Prospect Mountain's Progress

By Haley Burton

July 30, 2012 Updated Jul 31, 2012 at 10:07 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) Construction on the Prospect Mountain project is picking up speed.

The multi-million dollar reconstruction is in full-force on Route 17 and Interstate 81.

"Right now, we are at 11 percent complete for the entire project," said Dave Hamburg, NYS DOT Public Information Officer, "The sub-structures are 30 percent completed and we still have work to go."

The State DOT says it's impressed with the progress on the construction thus far.

"We're very pleased with the way things are going, especially with the daily rock excavation. It's been a precision job. They've been very impressive with what they've been able to accomplish," said Hamburg.

Rock excavation to re-shape the mountain will continue until mid-September, weather permitting.

"Work will be continuing through the fall and as long as the weather allows the contractor to continue doing work the contractor will be out here and working," said Hamburg.

The New York State DOT says the blasting has not stopped traffic through the construction area. It has just slowed drivers down during scheduled excavation times.

"They've been slowing down traffic to 15 to 20 mph but they haven't been stopping the traffic. It's just been really a credit to not only the contractor and the forces doing the excavation but also to our State Police partners who have managed to keep traffic flowing," said Hamburg.

Phase One of the project costs $134.6 million. Around 170 people are currently working on it including contractors and DOT employees.

"Right now, people are seeing more work being done on the bridges at the Prospect Connector. That work is continuing," explained Hamburg, "They will be seeing all kinds of roadwork that will be done to widen the roadway and the bridge work on the river bridges will be continuing."

Steel will be set on the Prospector Connector that will happening later in 2012.

"They will also be seeing the lane configurations in the eastbound direction about a half-mile from the curve itself. They will be seeing a delineation of that with concrete barrier where people will be making their decisions before they get into the curve to make it a much safer curve," explained Hamburg.

Phase One of the project is set to be complete in December 2015.

"The work zone will be in place, at least in this phase, through 2015," said Hamburg, "People need to understand that they need to slow down. They need to put down the electronic devices, concentrate on their driving and be aware that New York State Police are going to be out in force enforcing the reduced speed and other traffic violations."

Phase Two will begin after December 2015 and the construction will go for four years.