 306 and 307.
PennDOT Highway Design Manager Imtiaz Nathaniel said the project is planned to be constructed in three sections and the construction duration for each section is anticipated from 24 to 36 months. Section one is anticipated to start in December 2024.
Nathaniel said the project will go west to east to avoid overlap with the ongoing construction at the Exit 308/Prospect Street interchange on I-80 in East Stroudsburg. He said the anticipated completion date for the 308 interchange project is July 2027.
I-80 is set to be widened to three lanes with additional full inside and outside shoulders in both directions, making it 10 lanes wide. Currently, I-80 includes two traffic lanes in each direction with a median barrier and variable inside and outside shoulder widths.
The project includes other improvements such as structure replacements and rehabilitations, noise barrier walls along residential property lines and retaining walls.
"The project also includes improvements to several other routes including PA 611/North Ninth Street, U.S. 209, Business Route 209/West Main Street, Dreher Avenue, PA 611/Park Avenue, PA 191/Broad Street, and other locally important routes, " said PennDOT District 5 Press Officer Ron Young. "The existing Dreher Avenue exit will be eliminated and rerouted via a new interchange and a new fly-over lane will be created, leading to U.S. 209/Route 33, which is now interchange 304."
According to PennDOT's project website , "the purpose of this project is to provide a safe and efficient transportation system on this National Highway System component for both local and regional connections in the area," by reducing future congestion, improving safety and bringing the roadway and bridges up to current design standards.
Young said the bridges over this I-80 corridor will all be replaced and widened to accommodate the new, wider roadway, such as the Broad Street bridge over the McMichael Creek. They will also extend all the ramps to improve access for vehicles getting on and off the highway, allowing more space to slow down.
Young broke down the construction plan and described each of the sections in the plan:
Section 1: Exit 303
- Construction will start from approximately the Hamilton Township line with Stroud Township to just east of Exit 303 (Ninth Street).
- A new Exit 303 (Ninth Street) connector road to Route 611/North Ninth Street will be created.
- A new signalized intersection of Exit 303 (Ninth Street) connector road, Route 611/North Ninth Street and Radio Drive (Shoppes at Stroud entrance) will be added.
- Additional improvements to Route 611/North Ninth Street between Lifeline Road and just west of Bridge Street will be made.
Section 2: Exits 304 and 305
- Construction will start from just east of Exit 303 (Ninth Street) to just west of Dreher Avenue.
- Construction will convert the existing partial interchange at Exit 304 (U.S. 209 to Route 33) into a full interchange.
- Construction for part of the new connector road between Business 209/Main Street and Dreher Avenue will start.
- Improvements to intersection of Business 209/Main Street and Bridge Street will be made.
- Improvements to Bridge Street between U.S. 209/Main Street and Miller Street/Fairground Circle will be made.
- A new interchange at U.S. 209 and Business 209/Main Street will be added.
- Improvements to U.S. 209 between I-80 and just north of Shafers School House Road will be made.
- Improvements to Business 209/Main Street between College Park Avenue and Beers Street will be made.
- Improvements to Arlington Avenue between King David Road and Freda Drive will be made.
- Improvements to Pocono Park Drive between Bridge Street and Business 209/Main Street will be made.
Section 3: Exits 306 and 307
- Construction will start from just west of Dreher Avenue to just east of Exit 307 (Route 611 To Route 191).
- Exit 306 (Dreher Ave) will be eliminated.
- The new connector road between Business 209/Main Street and Dreher Avenue will be completed.
- Improvements to Route 611/Park Avenue between I-80 and Robeson Street will be made.
- Improvements to the intersection of Route 191/Broad Street and Colbert Street will be made.
- Improvements to the intersection of Route 611/Park Avenue, Barry Street and I-80 east off ramp will be made.
Maria Francis covers K-12 education and real estate, housing and development for the Pocono Record. Reach her at email@example.com .
This article originally appeared on Pocono Record: 3-phase I-80 reconstruction plans unveiled; first phase starts this year