250 Million Dollars To Improve Route 17/Interstate 81 Split

By Justin Moss

July 22, 2010 Updated Jul 20, 2007 at 7:22 PM EDT

We're standing on 17 east and 81 south, before you can get off for the Brandywine Highway.
Drivers know this stretch of highway can be very confusing.
So the D-O-T is pushing a plan, that will mean big changes for drivers.
More than 250 million dollars to renovate the I-81-Route 17 interchange.

It's a lot of money, but designers say it's money well spent.

"Certainly, that's probably the most important objective of the project, improve the safety and operation of this section of the roadway," says D.O.T. Project Manager Doug Bickford.

The project is part of an effort to upgrade 17 into Interstate 86.

But the main goal is to make all of this highway, a little more driver-friendly.

Now, drivers have to make quick decisions about where to go.

Even at times looking at overhead signs while driving around curves, and merging into traffic.

Improvements to the highway would add and widen roads, replace and add bridges, and install new signs.

"The existing signs will all be replaced, there will be new overhead sign structures, it should be very clear how to navigate the facility," says Bickford.

Drivers would also have more time to figure out which direction to go.

For example, this is where drivers choose whether to head east on 17, or north on I-81 and I-88.

With the improvements, drivers will choose a path much earlier, instead of making last-second decisions.

The 2 new bridges would be right there, over the river.

If this plan is approved, actual construction begins in the summer of 2009.

Of the 250 million dollar price tag, the federal government is paying 80% and the state is paying 20%.

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