Traffic Alert - Bridge deck replacements on two I-81 bridges in Syracuse, work begins Friday

Motorists in Syracuse should expect some disruption as workers replace the decking on two Interstate 81 bridges over the next month.

The state transportation department says traffic will be detoured onto other highways and Syracuse streets during $4.9 million project just south of the city's downtown.

The DOT will be replacing the bridge decks on on the bridges carrying Interstate 81 over East Castle Street and Calthrop Avenue, just south of downtown.

The work is scheduled for two 10-day periods:

-- I-81 southbound lanes will be closed from Friday, July 26 at 6:00 p.m. until Monday, August 5.

-- I-81 northbound lanes will be closed from August 9 until Monday, August 19.

Traffic will be re-routed onto interstates 481 and 690 and the city streets.

The DOT has suggested the following detours to get around the construction:

- Southbound traffic from Cicero and points further north with destinations south of the southern 81/481 interchange should use southbound I-481 as a bypass.

- Southbound I-81 traffic, entering from the immediate northern suburbs with destinations south of the southern 81/481 interchange, should follow the detour using eastbound I-690 to southbound I-481 to southbound I-81.

- Southbound I-81 traffic with a downtown or University / Hospital area destination will be permitted to exit at the Adams / Harrison Street exit (Exit 18).

- Eastbound I-690 to southbound I-81traffic heading to the University & Hospital areas should exit at West Street (Exit 12), follow southbound West Street then turn left onto Shonnard Street. Shonnard Street turns into Adams Street.

- Eastbound I-690 to southbound I-81through traffic should continue eastbound on I-690, then take southbound I-481 to southbound I-81.

- Westbound I-690 to southbound I-81 should continue on westbound I-690 to Geddes Street (Exit 10), turn left at the end of the ramp, turn left again to enter eastbound I-690, then continue eastbound on I-690, then take southbound I-481 to southbound I-81.

- Southbound traffic normally using the on-ramp at Adams Street should follow southbound Route 11 (South State Street, South Salina Street) to the southbound on-ramp at East Calthrop Avenue.

During the period of closure, motorists should expect major delays within the I-81/I-690 interchange, Adams, Harrison, Almond, Salina and State Streets and anywhere along the detour routes.

The existing concrete bridge decks will be replaced with pre-cast concrete panels, a process the DOT says will shorten construction time.

The state is spending $17.4 million the decks on 13 bridges in Cayuga, Oneida and Onondaga counties as part of Governor Andrew Cuomoâ??s NY Works program.

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