Updated 03/15/2013 07:36 PM
Prospect Mountain project updates
It's an interchange that was built in the 1960s to handle 30,000 cars, but now the link between Route 17 and I-81 carries nearly 70,000 people every day. And that's just one of many reasons for the ongoing Prospect Mountain Project. Our Elyse Mickalonis spoke with DOT officials who say the work is on time and on budget, but it could affect your commute.
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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- It’s one of the busiest areas of travel near Binghamton, with nearly 70,000 vehicles commuting every day.
"That is our most traveled area and most traveled corridor in the Southern Tier here and really to have to reduce the number of lanes is going to have an impact on the traveling public,” said Jack Williams, NYS DOT Regional Director.
On Friday, the DOT met with local law enforcement and first responders to go over Prospect Mountain Project plans for the 2013 season. Construction will begin to remove concrete barriers between exits 3 and 4 on Monday. Along with that, the Route 7 southbound ramp to I-81 North and Route 17 West will be closed until March 22nd from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. Work that’s needed to start the replacement of the Chenango Street Bridge.
"That is the area where we need room to move and shift traffic around, that barrier has been installed as a permanent fixture, so over the next coming weeks, we’ll be removing that barrier so the we can put our maintenance protection and traffic schemes into place,” said Williams.
Work will also continue on the bridges over the Chenango River. The DOT says they’re going to use Facebook, traffic alerts and message boards to keep the public updated.
"All the things that we can do to inform the traveling public, so they know what the situation is out there and what we're trying to do,” said Williams.
DOT officials are urging the public to remain patent during this time and maybe even avoid the construction routes.
"Try to stay away from the construction area as much as they can. If they have another way, it may be a little bit longer distance-wise, but if they could please try to find another way to get to work,” said Williams.
David Harder, Broome County Sherriff, added, “Give yourself a few extra minutes, allow for any detours, any backups, situations, find an alternate route you can take.”
Work on the new Prospect Street Connector Bridge will continue in the summer. Phase one of the entire project is expected to be complete by the end of 2015.
To see if any of the construction will affect your commute, head to www.facebook.com.