Blasting Prospect Mountain

By Lindsay Nielsen

June 19, 2012 Updated Jun 19, 2012 at 11:52 PM EDT

Town of Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Activity on the Prospect Mountain project is set to increase Wednesday. Blasting will create slow and at times stand still traffic on Route 17.

Phase one of a multi-million dollar project picks up speed.

Workers will use explosives to reshape Prospect Mountain.

"We're looking at ultimately bringing out about 40 feet of rock with the excavation and it's going to allow us to realign the road as we move forward with the construction," said Public Information Officer for the New York State DOT, Dave Hamburg.

Blasting begins Wednesday.

"Well it's not going to be a dramatic blasting. It's very controlled and they take great pains in that there are no dangers. There's going to be radius that's going to be closed. It's a 1,000 foot radius," said Hamburg.

Drivers can expect slower traffic and detours in the area of the I-81 and Route 17 interchange.

Crews will be blasting once a day on certain days from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. through August.

"They will be slowing traffic up with a rolling slow down and at times they will also be stopping traffic. Traffic may be stopped for as much as ten to fifteen minutes at a time," said Hamburg.

The DOT encourages drivers to seek alternate routes.

Prior to each blast, there will be a security check and warning whistles.

If debris falls onto the road, there will be a detour to take traffic from the I-81 South ramp to Route 17 West.

Rubbernecking is highly discouraged.

"As they're driving through to pay attention to their driving. People have the tendency to want to watch the activity that's going on. That's certainly understandable but it's not a good idea because you don't know what the person in front of you is going to do and that could cause issues," said Hamburg.

Also, there will be alternating lane closures on Front Street between Bevier St and Prospect St from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. now through Friday.

The work is part of the bridge reconstruction project to convert Route 17 to Interstate 86.

Phase one costs $135 million.