Early gift for commuters, holiday travelers

Heading east out of Rome just got a little easier.

Since April, bridge replacements over Route 26 and Route 49/69 sent motorists on a detour along Lower Lawrence and Lamphear roads or through the city along East Dominick St. However, the state Department of Transportation announced that it wrapped up its work nearly three weeks early — providing holiday shoppers and workday commuters with an early Christmas present, a faster, easier and less congested trip.

With the completion of these projects, all of the bridge deck replacements funded through the NY Works program have now completed, according to a release from the DOT. The NY Works program allotted $212 million to address bridge deck and structural replacement or rehabilitation needs on approximately 112 bridges across the state.

"NY Works is an innovative program that is improving the safety of New York state’s transportation infrastructure, helping boost local and regional economies all across the state," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in the release, adding, "A sound transportation system is vital to New York, linking communities, supporting tourism and providing shipping corridors so that our great state can thrive."

The Rome project cost $5.1 million and was part of a $17.4 million contract to address 13 bridges in Oneida, Onondaga and Cayuga counties.

"We rely on good bridges to keep our people moving and our economy going," state Sen. Joseph A. Griffo, R-47, Rome, said. "On behalf of all of us who travel the bridges in Rome daily, I appreciate the Department of Transportation finishing their work ahead of schedule and before holiday shopping and winter conditions complicate travel."

"This interchange is used by thousands of motorists daily, so it’s great news that this renovation project has been completed ahead of schedule," Assemblyman Anthony J. Brindisi, D-119, added. "Having a reliable system of roads and bridges is important, not just for the safety of motorists, but also to the region’s economic development."

Although the work on the bridges is complete, motorists will continue to encounter a Route 365 westbound lane closure. Traffic signal work at the at on/off ramps to Route 365 from Martin Street may require lane closures controlled by flaggers.

In Utica, the DOT announced that several aspects of the Utica North-South Arterial project continue, however, there are some updates:

Motorists traveling on Oriskany Boulevard will be able to access Champlin Avenue as the extension from Champlin Avenue to Oriskany Boulevard will open for traffic tomorrow;

Drivers traveling on Burrstone Road will be able to access Lincoln Avenue. The extension from Lincoln Avenue to Burrstone Road will open to traffic on Thursday.

"It s imperative that motorists remember to drive carefully through all highway and bridge work zones they will encounter during this construction season," The DOT said in the release. "For real-time travel information, call 511 or visit www.511NY.org (or) follow New York State DOT on Twitter: @NYSDOT.[Close Quote]

In the Town of Trenton, the Route 12 bridge over Cincinnati Creek is now open to traffic. Motorists may encounter intermittent shoulder or lane closures.