Major construction on the Prospect Mountain project began in the spring of 2012 and the $152 million contract was awarded in May of 2016.
The construction season is in full swing as crews continue working on the city's Prospect Mountain Project.
Named after the adjacent Mt. Prospect, this long-term project, currently under way in Binghamton, N.Y., addresses the notorious “Kamikaze Curve” section of New York 17 (Southern Tier Expressway) and replaces the structurally deficient bridges over the Chenango River and at the directional T interchange joining the future I-86 with Interstate 81.
The Prospect Mountain Project has been a long time in the making. Neighborhood meetings began in February 2006. The design was approved in January 2008 and the project was awarded in November 2011. Major construction began in the spring of 2012 and the $152 million contract was awarded in May of 2016.
The project encompasses roughly 9 mi. of construction. It's being completed in multiple phases and has several goals.
- Pre-Phase 1 — install high mast lighting.
- Intelligent Transportation Systems features include closed circuit television camera, highway advisory radio and permanent variable message signs;
- Phase 1 — work replaces the I-81 and NY 17 bridges over the Chenango River. This includes four spans, where the two routes come together above U.S. 11. Adjacent construction reconfigures the ramps to Mygatt Street from the Southern Tier Expressway; and
- Phase 2 — work reconfigures the full cloverleaf interchange (Exit 4) with New York 7 into a parclo (cloverleaf) interchange. It also adds a collector distributor system separating movements to NY 7 from the west and from NY 7 to the west. This includes two additional flyovers over the Chenango River, one for the future I-86 eastbound mainline, the other for the A ramp to I-86 west from NY 7. The I-81 and NY 17 mainline also will be expanded to six overall lanes east to Broad Avenue (Exit 3) and beyond.
The goal of the project is to improve operational and safety deficiencies and achieve Interstate 86 designation for this section of State Route 17 to be designated I-86.
Phase 2 is 57 percent complete.
According to Department of Transportation (DOT) Regional Director Jack Williams, “The work we've been doing out here is to stay ahead of schedule. We're doing a great job with our contractor, engineering and DOT staffs. During the winter, sometimes you could catch your breath or breathe easy but out here, they've been going 100 miles an hour nonstop.”
Some other headlines for the 2018 construction season include:
- Finish building new bridges at Route 7 and Broad Avenue;
- open two lanes for drivers traveling on 81 North and 17 West;
- reconstructing and opening traffic to the Route 17 West and I-81 South bridge between Bigelow and Chenango Streets;
- reconstructing the last on and off ramps at the Exit 4 interchange;
- continuing the Route 17 East flyover bridge;
- reconstructing Front Street between Prospect and Bevier Streets;
- reconstructing Route 7 between Bevier and Fredericks Streets; and
- continue work on the noise walls throughout the project.
Work is expected to be completed by December 2020.