One of Ithaca's major traffic arteries, which was closed for more than half of 2012, will close again beginning this Monday, though just to westbound traffic. The stretch of closed road, including portions of Clinton Street and Prospect Street running from South Cayuga Street to South Aurora Street, is part of New York State Route 96B, and normally serves as an east-west thoroughfare for drivers heading to and from Ithaca College.
The Clinton Street Bridge was closed for most of 2012. 14850 Photo.The closure will allow for Phase II of a bridge and road reconstruction project that began last spring at this time. Last summer's phase replaced the deteriorating Clinton Street bridge near the Ithaca Police Department and the Cayuga Street parking garage.
The City's Department of Public Works said last spring it was urgent the old Clinton Street bridge, built in 1945 over Six Mile Creek, be rebuilt. Inspections by the state revealed increasing deterioration. The wider replacement allows for an eastbound bicycle lane and a westbound shared lane. Prospect Street, the block between Aurora Street and Spencer Street or Turner Place, will have a new sidewalk added as part of Phase II on the north side of the street.
While the westbound lanes of Clinton Street and Prospect Street are closed, eastbound traffic to Route 96B South will be abe to continue through the construction zone. Westbound traffic coming north on Route 96B, down the hill from Ithaca College, will proceed past the Commons, turn west on Seneca Street, and then if need be, turn left onto Albany Street.
Phase II should be completed this August.