I-690 construction project has neighbors scrambling for new routes

If many neighbors in the western suburbs don't develop an alternate route and leave themselves plenty of time, they are likely going to be stuck in a massive traffic jam. Stuck waiting to get off of 690, and then on the main surface roads through Downtown Syracuse.

"There's no direct interstate detour this time and it's going to be rough,â?? says DOT representative Gene Cilento.

The 690 closure just adds to the traffic headaches on the west side. Much of West Genesee Street in Camillus is already down to single lanes for construction there. Megan Bentley drives to Fayetteville for work, so she's now considering everything from the Thruway north of the city to the Seneca Turnpike in the south.

"Good thing I have a couple days off to figure out what I'm going to do,â?? Bentley says.

Gene Cilento says the choices were to close down 690 through downtown for two weeks or reduce it to one lane for six months.

The inconvenience is unavoidable, and Cilento is hoping people find another way to get around and don't get stuck in miles of gridlock when I-690 shuts down on Friday.

"Those first two, maybe three, workdays are the toughest ones because then people adapt and they start looking at an alternate route,â?? Cilento says. â??I just hope they start looking at that alternate route now."

Many surface roads into downtown from the west are expected to be heavily congested during the shutdown. Megan Bentley is wondering if she is better off becoming a temporary east-sider.

"Maybe I'll have to stay with my sister for two weeks,â?? Bentley says.