A busy portion of Route 17 in Broome County could be open to traffic again within a few weeks.

The New York State Department of Transportation expects the eastbound lanes of the highway approaching the Front Street exit to go back in service next month.

Eastbound traffic has been using a crossover and utilizing the westbound side of the highway for several weeks as crews do bridge work and make preparations for a new exit as part of the multi-year Prospect Mountain improvement project.

DOT spokesman David Hamburg told WNBF News that the eastbound side of Route 17 may reopen in mid-December.

Hamburg said the schedule may be affected by weather. He noted temperatures will have to be warm enough at some points in the days ahead to allow for the pouring of concrete.

Work on the project is to continue for as long as weather conditions permit.

The project is designed to make the Route 17-Interstate 81 connector safer for the thousands of drivers who use it every day.

The total cost of the project now is estimated to be nearly $137 million.

The DOT expects the work associated with the first phase of the project to be finished in late 2015. Phase two is expected to start in 2015.