"It's called staged construction," says DOT Public Information Officer for Region 3 Gene Cilento. "When you cross the bridge now there's no signal there. In order to allow traffic in both directions to get by we're going to be putting up temporary signals where the exit ramps come off of Route 13, and control alternating two-way traffic in that one lane with an alternating signal. Northbound traffic and southbound traffic will still be able to use it and the exit ramps will still be open. There may be some minor delays at certain times of the day during construction."
The bridge connects the Village of Lansing with Cayuga Heights. Exits off of Route 13 are located between the Stewart Park and Triphammer Mall exits. Cilento says this is a relatively simple project in a low traffic area. Vehicles cross the bridge about 1,400 times per day. During construction DOT officials say there will be accommodation for pedestrians and bicyclists. No construction on Route 13 is anticipated.
Construction is planned for 2015, but Cilento says it is safe to drive across the bridge now. He says there is no danger of the bridge deteriorating to the point where it would have to be closed before construction begins.
"We'll start sometime in the Spring when the weather breaks," Cilento says. "If it's like this year with what's going to be a long winter, it may not get going until late April. We're looking at doing both phases and having it completed by the end of 2015. Certainly by December at the latest, hopefully before that."
When construction is completed the lane widths on the bridge will match the approaches on both sides. The shoulders will be widened to match the approaches on Cayuga Heights Road on either side, which DOT officials say will better serve pedestrians and bicyclists. Six inch wide curbs will abut the railings on either side.
The DOT typically holds informational meetings before projects are started so local residents can plan for the construction time. The DOT uses local contractors when possible. The job will be bid and awarded to the lowest qualified bidder.