Goodbye winter...Hello, Construction

Three major projects begin this week

Mike Baggerman
March 25, 2019 - 3:00 am

WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman


Correction: Our original story said that I-90 construction was a Department of Transportation project. It is not. The New York State Thruway Authority is continuing construction along I-90 by the Lackawanna Tolls. Our story is updated.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - Spring means the return of all the wonderful elements like birds, flowers, and the ability to comfortably wear shorts outdoors.

...But it also means the return of construction season.

"It is definitely here," New York State Department of Transportation Spokesperson Susan Surdej told WBEN.

Construction season kicks off this week throughout Western New York at places like I-90, I-290, and the Skyway.


MONDAY: I-90 by Lackawanna Tolls

The New York State Thruway Authority is continuing its $66 million bridge repair construction along I-90 from the Lackawanna toll booths to Route 400.

The repairs will be done on the bridges over the railroad, Smoke Creek, and Potters Road.

NITTEC's website said the lanes will be repositioned to maintain the current lane configuration and will remain in the repositioned configuration throughout the project to make the repairs to the bridges. The project will be in place for the entire 2019 construction season but there will be no detours.

TUESDAY: I-290 NFTA Corridor between Colvin & Delaware

The DOT is in the second and final year of replacing the I-290 bridges between Colvin Boulevard and Delaware. Last year, DOT replaced the eastbound bridge and they will replace the westbound bridge this year. The bridges were first constructed in 1965.

"There is definitely going to be traffic impacts," Surdej said. "Beginning (Tuesday) we will be reducing the I-290 in that area to two lanes in each direction. We've built a temporary bridge with a crossover much like last year. We'll continue to have two eastbound lanes and two westbound lanes open while we continue to replace the westbound bridge."

The on-ramp from Colvin Boulevard to I-290 westbound will close on Wednesday, similar to how it was last year. Detours will be posted.

Friday: Skyway

Detours for Skyway will begin on Friday. Last year, DOT repaired the deck on the inbound Skyway and will focus this year on the outbound Skyway (heading west on Route 5).

"This is year two of the contract," Surdej said. "Many commuters lived through year one. It will be very much the same traffic scheme."

The inbound side of the bridge will be used for both morning and afternoon traffic.

"The good news about the Skyway project is that it was originally anticipated to take two-and-a-half construction seasons," Surdej said. "Our contractor has made such great progress that they're fully anticipating that this will be the last season of the Skyway deck rehabilitation."

NITTEC Executive Director Athena Hutchins told us about one major change for this year's Skyway project.

"The ramp from the 190 south to Route 5 Skyway will be closed for the entire duration of this project," Hutchins told us. "People are going to have to get to the Skyway differently than usual."

Church Street will feature the on-ramp to the Skyway.

Hutchins said there will be signs directing to detours on Louisiana Street, but she recommends learning multiple alternatives so you can find out what is best for you.

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