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      DOT changes Route 370 traffic plan for bridge construction

      Work on the Seneca River Bridge on Route 370 from Liverpool to Lysander continues with changes / Photojournalist Andy Wolf

      New York State Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that is plans to change the way traffic is being handled on the bridge deck replacement project at Route 370 over the Seneca River between Salina and Lysander.

      Beginning on Friday, July 19, a temporary three color signal will begin to control alternating one-way traffic across the bridge.

      The DOT says the change is meant to better accommodate off-peak and weekend motorists, while still providing effective traffic control for commuter traffic and emergency vehicles.

      The bridge has been open as primarily eastbound, except for a few hours during rush-hour when it is only open for westbound traffic.

      Beginning Friday, the bridge will be open for alternating one-way traffic, in both directions, with the use of a stoplight. (Read the additional details below.)

      The DOT originally wanted to close the bridge completely for 4 to 6 weeks to work on both lanes at once,but residents objected and preferred to keep the bridge open one way all the time. Residents conceded evening rush hour changes to let commuters get home more quickly.

      The bridge, built in 1958, is scheduled to be closed through mid-November while the concrete road surface is replaced.

      Operational restrictions for the new traffic pattern, as outlined by the DOT, are listed below. They will be in effect around-the-clock.

      Hayes Road-- From eastbound Route 370, only right turns will be allowed into Hayes Road (near the Elks Club). -- Westbound Route 370 traffic will not be permitted to turn left into Hayes Road. -- No traffic will be permitted to exit from Hayes Road onto Route 370.-- Hayes Road traffic will instead be directed to Hayes Road North, a distance of approximately three miles.

      River Road-- Left turns will not be permitted from River Road to eastbound Route 370. -- Right turns into and out of River Road will be allowed, as will left turns from eastbound Route 370 into River Road. -- Motorists wishing to turn left from River Road onto eastbound Route 370 will be detoured to Hicks Road.

      Expected delays-- During the weekday afternoon and evening hours (2 p.m. to at least 8 p.m.), eastbound motorists should expect delays of 20 minutes or more approaching the bridge. -- These delays will result from providing enough green signal time to keep westbound traffic from backing up into the John Glenn Boulevard intersection. -- During these weekday afternoon and evening hours, eastbound motorists should consider alternate routes to avoid significant delays. -- Also due to providing adequate signal time, eastbound motorists may experience slight delays in the morning hours (7 a.m. to 11 a.m.).-- During the middle of the day, the overnight hours and all day on Saturday and Sunday, the split for eastbound and westbound traffic will be approximately 50/50. During these off peak hours, motion detectors near the STOP bars will â??remindâ?? the signal control cabinets that a vehicle is waiting.

      Safety and adjustments-- â??All redâ?? - After the light changes from green to yellow in one direction, both directions will show a red signal. This allows enough time for the last few vehicles in the one direction to travel across the bridge. This all red phase will occur after all green phases, in both directions.-- At all times, motorists are reminded that they must wait for the light to turn green before proceeding. Under no circumstances should motorists pull ahead until the light in their intended direction turns green.-- Depending on traffic volumes and backups encountered during weekday morning and afternoon peak hours, the signal operation may be temporarily suspended while flaggers oversee traffic operations. -- NYSDOT and Onondaga County Sheriffâ??s personnel will be monitoring the traffic conditions and will make additional adjustments as needed.