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      Barricades go up as Interstate 81 shuts down from Exit 34 in Mexico to Exit 48 in Pamelia

      Police put up barricade at Exit 34 on I-81 in Mexico

      If your travels take you on Interstate 81 northbound, you will have to find another way to get where you're going.

      DOT crews have shut down the highway at Exit 34 in Mexico through Exit 48. This is a hard shut down and barricades have been put up.

      The closure is affecting both residents in the area and truck drivers who rely on Interstate 81 for work.

      Michael Randall, who drives trucks for ARG Trucking, was forced to detour onto Route 11 on Tuesday to go north.

      "It was very bad," said Randall. "We were going like 10-15 miles an hour most of the way up there. And on the way up there, I had to even stop right in the middle of the road part of the time. The roads were totally white-out conditions."

      Some in the area stopped at Speedy's Travel Plaza right off Exit 34 in Mexico to buy groceries because of the weather.

      "I had to come to the gas station just to get pizza because I can't get anywhere, no grocery store or anything," said Katy Klosheim of Parish.

      Speedy's Travel Plaza said business was booming on Tuesday because of the closure. "We've been pretty much slammed from 4 o'clock on," said employee Scott Kolodzie. "They're all asking for directions. What roads to take and what's closed, where to go."

      Last night, we saw a "soft closure" of the highway with no plans to put up barricades to prevent drivers from getting on the highway. By Tuesday, about a 75 mile stretch of 81 from Exit 31 in Brewerton to the border with Canada was closed due to heavy snow and winds. But without barricades up, some drivers were still traveling on the highway.

      Signs along the highway already reflect the change to the hard closure at Exit 34 in Mexico.

      If you are on the highway, you'll have to get off at Exit 34 and take Route 11 going north.

      I-81 south is also closed from Exit 48 border to Exit 34 in Mexico. Traffic will be diverted to alternate routes.