Federal dollars finally flowing to I-81 in PA, as $2 Million goes to new Guilford Springs Road interchange

18 March 2024- Thanks to a federal Consolidated Appropriation Act signed into law earlier this month, the Franklin County Metropolitan Planning Organization (FCMPO) will receive $2 million for the construction of a new Interstate 81 interchange in Guilford Township.

FCMPO and county officials coordinated efforts to submit requests to Sens. Bob Casey and John Fetterman as well as Rep. John Joyce. All three advanced the project through their respective congressional chambers, and President Joe Biden signed the act on March 9.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support of our elected officials in Washington,” said Franklin County Commissioner Chairman Dean Horst. “Improving Interstate 81 is vital to everyone who lives in or travels through Franklin County, and we are pleased that our legislators pushed for much-needed funding for these enhancements.”

The $2 million in Congressionally Directed Spending will be used to advance construction of a new interchange, exit 12, on I-81 at Guilford Springs Road. When complete, the interchange will provide safer, more direct access for freight traffic to area business parks as well as improved access to I-81 for local traffic. The exit 12 project is included in FCMPO’s Transportation Improvement Plan and is expected to cost $60 million. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2026.

FCMPO serves as the decision-making body for Franklin County’s transportation projects and programs that use federal funding. The organization has been a vocal champion of the need for improvements along I-81 while continuing to meet safety and maintenance standards on other roadways throughout the region.

FCMPO recently completed a I-81 Prioritization Plan as a tool to pursue funding opportunities and advance projects to improve the highly trafficked highway. The plan includes several interchange improvements as well as widening Franklin County’s 25-mile I-81 corridor to three lanes. Widening the interstate alone is estimated to cost more than $1 billion.

“This additional funding is an exciting first step in investing in the I-81 corridor, but it can’t stop here,” said FCMPO Chairman Sam Cressler. “We need to continue to emphasize to officials in Harrisburg and Washington the economic importance of the I-81 corridor and the limitations that are imposed by its existing capacity for continued growth, safety and quality of life in ours and surrounding regions.”