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The future I-781 Fort Drum connector road under construction in 2011. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/people/dougtone/">Doug Kerr</a>, CC <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en">some rights reserved</a>
The future I-781 Fort Drum connector road under construction in 2011. Photo: Doug Kerr, CC some rights reserved

Fort Drum connector road to I-81 set to open soon

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The highway project that will create a direct connection between Interstate 81 and Fort Drum's main gate is set to open soon.

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Reported by

Joanna Richards
Watertown Correspondent

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The Fort Drum connector road has cost $57 million and added 4.8 miles of new roadway. Work began in summer 2010, and is now almost complete.

Michael Flick is a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

"The large bridge over Route 11 is now essentially complete, and we are tidying up, if you will," he said. "They're doing the finishing touches on the project overall, and we're hoping for an opening sometime in the next two weeks."

Flick says a handful of small, weather-dependent items are still in the works, including striping, trim and signal work.

"There will be no ingress or egress or access on or off the connector once you get on at 81, but once you get to Route 11, you'll be able to either go directly into Fort Drum, or north- or south-bound on Route 11," Flick said.

The project is expected to alleviate traffic congestion on Routes 11 and 342.  

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