Major detour coming to 81N, Prospect Mountain Project

By Jillian Marshall

June 27, 2014 Updated Jun 27, 2014 at 6:31 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Since the 17-81 Interchange opened, drivers heading north on I-81 have always been in the left lane and drivers headed south were in the right. A major closure starts next week that could cause some confusion for drivers.

Drivers can expect to see a lot of these changes next week on Route 17 east.

The Interstate 81 northbound ramp will be closed starting at 9 a.m. Monday, and drivers will have to detour onto Front Street.

This will force drivers headed southbound into the left lane.

The New York State Department of Transportation, or NYS DOT, has been alerting drivers through signs along the highway all week.

On Friday, they finished putting up the detour signs.

The DOT is shutting down the ramp to completely reconstruct it and finish knocking down the old 17 east bridge.

"We're going to have signage, we're going to have our variable message signs that are going to be telling the traffic that 17 eastbound is going to be in the left lane, and I-81 northbound is going to be in the right lane," said Jack Williams, director of Region 9.

Williams said this is a milestone in the Prospect Mountain Interchange Construction.

The detour has northbound travelers getting off at exit 72 and turning left on Front Street.

The DOT has opened a second turning lane onto Front Street and will also have two lanes headed north on Front Street, in an attempt to cut down on traffic.

They have also added a second traffic light at the bottom of the ramp and adjusted the timers on the lights.

Drivers are recommended to get on 81 north at the ramp by Otsiningo Park.

Williams said the exit will be closed for at least three months and will open sometime in the fall.

The Prospect Mountain Project is still slated to be completed in 2019.