The south split of I-84/380. I-84 continues to Milford and Newbergh, New York; I-380 angles southeast to I-80 ahead of Stroudsburg. Photo by Chris Elbert (07/06).
Forming part of the regional freeway network between New York City, Scranton and the I-81 corridor, Interstate 380 is a rural spur in northeastern Pennsylvania. The freeway branches northwest from I-80 by Mt. Pocono to Tobyhanna, Gouldsboro, Daleville and Moscow. Combining with I-84 across Moosic Mountain, I-380 connects with I-81 and U.S. 6 at Dunmore and the northeast side of Scranton.
Prior to 2001, Interstate 380 was signed as an east/west route to benefit travelers to or from New York City. With the route generally orientated north-south, signs were changed during the statewide Interstate exit renumbering program underway in 2001.
Most of Interstate 380 was resurfaced between 1996 and 2001, including the replacement of original concrete.
What would become I-380 was first designated Interstate 81-S. I-81S was one of the original Interstate highways approved by the American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) for the state of Pennsylvania in 1958. It was renumbered as I-81E by 1964.1
Work began on Interstate 81S in 1961.2 I-81S was part of the Penn-Can Highway, the name for Interstate 81 extending north from Scranton to Alexandria, New York near the Canadian border.3 The freeway was initially completed in Monroe County three miles from I-80 near Crescent Lake north to PA 940 at Pocono Manor. A 5.2 mile long section of I-81E opened northward from the Pocono Interchange to the Tobyhanna Interchange in 1968. 17.7 miles remained under construction at that time with 5.8 miles still in design. $30 million was estimated to complete the route, with $1.8 million just for the high-level bridges over Brook Creek and the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad. The 1,092 foot long spans cross the gorge with a clearance of 145 feet.4
Prior to the completion of I-81E at Scranton in October 1971, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) sought to renumber the highway to avoid motorist confusion with differentiating between route shields for I-81 and I-81E. Following suggestions of I-381 or I-581, PennDOT proposed Interstate 380 to AASHO on May 3, 1972:
Morever, with the I-80 base route designation the renumbered route would be assigned milepost exit numbering beginning at its western terminus (the junction of I-81 at Scranton) and they would be coincident to those on I-84 and would be continued eastward beyond the I-84 junction in proper numerical sequence to the I-80 junction.
Additionally PennDOT proposed dually signing I-84 with I-380 west to
accomplish a Junction with I-81 at Scranton.
These changes were approved by AASHTO on June 19, 1972. PennDOT announced the renumbering program in August 1972, indicating that the installation of new signs was targeted for a June 1973 completion. I-380 was open at the time northwest from I-80 to PA 307 near Daleville and along the northernmost mile connecting with I-81 at Dunmore. Seven miles remained in design.5
Construction on the last four sections of I-380, connecting Dunmore and Yostville in the Scranton area, continued with work on the southbound roadway at the exchange with I-84 east and the interchange at Elmhurst extending to Summer 1975.6 Two additional lanes along this stretch of I-380 were completed in 1976.7