Hold on to your steering wheel and be sure to take a patience pill because the New York State Department of Transportation has announced that changes to the construction work on the Prospect Mountain Construction project means we're in for some big-time traffic pattern changes. Yay! Just when we were getting used to all of the "new" old traffic pattern changes.

Here's what you need to know:

 Expect a long-term temporary traffic pattern change on State Route 7 and the State Route 7 ramp to Interstate 81  north and State Route 17 west.

While that might be a little inconvenient, there's good news. The existing NY-7 south ramp to I-81 north/NY-17 west, which has been closed since early in 2016 has finally been reopened to allow NY-7 traffic to exit toward I-81 north and NY-17 west.  So, if you're traveling on NY-7 south and want to get on I-81 north or NY-17 west, you'll be able to use the new on-ramp to I-81 north and NY-17 west.

Just when we'd gotten used to using the NY-7 north ramp to I-81 north/NY-17 west, they've closed the ramp. If you're on NY-7 north and want to travel to I-81 north or NY-17 west, you'll have to make a left turn at the temporary traffic signal and continue along the NY-7 south ramp to I-81 north/NY-17 west.

But wait, there's more!*

There will be signs to direct people traveling toward I-81 north to keep left to merge with I-81 north traffic on the existing I-81 north bridge over the Chenango River. There will also be signs directing traffic toward NY-17 west to keep right and travel along the newly constructed NY-17 west flyover bridge.

DOT officials tell us that this long-term temporary (wait, isn't that an oximoron?) traffic pattern will eliminate merging challenges experienced by ramp traffic traveling toward the I-81 north/NY-17 west split, while the new NY-7 south and NY-7 north ramps to I-81 north/NY-17 west are reconstructed.

Confused and trying to piece all of this information together in your head? This might help.

DOT Detour

*While we jest at the changes in traffic patterns, we sincerely appreciate the hard work of our road crews who've been working on this project for several years and we believe that once this project is completed, navigating around Binghamton will be much easier.