Designated the American Ex-POW Memorial Highway, Pennsylvania Route 581 is a freeway loop west from Interstate 83 at Lemoyne and New Cumberland to I-81 in Hampden township. PA 581 constitutes the southwest leg of the Capital Beltway encircling Harrisburg. Forming an ellipse within the Harrisburg metropolitan area, the Capital Beltway also overlays I-81 east from PA 581 to I-83 in Lower Paxton township and I-83 south to Swatara township and west across Harrisburg.

PA 581 along the Harrisburg Expressway is one of a few state route freeways in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with numbered exits. Exit numbers are signed sequentially.

The Harrisburg Expressway was reconstructed in the mid to late 1990s. Originally built in the 1960s, road work upgraded the substandard expressway into a modern freeway with a barrier median, full shoulders and sound barriers.

Pennsylvania Route 581 East

PA 581 (Harrisburg Expressway) heads south from Interstate 81 to a diamond interchange (Exit 2) with Creekview Road to Good Hope Mill in Hampden township.
10/08/01

U.S. 11 (Carlisle Pike) converges with PA 581 east at the ensuing exit from New Kingstown and Hogestown in Silver Spring township.
10/08/01

U.S. 11 combines with PA 581 (Harrisburg Expressway) east from a trumpet interchange (Exit 3) with Carlisle Pike near Sporting Hill.
07/01/00
U.S. 11 North Pennsylvania Route 581 East

U.S. 11 overlaps with PA 581 east to a cloverleaf interchange (Exit 5) with U.S. 15 (32nd Street) at Camp Hill.
10/08/01

U.S. 15 extends southwest from PA 581/U.S. 11 along a limited access highway to Mount Allen, Grantham and York County. U.S. 15 continues southwest from the Harrisburg area to Gettysburg and Frederick, Maryland.
10/08/01

PA 581 (American Ex-POW Memorial Highway) proceeds east from U.S. 11/15 to a trumpet interchange (Exit 6) with Interstate 83 at Lemoyne.
10/08/01

Interstate 83 meets PA 581 north from New Cumberland and west of the John Harris Bridge spanning the Susquehanna River into Harrisburg.
10/08/01

Exit 6B leaves PA 581 east for Interstate 83 south 20 miles to York. Replacing U.S. 111, I-83 was constructed in the 1950s and 60s between Harrisburg and Baltimore, Maryland.
10/08/01
Pennsylvania Route 581 West

The first confirming marker for PA 581 west. The Harrisburg Expressway was constructed in the 1960s between I-83 and Camp Hill.
06/24/12

PA 581 meets U.S. 11/15 (32nd Street) north to Camp Hill at a cloverleaf interchange (Exit 5) in 1.75 miles.
06/24/12

A Capital Beltway trailblazer stands just beyond the split with Interstate 83 south at milepost 7.3.
06/24/12

U.S. 11/15 overlap northward from the Harrisburg Expressway to Wormleysburg and along the Susquehanna River north to Shamokin Dam.
06/24/12


06/24/12


06/24/12

U.S. 15 (Blue-Gray Highway) follows a freeway south from PA 581 and U.S. 11 to the York County line at Carroll township. The four lane highway continues south from Dillsburg to Gettysburg and Frederick, Maryland.
06/24/12
U.S. 11 South Pennsylvania Route 581 West

Exit 4 joins U.S. 11/PA 581 (Harrisburg Expressway) west with Central Boulevard (SR 1021) to PA 641 (Trindle Road) and Market Street / Carlisle Pike (SR 1010).
06/24/12

U.S. 11 south overlaps with PA 581 west from 32nd Street in Camp Hill to Carlisle Pike at Sporting Hill.
06/24/12


06/24/12

PA 641 (Trindle Road) heads west from U.S. 11/15 (32nd Street) in Camp Hill to the borough of Mechanicsburg. PA 641 continues west to U.S. 11 again at Carlisle.
06/24/12

U.S. 11 departs from the Harrisburg Expressway westbound at Exit 3 for Carlisle Pike.
06/24/12

A trumpet interchange links U.S. 11 with Carlisle Pike west to Hogestown and New Kingstown in Silver Spring township. Carlisle Pike (SR 1010) leads east to Sporting Hill and Market Street in Camp Hill.
06/24/12


06/24/12
Pennsylvania Route 581 West

Heading north, PA 581 advances one mile to a diamond interchange (Exit 2) with Creekview Road.
06/24/12


06/24/12


06/24/12


06/24/12

PA 581 west separates into ramps (Exits 1A/B) for Interstate 81 one mile beyond Creekview Road.
06/24/12

Interstate 81 travels across northern reaches of the Harrisburg metropolitan area between Carlisle and Paxtonia.
06/24/12


06/24/12

Traffic partitions for I-81 south to Carlisle, Chambersburg and Hagerstown, Maryland and I-81 north to Harrisburg, Hazleton and Allentown via I-78 east.
06/24/12

A pair of end shields stand at the directional T interchange (Exit 1) with Interstate 81.
06/24/12
Pennsylvania Route 581 scenes

The interchange linking PA 581 with Interstate 81 north of Creekview Road sat unused for decades. The exchange opened along with PA 581 south to U.S. 11 in 1996.
07/01/00

PA 581 heads south from the Creekview Road overpass toward U.S. 11 (Carlisle Pike) at Sporting Hill.
07/01/00

PA 581 heads north from Creekview Road to Interstate 81, which travels west to Carlisle and east across the Susquehanna River into north Harrisburg.
07/01/00



Photo Credits:

07/01/00, 10/08/01, 06/24/12 by AARoads

Connect with:
Interstate 81
Interstate 83
U.S. 15

Page Updated 01-03-2021.

Go to Top