For the past several months commuters and travelers in the area of Utica and New Hartford have been burdened by the inconvenience of the closure of two ramps for the Routes 5/8/12 bridge. Now, there is temporary relief from that inconvenience. The key word there is temporarily.

The expression "You don't know what you've got until it's gone" couldn't be truer when it comes to those ramps. Personally, the ramp closure made a trip to my mother's house and the Washington Mills area much longer. I know that is the case for several people.

The New York State Department of Transportation announced that effective this week Route 8 northbound will be reopened to two lanes of traffic. In addition, the Route 8 northbound ramp to Routes 5 and 12 southbound will also be reopened to traffic. But that's not all! In addition to those re-openings NYSDOT Public Information Officer Jim Piccola says,

Route 8 southbound will be reopened to two lanes of traffic. In addition, the Route 5/8/12 northbound ramp to Route 840 westbound and the Route 5/8/12 southbound ramp to Route 8 southbound will also be reopened to traffic. Additionally, Campion Road access to Route 5/8/12 northbound will also open.

While the project underway that caused the delays is a good one as they're replacing an old and outdated bridge, it is somewhat maddening to have disruption in your everyday travel routine. The reopening of the ramps and current traffic pattern will last through the winter until the spring when phase 2 of the project can begin. After that phase is complete the new bridge will be in place.

Route 5 8 12 Construction in Utica, New York

Route 5 8 12 Construction in Utica, New York

Utica's Chicken Riggies Dish Wasn't Invented in Utica? Say It Isn't So.

The now-famous Utica Chicken Riggies recipe has taken on a life of its own. The dish is now found well outside the Utica-Rome area and it's getting more and more popular as word spreads around the northeast. While there are many variations of the dish today, there's still only one original recipe. So, who created the first "Riggies" recipe and where did it really originate.

Can You Name These Utica Landmarks From An Aerial View?

With the help of Google Maps, we can see historic buildings from space.
This is a fun way to see if you can spot Mohawk Valley, Utica-specific landmarks.

Check out each photo below and try to see if you can get all these locations right on the first try. Let us know how you did in our station app. Good luck!

11 Ways to Avoid Getting Ripped Off When Holiday Shopping Online

The world-wide shipping delays have shoppers buying holiday gifts early this year and much of the commerce is happening online. After all, how can you avoid the amazing deals? Now more than ever, these amazing deals are shady transactions that look authentic and safe.

One way to shop safely online is to buy from local vendor websites, or visit sites like Etsy which touts small meaningful gifts, often times created by small businesses and crafters.

The Better Business Bureau recommends online buyers do research before they click the checkout button.

Here are 11 things you can do to avoid getting ripped off online, according to the Better Business Bureau.