Construction starting again at Prospect Mountain

By WBNG News

March 21, 2014 Updated Mar 21, 2014 at 6:37 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Construction season is about to pick up and the Prospect Mountain Interchange will have major changes this season.

More than 70,000 people drive through the I-81-17 Interchange everyday, and that means they are driving through the Prospect Mountain project, which will start up again this construction season.

The New York State Department of Transportation said travelers will notice a difference in their commute early on in the season.

One of the biggest transitions is changing from the 17 eastbound ramp to the new 17 east bridge.

"When we have the vehicles up on those structures, we will be able to start demolishing the existing 17 eastbound and westbound and make way for new 81 northbound and southbound structures," said NYSDOT Region Nine Director Jack Williams.

That means closing the 17 east to I-81 northbound ramp, which currently runs under the bridges that will be knocked down.

The detoured traffic will use the Front St. ramp to Front St. and back on at exit 5 heading north on I-81.

The ramp will be closed for three to four months this summer.

Phase One is a little more than 50 percent completed and is slated to end in December 2015.

The focus now is to get drivers onto the new bridges and work on the Prospect St. overpass and Mygatt St. bridge.

The whole project -- including phase two, which hasn't started -- is still on schedule to be done by December 2018.

Williams said drivers need to start paying attention to lane changes and detours now because workers will soon be out on the roadways with them.

The project was halted over the winter and slowed the progress of the construction.

"The work that took place during the wintertime was to try to maintain the travel way, the pot holes that developed, I mean it was brutal on the roadway out here," Williams said.

The DOT will also pave Route 434 from the Tioga County line to the city of Binghamton this summer, which will be at night.

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