A total shutdown of Front Street north of Binghamton is affecting residents and businesses in the towns of Dickinson and Chenango.
The state Department of Transportation says the closure of the street - also known as U.S. Route 11 - is scheduled to last ten days. The project area is in the Sunrise Terrace section of Dickinson.
Construction of a second roundabout is being completed, resulting in the shutdown of Interstate 81's normally busy Exit 5. Motorists must pay attention to detour signs on the highway and on Front Street.
The major traffic disruption started early Monday morning. Construction workers were busy late into the afternoon with several simultaneous operations that will eventually link local traffic with connections to Interstates 81, 86 and 88.
A major traffic pattern change was implemented as part of the overall interchange improvement project on June 18. That's when another roundabout to the south was opened to traffic.
Although many people who drive through the area were surprised by the change, no major problems were reported when the roundabout went into service. There have been some traffic backups during periods of heavy volume during morning and afternoon commuting.
Workers at a McDonald's restaurant said the closing of Front Street and the highway interchange resulted in a significant decrease in business Monday.
Nearby residents watched the construction activity and indicated they were pleased with the traffic pattern changes that are about to be implemented.
One person who has lived in the neighborhood for 30 years said the construction work was "entertaining." He acknowledged the detours were a bit inconvenient but noted they wouldn't be in place for long.
The DOT scheduled the roundabout operation with the goal of having major work completed before the Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally gets underway at Otsiningo Park on August 5.
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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: firstname.lastname@example.org.For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNowon Twitter.
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