17W lanes open, gateway to finish other Prospect Mountain projects

By Jillian Marshall

August 6, 2014 Updated Aug 7, 2014 at 12:43 PM EDT

Town of Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The pieces started to come together in phase one of the Prospect Mountain Project. The New York State Department of Transportation officially opened a part of the interchange that may make your commute easier.

The DOT opened the new State Route 17 west lanes around 5 p.m. Tuesday, which is more than a week before they were originally slated to open.

The DOT said the concrete will last longer than regular asphalt pavement and will be easier to maintain in the winter.

On Wednesday, hundreds of cars traveled through the construction - most of them for the first time on the newly opened lanes.

The new westbound 17 lanes are serving as a gateway to complete the rest of phase one of the Prospect Mountain Project, like opening the Prospect Street off ramp from route 17 as well as opening the section of Prospect Street under the bridge.

"The significance is they are going to then be able to close the Mygatt Street exit and make it possible for people to get off here at the new exit at Prospect Street," DOT Region 9 Public Information Officer Dave Hamburg said.

Phase one of the Prospect Mountain Project will be finished in December 2015, according to Hamburg.

Bidding for phase two will begin late 2015, and the DOT hopes to overlap the start of phase two with the end of phase one.

The westbound 17 off ramp will open by the end of this year while the on ramp won't open until late next year.