SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Street lights are being installed along the stretch of I-690 where lack of light was blamed for Syracuse University coach Jim Boeheim’s car accident that resulted in the death of 51-year-old Jorge Jimenez in 2019.
Tuesday, drivers headed east on I-690 toward DeWitt were delayed by construction on their left sides as DOT engineers dug electrical wiring into the ground and used a crane to life light poles into place.
In total, the DOT will install 164 poles, 26 of which have two light arms for a total of 190 lights between Midler and Thompson Roads.
Two years ago, in June of 2019, NewsChannel 9 was first to report that the State Department of Transportation was honoring the request of the City of Syracuse to add street lighting in the section. Lights ran from Downtown Syracuse but ended just before the Midler Avenue ramps.
The lights are designed to prevent another accident like the one involving Coach Jim Boeheim, who claimed he couldn’t see Jimenez or his disabled car in the distance.
The Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office cleared Boeheim of any wrongdoing and blamed the crash on his “limited obstructed view” with a “poor/reduced visual environment.”
The City of Syracuse also identified that lack of lighting may have been a factor. The city’s chief operating officer, Corey Driscoll Dunham, told NewsChannel 9 that “lighting was a significant issue in that area.”
Once the DOT finishes installation, the City of Syracuse will pay for the electricity and maintenance.
Lights were also installed or replaced between Peat Street and Midler Avenue. Over the years, many lights had not been working.
Drivers should expect slow-downs in the eastbound lane of I-690 near Midler Avenue before the work shifts to the westbound lane.