Capital Beltway (Harrisburg)

The Capital Beltway is a beltway surrounding Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It is co-designated as Interstate 81, Interstate 83, U.S. Route 11, U.S. Route 322, and Pennsylvania Route 581 at various locations along the route. The beltway is primarily located in the suburbs of Harrisburg; however, part of its southern leg passes along the southern edge of downtown. The southwestern section of the highway is named the Harrisburg Expressway. All of the beltway was complete by 1995; however, it was not designated as the Capital Beltway until 1997.

Route description

The Capital Beltway begins at the interchange of the eastern terminus of Pennsylvania Route 581 and Interstate 83 west of Harrisburg in Lemoyne. This junction is colloquially known as the "York split". From the split, the beltway crosses the Susquehanna River on the John Harris Bridge, connecting Harrisburg to its west shore (a colloquialism of the western bank of the Susquehanna across from Harrisburg) suburbs of the city.

Continuing on I-83, the beltway parallels Paxton Street (formerly U.S. Route 322), passing the Harrisburg Mall as the road approaches the Eisenhower Interchange. At the junction, the Capital Beltway continues on I-83 as it turns north, while beginning a concurrency with US 322. Continuing for three miles, Interstate 83 ends at Interstate 81 at an interchange locally known as the "81/83 split". US 322 and the Capital Beltway continue on I-81 South.

On Interstate 81, US 322 exits off I-81 at Exit 69B, heading in a northerly direction to State College, beginning a concurrency with US 22 West. Exit 69A is for US 22 East, Cameron Street, which is where the Farm Show Arena Complex is located (a half mile south of the beltway). The Capital Beltway crosses the Susquehanna the second time on the George N. Wade Memorial Bridge. The beltway makes a southerly turn just beyond the bridge, near the western end of the Susquehanna Water Gap of Blue Mountain. Continuing on I-81 until Exit 59, the Capital Beltway exits onto the western terminus of Pennsylvania Route 581. This section of highway is known as the Harrisburg Expressway. US 11 begins a concurrency with PA 581 starting at Exit 3, and then exits off and starts a concurrency with U.S. Route 15 in Camp Hill, at the Camp Hill Shopping Center (formerly Camp Hill Mall). The beltway continues for two miles until it completes the loop by reaching Interstate 83 at the York split.


The Interstate 81 and Interstate 83 sections of the beltway were both fully completed by the 1970s. A highway connecting Interstate 81 to Interstate 83 had been planned; part of this expressway was built - from the York split to US 11 and US 15 in Camp Hill. It became known as the Harrisburg Expressway, and it was given the PA 581 designation. The section from Camp Hill to Interstate 81 remained incomplete until 1995, when it was finally completed and opened for public use. The PA 581 designation was extended to the interchange with Interstate 81 when it opened.

Exit list

County Location Mile # Destinations Notes
Southern terminus of I-83 / Capital Beltway concurrency.
Cumberland Lemoyne 41.41 41A PA 581 West Inner loop exit only.
41.31 41B Lowther Street (Highland Park) (comes after 41A southbound)
41.63 42 South 3rd Street Outer loop exit only.
42.01 Lowther Street Inner loop exit only.
Dauphin Harrisburg 42.70 43 2nd Street
43.13 44A 13th Street
43.54 44B 17th Street / 19th Street
Swatara Township 45.11 45 32nd Street (outer loop) / Paxton Street (inner loop)
45.92 46A I-283 South Eisenhower Interchange Outer loop exit only.
45.96 46B US 322 East Eisenhower Interchange Outer loop exit only.
46.76 47 US 322 East / Derry Street / Paxton Street
Southern terminus of I-83 / US 322 concurrency.
Lower Paxton Township 47.92 48 Union Deposit Road
49.23 50 Jonestown Road (US 22)
50.21 51 / I-81 / US 322 West Outer loop exit only.
Northern terminus of I-83 / US 322 / Capital Beltway concurrency.
Northern terminus of I-81 / / Capital Beltway concurrency.
69.70 70
I-83 south/US 322 east - Hershey, York
Inner loop exit only.
Harrisburg Airport.
Susquehanna Township 68.70 69 Progress Avenue Widener University.
Southern terminus of I-81 / US 322 concurrency.
67.13 67B
US 22 west / US 322 west - Lewistown, State College
67.13 67A
US 22 east / to PA 230 (Cameron Street)
Harrisburg Area Community College.
65.97 66 Front Street - Downtown Harrisburg Amtrak Terminal.
Cumberland East Pennsboro Township 64.78 65 US 11/US 15 - Enola, Marysville Central Pennsylvania College.
Hampden Township 60.85 61 PA 944 (Wertzville Road)
59.13 59
PA 581 (Harrisburg Expressway) east / to US 11 - Camp Hill
Southern terminus of I-81 / Capital Beltway concurrency.
Western terminus of PA 581 / Capital Beltway concurrency.
0.00 1A/1B I-81, American Legion Mem. Hwy. Inner loop exit only.
1.00 2 Creekview Rd.
2.10 3 North US-11; Carlisle Pike.
Western/northern terminus of PA 581 / US 11 concurrency.
Camp Hill 4.09 4 PA-641, Trindle Rd.; Central Blvd.; Church St.
5.07 5B South US-15, Corps League Mem. Hwy.
5.07 5A North US 15, North US 11, 32nd St.
Eastern/southern terminus of PA 581 / US 11 concurrency.
Highland Park 7.36 6A&6B I-83 , VFW Mem. Hwy. Outer loop exit only.
Eastern terminus of PA 581 / Capital Beltway concurrency.

See also


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