If you have ever traveled around, under or over the State Route 8 bridge in Utica, odds are you have been frustrated. Due to the fact most people don't know how to yield, entering and exiting the ramps can be scary. The New York State Department of Transportation announced that replacement of the bridge will begin soon.

On Friday, NYSDOT Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez announced that preliminary work has begun to replace the bridge over Route 5 & 12 that was originally constructed in 1960. Officials say the existing bridge will be replaced with a modern, multi-girder bridge that will improve safety for all motorists who utilize it. This bridge and the routes surrounding it are critical to those who wish to travel anywhere from the Adirondacks to the Southern Tier.

Commissioner Dominguez says,

This project in the City of Utica demonstrates the Department of Transportation’s commitment to that mission and to building a more resilient transportation network that meets the needs of all New Yorkers.

There will be several differences between the new bridge and the one it's replacing. The $11.8 million project will make the bridge higher at sixteen feet clearance, the surrounding ramps will be resurfaced and new lights and signage will be installed. All DOT workers have to wait for now is the weather to officially break.

In order to maintain the usage of the bridge and to reduce an interruption in the vital flow of traffic the bridge construction will be done in stages. Officials with the DOT says one half of the bridge will be worked on at once and traffic in both directions will be reduced to one lane. Several detours will be put in place throughout the process and those will likely be due to the need for ramp closures. State DOT officials anticipate this project will be fully complete in the Spring of 2022.

As always, NYSDOT officials will issue travel advisories as necessary during the course of the project. Officials are also reminding motorists that the safety of workers is crucial and fines double for speeding in a work zone. Please use an abundance of caution and stay distraction free during the course of construction regardless of where it is being done.

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