Chenango Street Under Binghamton I-81 Bridge May Reopen Soon
Traffic may soon be flowing between two Binghamton neighborhoods after a 14-month-long detour while crews worked to deal with a sinking Interstate 81 bridge.
People familiar with the project told WNBF News a section of Chenango Street on the city's North Side now is expected to reopen Monday or Tuesday.
The street under the highway was closed in September 2021 for work designed to address the unexpected sinking of the bridge.
The effort to strengthen the span - which was constructed in 2013 - was slated to take about three months to complete. But initial efforts to properly fix the problem were unsuccessful.
Some concrete that initially was poured as part of the project was removed because it didn't meet specifications. Additional concrete pours were needed until a procedure was developed that appeared to meet requirements to keep the I-81 bridge operational for the next several decades.
The initial effort to address the problem cost more than $3 million. No estimate of the ultimate cost of the job has been made public.
Pedestrians and bicyclists have been able to cross under the bridge while the prolonged fixup job was underway. Motorists were detoured from Chenango Street between Bevier and Frederick streets.
In recent days, scaffolding and construction equipment have been removed from the project site. Workers on Thursday were cleaning up Chenango Street in preparation for reopening.
A September update from the state Department of Transportation indicated the street was expected to be open "to single lane traffic by the end of the year if not sooner."
Although the detour is about to come to an end, some additional work at the site is planned in coming weeks as weather permits. It's not clear if two-way traffic will be permitted under the bridge when work is not underway.
VIDEO: A walk under the "Chenango Arch" after a prolonged repair project.
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