Getting ready for the construction season

By Erika Mahoney

Getting ready for the construction season

March 15, 2013 Updated Mar 16, 2013 at 12:13 AM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) It may still be cold outside, but the construction season is just around the corner.

Department of Transportation crews are getting ready to begin the second year of construction on Prospect Mountain.

Additional work this spring will include a focus on the bridge over Chenango Street. Drivers will notice a traffic change next week.

On Monday, the barriers near exit 4 will be removed. But crews will still be working to maintain and protect traffic. Eventually drivers will see more concrete barriers and orange barrels in that area.

Following that preliminary work, traffic on I-81 south and Route 17 east will be reduced to one lane in late April, and it could last for up to four months.

State DOT officials say they are doing their part to ensure this season's construction moves swiftly and smoothly.

But they also say the traveling public plays an important role, too.

"If I could communicate messages to people as we started out, I would ask them to try to stay away from the construction area as much as they can," said Jack Williams, NYSDOT Region 9 director.

Williams said patience is key because a lot of work is ahead this spring and summer.

Work on the bridges over the Chenango River will continue. Later this summer, an on-ramp bridge will be constructed over Prospect Street.

During that time, there will be some excavating and blasting of the surrounding area.

DOT officials said the project is on budget and on schedule.

The DOT plans to use Twitter and Facebook feeds to keep the public updated as much as possible.