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Niagara Thruway work forces detour next week

Weekends soon will bring a detour for drivers headed north on the Niagara Thruway, between the Peace Bridge and Ontario Street exits.

That stretch will be closed from 8 p.m. Friday through 6 a.m. Sept. 14 to allow crews to repair and repave the road. The section also will be closed on weekends (Friday evening through Monday morning) through Nov. 1, weather permitting.

"This construction is so important, and we have to do it before the snow," said Brian Rusk, a local spokesman for the Thruway Authority.

Traffic will be rerouted to head north on Niagara Street, past the Scajaquada Expressway and to Ontario Street, where drivers will be able to get back on the Niagara Thruway.

Officials at the Peace Bridge Authority said they do not anticipate the detour will affect bridge traffic.

During the weekend detours, drivers headed west on the Scajaquada will not be able to get on the Niagara Thruway northbound. Instead, they also will be detoured north on Niagara Street.

The project is planned for the weekends to cause minimal disruption for commuters. About 50,000 motorists each weekend will be affected, according to Kimberly Chupa, an Albany spokeswoman for the Thruway Authority. On the weekend of a home Bills game, that number could reach 55,000.

The closing will enable crews to remove debris at Scajaquada Creek. Other work along the stretch includes grinding sections of pavement and replacing and repairing deteriorated sections of concrete pavement.

The weekend closings are necessary, Chupa said, because that stretch is not wide enough to close one lane at a time and still have a safe work zone.

e-mail: mpasciak@buffnews.com

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