Damage to a mainline Thruway overpass in Cheektowaga at the exit to Interstate-190 requires further repair work, which will begin Friday evening and likely end three days later, Thruway officials announced.
During that time, some lanes and ramps will be temporarily closed and traffic may be detoured so the Thruway Authority has urged motorists to avoid the area if possible.
The Exit 53 overpass, where the I-90 and the I-190 meet, was severely damaged July 11 when a vehicle pulling a large excavator crashed sideways into it, according to Thruway officials. A local contractor made temporary repairs to the bridge and now must complete the permanent repair of the structure.
The following closures will occur:
- I-90 westbound at Exit 53 will have a single lane closure from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; a double lane closure from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday; the full westbound road will be closed there from 10 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday.
- I-90 westbound at Exit 53 will have a single lane closure from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, a double lane closure from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and the full westbound road will be closed at that exit from 10 p.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday.
- I-190 southbound to the I-90 eastbound ramp will be closed to all traffic from 7 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Monday. Motorists traveling I-90 westbound will be detoured to Exit 52A at William Street during the full westbound closure period. Motorists are advised to follow the detour route and to try to avoid that area if possible.
- I-190 southbound to the I-90 eastbound ramp will be fully closed from 7 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Monday. Southbound motorists on I-190 wanting to travel onto I-90 eastbound will be detoured on I-90 westbound to exit 55 (the Springville-US Route 219-Ridge Road route).
- I-90 eastbound to I-190 Northbound ramp will be closed from 7 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Monday. Motorists on I-90 eastbound trying to get to I-190 northbound will be detoured to Exit 52 (Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Walden Avenue).
The Thruway Authority calculates that the average commuter traffic in the affected area is roughly 2,400 vehicles per hour during peak hours. To minimize impacts for motorists the scheduled closures are set to take place during non-peak travel times where the authority says there's an average of about 600 vehicles per hour.
Variable message signs will be posted across the region and Highway Advisory Radio 530 AM will advised motorists about the upcoming closures and expected delays, according to the Thruway Authority. Still, motorists are strongly advised to avoid travel in the affected are during repair times.
And in case of inclement weather the repair work will be postponed until Friday, Dec. 2 with completion then expected by Monday, Dec. 5, according to authority officials.