The re-surfacing of the Route 370 bridge over the Seneca River will mean a long detour, and it's leaving some residents already feeling cut off.
The bridge, built in 1958, will be closed until mid-November as its concrete road surface is taken up and replaced. It will be done one lane at a time, but having just one lane open to traffic is making for long detours for people going in the other direction.
A 'contra flow' pattern, is what NY DOT spokesman Gene Cilento is calling it. The DOT originally wanted to close the bridge totally 4 - 6 weeks to re-do both lanes at once, but residents objected. Then they wanted to keep it one way all the time, but conceded evening rush hour changes to let commuters get home more quickly.
For most of the time, the one lane will flow from the Baldwinsville area, east to John Glenn Boulevard. The detour to come from Liverpool west, will be John Glenn east to Co 57, then to Route 31 and west to 631 (the Bville Bypass) back to 370.
From 3:15 to 6:15 weekdays, the one lane will go toward Bville, in which case people going the other way , toward Liverpool, have to go 631 to 31, then 50 to John Glenn.
370 will be closed 3 to 3:15pm and 6 to 6:15pm each weeknight so they can change the directions.
Residents of the Cold Springs area and some businesses on the Lysander side of the bridge are still not happy, saying the detours will cut them off. The detours 'take an additional 20 minutes even without the traffic of rush hour,' says Cold Springs resident Margaret O'Mara. She says it's also expensive, about $800 more in gas, for just using the detour once a day.
O'Mara also worries about the impact on businesses on 370 that will lose customers, and on homebound people that need health services. ( Emergency vehicles do have a signal pre emption system for any time of day.)
The neighbors are keeping their petition drive open, asking for a change. It's online, at www.SenecaBridge.tk "We assume that once the detour starts, people who weren't aware of the situation will want to have something done," says O'Mara
The DOT says it is willing to talk about alternatives, but only if they're safe. DOT's Cilento says the road sees 750 vehicles an hour, even in non-peak periods, so traffic backups are a consideration. 'I can understand the frustration," he says.