Pre-Cast Panels Will Be Used To Shorten Construction to Twenty Days

ALBANY, NY (07/19/2013)(readMedia)-- New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner Joan McDonald today announced that work will begin next week on a project to replace the deck on the bridges carrying Interstate 81 over East Castle Street and Calthrop Avenue, located in the City of Syracuse just south of downtown. Using innovative construction methods, work on the $4.9 million project has been condensed into two 10-day periods when a short section of interstate will be completely closed to traffic.

This work is being done as part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's NY Works program and meets the goals of the Governor's Drivers First initiative to ensure that construction causes the least impact to motorists.

"The use of precast bridge components drastically reduces the amount of construction time and promises a high-quality, long-lasting bridge deck for the more than 80,000 vehicles that use the bridge every day," Commissioner McDonald said. "Keeping in mind that the New York State Fair will be starting in late August, we directed the acceleration of this project to ensure people traveling to Syracuse from all across the state would not be affected by travel delays from construction."

Construction is scheduled to take place during two separate 10-day periods in July and August. From Friday, July 26 at 9 a.m. through the afternoon of Monday, August 5, work will occur on the bridges carrying I-81 southbound. From Friday, August 9 at 9 a.m. through the afternoon of Monday, August 19, work will occur on the bridges carrying I-81 northbound.

During construction, I-81 will be closed in the appropriate direction and traffic will be detoured using Interstate 481, Interstate 690 and city streets.

The project will include removing the existing concrete bridge decks and replacing them with pre-cast concrete panels. The pre-cast panels are fabricated off-site and transported to the bridge for installation. This construction technique significantly shortens the project duration versus a traditional, poured-in-place concrete deck.

The project is part of a $17.4 million NY Works contract to replace the deck on 13 bridges in Cayuga, Oneida and Onondaga counties. The construction contractor for the project is Slate Hill Constructors of Warners, Onondaga County.

NY Works focuses on improving the condition of bridges from fair condition and bringing them to good condition in order to extend their service life. This rehabilitation work will better preserve the state's infrastructure and guard against the need for more costly, in-depth construction. Bundling project sites within close geographic locations into a single contract enables DOT to lower expenses and obtain lower bids.

As part of the Drivers First initiative developed by the Governor last year, the project plans went through a rigorous review to ensure that construction will have the least possible impact to the traveling public. Drivers First requires that capital construction road and bridge projects are assessed to ensure that work is planned to minimize the impact on highway users. For this project, it was determined closing the bridges for 10-day durations would allow the project to be completed safely and efficiently while meeting the goals of the Drivers First initiative.

It is imperative that motorists remember to drive carefully through highway and bridge construction zones, as well as along the detour routes established for this project.

For real-time travel information, call 511 or visit www.511NY.org. 511NY is New York State's official traffic and travel information source. The 511NY site and mobile app offers free, 24/7, statewide real-time traffic and transit information for all of New York State. It also offers a transit trip planner, camera views, as well as weather alerts and forecasts. New features available at the site - www.511ny.org - include additional mobile app features, border crossing times, new notifications on the home page, and an interface that is easier to navigate.