Drivers, Business Operators Celebrate Chenango Street Reopening
Traffic volume continues to increase as motorists learn Chenango Street on Binghamton's North Side has reopened after being shut down for bridge repairs for more than a year.
Chenango Street traffic was detoured between Frederick and Bevier streets for 431 days for a project to stabilize the sinking Interstate 81 bridge.
The street reopened last Wednesday for two-way traffic over the holiday weekend. Portable signals were set up on either side of the bridge Monday to permit alternating one-way traffic while additional work is performed over the next couple of weeks.
Construction crews on Tuesday were sandblasting under the arch on the east side of the bridge.
Operations at the work site are expected to continue for a few more days before being suspended until next spring.
Cars, tractor-trailers and delivery trucks were observed using Chenango Street Tuesday afternoon. Short traffic back-ups occurred while vehicles waited for a green light to proceed under the bridge.
An employee at Woodfern Florist at 501 Chenango Street said people were "very ecstatic" when they learned the detour was being scrapped after more than 14 months. She said things were getting back to normal at the shop. She said "it's great."
The state Department of Transportation had announced the planned bridge work was expected to take about three months to complete. But the job took longer because original concrete pours didn't meet specifications.
State officials have not revealed the final cost of the repair work. They previously said the initial attempt cost about $3.5 million.
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