SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Phase one of the I-81 Viaduct Project is scheduled to begin this Monday, September 11.

Beginning at 9:00 a.m., the I-81 Southbound Ramp at Exit 16A, providing access to I-481 Northbound, will close to traffic. The closure allows for major reconstruction to begin on the interchange, making changes to the I-481 into the new 81.

Detour signs posted on I-81 Southbound will direct traffic to Exit 17.

According to the State DOT – “Message boards posted on I-81 southbound will direct detoured traffic to Exit 17 (South State and Salina Streets and Brighton Avenue) prior to the closed exit ramp. Detour signs will direct traffic from South State Street to Brighton Avenue and then to Rock Cut Road and I-481 Northbound.”

Drivers should expect delays from this closure. The NYS DOT says about 4,500 cars use the I-81 Southbound ramp a day, with the peak time being in the p.m. hours.

“In the p.m., about 475 cars will say use that ramp. Those cars, that’s the busiest time the ramp is used, so if you think about it and say ok if everyone uses that detour that time comes on Brighton Avenue that equates to about eight additional cars a minute along the detour route. So there will be some delays, but we don’t anticipate it being that many,” said TeNesha Murphy, I-81 Viaduct Project Community Liaison and Public Information Officer at NYS DOT.

The DOT said in a press release:

“Drivers are asked to use caution when traveling through the work zone area and pay attention to all traffic control devices, including signs and flaggers.”

Motorists are reminded that fines are doubled for speeding in work zones. In accordance with the Work Zone Safety Act of 2005, convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of an individual’s driver’s license.”