Updated 07/20/2012 09:13 PM
Prospect Mountain update
Rock excavation work continues on Prospect Mountain and that means more delays for people traveling on Binghamton’s highways. Our Elyse Mickalonis got an update on the project from the Department of Transportation. They say traffic hold-ups shouldn’t be too bad as blasting continues and ask people to be patient.
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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- It’s an area that nearly 70,000 people drive through every day.
“Right now, undergoing rock excavation on Prospect Mountain itself and the reason we’re doing that is with this project going to slightly realign the roadway 40 feet into the mountain, widen the roadway so the lanes can be delineated further back before the curve,” said Kate McPherson, NYS DOT.
The work is part of a four-year-long project, but the method used to widen the road has caused some traffic delays.
“Blasting is actually a very common rock excavation process. It’s not a huge explosion by any means. It’s a pop, but it does allow us to slow down traffic in the area to create a gap to do this procedure loosen rock,” said McPherson.
Blasting will continue through mid-August. Until then, State Police are enforcing rolling slow-downs on Interstate 81, Route 17 and Interstate 88 around the area during blasting operations.
"People should realize these slowdowns are not a huge delay. They’re called slowdowns because people don’t stop. It may add an extra five minutes to their commute if they happen to be in that area at the time,” said McPherson.
The DOT says some people may be upset about blasting delays, but it’s important to remember it’s a safety precaution and the project is meant to improve the quality of roadway and prevent accidents.
“This project is definitely going to improve the safety of this section of Route 17 and get an I-86 designation on this area,” said McPherson.
McPherson says blasting times may change due to bad weather and other circumstances, but no matter what, it’s important to drive safely through the area.
“When you're in work zones, please be considerate, there are workers with families they go home to at night,” said McPherson.
Making the roads safer for everyone.
The next round of blasting is scheduled for Monday through Friday at various times.
To see if that will affect your commute and plan ahead, visit www.facebook.com/prospect.mountain.project or www.twitter.com/prospectmtn.