Construction and festivals cause traffic problems in Syracuse

Road work in Downtown Syracuse Friday morning.

People who live and work in downtown Syracuse this summer are forced to put up with traffic backups, road closures and delays. Many commuters complained to CNY Central that Friday's morning commute took up to 20 minutes longer than usual.

You might chalk it up to growing pains. Downtown Syracuse has become a hub of construction as developers transform this section of the city into a residential neighborhood. That transformation requires infrastructure improvements. This summer,a number of heavily travelled streets are being re-constructed which means traffic restrictions and road closures. Couple that with road closures for the Taste of Syracuse festival this weekend and motorists will find themselves in bumper to bumper traffic.

Tamie Kiniry who works in Syracuse says, "you have to plan ahead definitely." Like many other commuters, Kiniry has found an innovative way to get to work "When it's bad like that. I go through Route 81, get off the 690 exit, get off, turn around, loop around to Tealle Avenue, get on Water Street, and come in that way. That will avoid some of the construction."

The road closings and construction has some of the vendors at the nTaste of Syracuse worried about attendance. Tom Navagh's band, Better Than Bowling will be performing Saturday at noon. "I would think it might steer people away. They may have to park far away of get frustrated driving around." he said.

The City of Syracuse anticipated the traffic problems that would be caused by this summer's road construction and festivals, so they put out notifications but you have to know where to look.

On the official website of the City of Syracuse is a new section devoted exclusively to transportation projects. Complete with maps, you can be informed of where the construction will take place, when and for how long. It also provides you with a detour map to avoid the traffic backups.

Commuters can expect even worse delays and detours beginning Friday, June 13, when the State Department of Transportation will shut down Route 690 Eastbound to replace the bridge deck over Onondaga Creek. That project is expected to last 13 days.