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      690 east shut down this summer to affect up to 40,000 drivers

      As we welcome sunshine and warmer temperatures, get ready for the other season in Central New York: construction season.

      Tens of thousands of drivers need to brace themselves for traffic troubles this summer, especially if you take 690 east heading in from the western suburbs.

      Major construction is expected to cause delays for drivers as both eastbound lanes on a section of 690 shut down for about two weeks. The lanes will shut down on Friday, June 13 and remain closed off for 13 days.

      Gene Cilento, a spokesperson for the New York State Department of Transportation, tells CNYCentral this will affect up to 40,000 drivers a day.

      This will happen in the 3 phases, according to news release issued by the DOT.

      Phase I: The ramps from westbound I-690 and from Butternut and Franklin streets to southbound West Street will be closed to allow for deck repairs to the left and center lanes of the bridge carrying southbound West Street over West Genesee Street. These closures will be in place until May 19. A short-term closure for the installation of an overhead sign structure will close the ramp from eastbound I-690 to West Genesee Street (Exit 12), sometime between mid-April and mid-May.

      Phase II: In June, eastbound I-690 over Onondaga Creek will have its bridge deck replaced with precast concrete panels. This requires the eastbound mainline be closed completely for up to 13 days. The signed detour will direct traffic onto Bear Street (to southbound I-81) and eventually traffic will be directed off the highway at combined Exits 11 & 12 (West Street and West Genesee Street). Motorists should plan alternate routes to bypass the long delays on I-690 and on the busier-than-usual surface streets in downtown Syracuse. Suggested alternate routes include State routes 20, 31, 173 and the NYS Thruway. Pedestrians and bicyclists should note that the Creekwalk will also be closed during this phase. This work is expected to begin on Friday, June 13.

      Phase III: The ramp from eastbound I-690 to southbound West Street will be closed for 42 days beginning after the completion of the NYS Fair. This will allow for the right lane of the West Street bridge over West Genesee Street to be rehabilitated.

      Other roadwork projects scheduled for this summer include:

      Route 690 Westside Rehabilitation: This is also a continuation of last year's work, which paved I-690 and NY 690 between the CSX Railroad Bridge and Route 48. This year's work will overlay the bridge decks carrying NY 690 over Downer Street, the Seneca River and Route 370, in the Baldwinsville area. One lane of traffic will be crossed over onto the opposite direction, to allow for bridge deck work to take place without traffic on the bridge. During construction, one bridge will carry one northbound and one southbound lane, separated by a concrete barrier. These crossovers will be in effect during most of the construction season. Bridge rehabilitation work will also require lane closures on Downer Street and Route 370.

      I-81 over Preble Road: The southbound I-81 bridge over Preble Road, in northern Cortland County, is being replaced in two stages with pre-fabricated panels, which will shorten the construction period. Preparation work taking place now involves daily single lane closures in both the northbound and southbound directions. Beginning on April 21, the southbound right lane will be closed around-the-clock for approximately two weeks, then the southbound left lane will be closed. The work requiring the 24/7 lane closures is expected to be completed by May 21.

      I-481 Milling and Resurfacing: Work continues this year on I-481 between I-690 and the southern interchange with I-81. The work involves deep joint repairs as needed, then removing and replacing the asphalt surface. Traffic will be maintained on-site using daily lane closures.

      NY-481 over Bonstead Road and the Oneida River: The northbound and southbound bridges will receive minor rehabilitations. Work elements include pier and abutment concrete repairs, new approach slabs, new joints and thin epoxy deck overlays. The project work will be staged, with one lane in each direction available at all times. The bridges are located on the border between Onondaga and Oswego counties.

      Route 3 over the Oswego River: The last major portion of work on this project in the city of Fulton will take place during the first half of this construction season. The new westbound bridge deck will be formed and poured, allowing for the sidewalk, rail and lighting installations. The new bridge should be fully open to traffic and pedestrians in mid-summer. In the meantime, one lane of traffic in each direction will be available.

      West Street Improvements: In 2014 and 2015, the West Street arterial between West Fayette and Shonnard Streets will receive improvements to enhance pedestrian and bicyclist safety and mobility for those who live and work in the area. This year's work includes the installation of a median fence between the CSX overpass and Fabius Street to direct pedestrians to signalized intersections, new sidewalks with ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) curb ramps between Marcellus and Gifford streets, elimination of vehicular access to/from Marcellus Street, a cycle track along the northbound service road and pavement repairs with resurfacing. In 2015, a new signalized mid-block crossing at Otisco Street will be installed and the dual signal at West Fayette Street will be upgraded. The work will be done with daily lane closures.