Two structural problems on 690 in Syracuse hold up traffic

Hole discovered last week on 690

Traffic will continue to be delayed on a portion of Interstate 690 where there's a hole in a bridge, and now there's a new problem causing even more problems on 690 westbound.

The new issue is a crack in a joint header, on the 690 west bridge over Catherine Street. For drivers, the westbound lanes narrow starting at the Teall Avenue on-ramp, to past the Interstate 81 interchange. That's just ahead of the hole, discovered last week near the West Street exit. Crews are digging up the concrete and will replace it and the expansion strips in the roadway.

Crews are also doing the major repair work on the hole near West Street Tuesday and Wednesday, but it will be the middle of next week before the concrete cures on both patches, and the lanes are reopened.

And, in addition to the 'emergency' roadwork, the scheduled summer construction is also causing major headaches for motorists, with detours and delays on 81 north and southbound between Mattydale and Brewerton.

'We have ramp closures and mainline changes,' says NY DOT Spokesperson Gene Cilento. "It's crazy out there," There are advisory signs all along the highway, warning of the ramp changes, mostly from 9am to 3pm--Cilento tells us that doing the work at night would have been more costly. Contractors opted to do both the ramps and the main road work all at once, which means there are also several spots where lanes close and traffic must merge. On 81 southbound near North Syracuse it comes to a virtual stop as it goes down to one lane.

On Monday, the biggest congestion spot was on State Route 31 at the 81 interchange. The southbound ramp to the highway was closed, and the southbound offramp to 31 was clogged with cars trying to escape the backup on the interstate.Motorists told us it was crazy because they did not know alternative routes, and 31--and nearby Route 11's traffic was also heavy as some looked for alternatives to the 81 backups.

We have the weekly list of construction detours and the DOT also recommends checking its website for construction updates.