SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - Work is progressing along quickly to have the first half of the huge I-690 project in Syracuse done by the end of this year and hopefully before any serious snowfall.
The work entails reconstruction of a ¾-mile section of the highway including replacement of a 1,500-foot viaduct, or elevated highway, spanning Beech Street; replace the bridge over Teall Avenue; and improve Exit 14 at Teall Avenue in Syracuse.
Gene Cilento, NYSDOT Public Information Officer, says, "This is the biggest job we've seen in the area since the construction of this stuff back in the 60s."
When the project is done there will no longer be a 1/4-mile stretch of steel bridge span, which is half gone already. Instead the new roadway on both east and westbound will rest on fill.
"Maintaining a bridge, a structure, costs a whole lot more than maintaining a road section at grade," Cilento tells NewsChannel 9.
Special machines have been brought in to perform work never done before in Upstate New York.
They drill down into the very loose soil under the viaduct section of I-690 and pump concrete into the hole to firm up the base that will support the new highway.
Cilento says they're also taking advantage of the opportunity to make other improvements.
He says, "There's a slight curve in the road heading as you go westbound. The construction is pushing things over a little bit to the North so that some of the curve is going to be eliminated."
The eastbound side of the project is supposed to be done by the end of this year.
The state will resume the normal traffic pattern over the winter opening three lanes in each direction and all ramps.
In the spring, crews will start work on the westbound side, including moving all traffic onto the new section until that work is done later in 2018.
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