Current City Projects

South Aurora Street Sidewalk Extension

New sidewalks will be constructed along South Aurora Street between Hillview Pl. and Grandview Ave.  South Aurora Street will be closed between June 17- Aug 30, 2019.  Work has already begun and the road closure will begin on Monday, June 17 and will require closure of the street 24 / 7.  A road closure traffic detour using Hudson Street will be concurrent with the closure.  Motorists should expect delays or find alternate routes.

Project Start Date: Monday, June 17, 2019
Local Impacts: South Aurora St. will be closed, except for local traffic, at all times beginning June 17.  Local traffic includes: residents that live within the road closure and South Hill Elementary School students/parents/staff during school hours.  Residents may enter the road closure from the south side (Grandview Ave), proceed to their residence, and leave on the north side (Hillview Pl.) side of the closure.  Emergency Responders will have 24/7 access.  Pedestrians, bikers, and vehicular traffic should expect some minor delays.  
Scheduled Completion Date: Aug 30, 2019   

Please Note: Construction, by nature, is subject to constant change, inclement weather, and unexpected findings.

For additional information contact: John Licitra, Sidewalk Program Manager, DPW Engineering (607) 274-6534

Wood Street Curb Installation

Project Location: Wood Street between Fair Street and South Plain Street 

Project Start Date: June 17, 2019

Project Description and Goal: Install proposed granite curb along south side of roadway edge

Local Impacts: No on street parking day or night. Traffic controlled by flaggers during working hours. Expect Delays. 

Estimated Completion Date: July 17, 2019

For questions and concerns please contact the Street & Facilities Division (607) 272-1718

College Ave Sewer Replacement Project, Phase 1

Project Location: Intersection of College Ave/Mitchell Street to Bool Street

Project Description:  Water & Sewer Replacement

Project Goal: Upgrade services in Collegetown.    

Project Start Date & Time  Monday June 17, 2019

Scheduled Phase Completion Date: Friday August 23, 2019

Local Impacts: College Ave from Mitchell Street to Bool Street will be closed to thru traffic for the duration of the work.  Over the next four weeks, the existing sewer main will be replaced.  As the sewer crew moves into Phase 2 (Bool St to Catherine St), a second crew will start replacing the water main in the same stretch of roadway.  Once the water crew is complete, City Streets and Facilities crews will pave. 

Recommended Detours: Southbound traffic on College Ave heading from Dryden Road, can utilize Catherine, Cook, or Bool Streets to circumvent the work, but will not be permitted thru on College to Mitchell Street.  Local delivery trucks will be accommodated thru the work zone in coordinated efforts with City crews.  Traffic heading northeast on Mitchell Street, intending to head north on College Ave will be directed onto Linden Ave. Traffic heading southwest on Mitchell Street will be directed west onto East State Street and then north onto Eddy Street. 

For additional information contact: Erik Whitney, Don Corwin or Scott Gibson, DPW, Water & Sewer Division (607) 272-1717    

Gas Utility Work by NYSEG in Ithaca

Project Locations:
Southside Neighborhood: 400 block South Geneva St., 300 block North Titus Ave, 200-300 blocks South Titus Ave, 401 South Titus Ave., 502 South Albany St, South Plain St. Bridge.
West Hill Neighborhood: 200- 400 blocks Warren Place; 100-400 blocks Taylor Place; 200-400 blocks Richard Place; Sunrise Road (all); Cliff Park Road (all); Cliff Park Circle (all); Haller Blvd. (all); Hook Place (all); 200-500 blocks Chestnut St; Elm Crest Circle (all); 300-500 blocks Elm Street Extension.

Project Start Date: Ongoing

Project Description: The DDS Companies will install new 6” or 12” gas mains and service connections in the project area.

According to NYSEG, this gas main replacement is part of a PSC mandated program to replace aging infrastructure. This replaced infrastructure includes piping that is considered to have future potential for leakage and is classified as leak-prone. This PSC mandated replacement program provides NYSEG a capital investment mechanism that supports public safety. The new main will add and provide more consistent operating pressure and increased reliability to the customers we serve in the immediate areas. The new gas main will have an expected life of 20 years or more.

The gas utilities will be improved in three separate phases:

Phase 1- Installation of a new gas main. No gas service interruptions expected.

Phase 2 – Service Connections to the new gas main. Planned to begin when Phase 1 for all named streets is complete. Advance notice will be given for half-day interruption of service.

Phase 3 – Restoration of disturbed areas to equal or better condition. Planned to begin when Phase 2 for named streets is complete. No gas service interruptions expected. Temporary closure of sidewalk and driveway access possible.

Local Impacts: If traffic is reduced to a single travel lane during the work day, access will be controlled with flaggers. Travel will be maintained in two directions. Work in intersections may require full or partial closure of intersections for a day or two. If streets or travel lanes are closed to speed the work, you will still be able to access your home, but may encounter a brief delay. Through traffic will be detoured around the block.

During Phase 2 work, some properties will have trenching in front lawns. Residents are encouraged to photograph pre-construction conditions to help ensure that Phase 3 restoration will be in kind.

Motorists should expect minor delays, use caution in the work zone and be considerate of people walking, biking and working in the area.

Permanent restoration work will occur during Phase 3. Restoration during Phases 1 and 2 will be temporary.

Phase 1 work is underway on S. Titus Ave between Plain and Albany. Work will progress next to S. Albany and then move to S. Geneva St.

Detours in Place: Brief detours to adjacent streets may be necessary during active work in intersections. Pedestrians will be redirected while sidewalk is under construction. Some short-term sidewalk or driveway closures adjacent to active work are possible.

Parking Restrictions: Approximately 10 parking spaces adjacent to the active work zone will be removed from public use. Construction operations and material storage will occupy some parking spaces on the affected streets.

Scheduled Completion Date: Estimated completion date is December 31, 2019. PLEASE NOTE: Construction, by nature, is subject to constant change, inclement weather, and unexpected findings. City of Ithaca will be meeting with DDS Companies and NYSEG regularly.

The best way to get the latest information about the project schedule or impacts is to talk with the on-site construction supervisor.

Specific questions about your property or special accommodation requests can be directed to Doug Stafford; 607-227-2754 or Rob Malarkey; 607-766-1456.

For other questions please contact Assistant Civil Engineer Lynne Yost:; (607) 274-6530

For regular updates regarding this project, as well as city construction projects, please sign up for the city's emergency alert system "Swift911" by texting "Swift911" to "99538", or sign up online here, and be sure to add the "Construction Updates" subscription list.


North Aurora Street Bridge Rehabilitation Project

Project Location: North Aurora Street Bridge over Cascadilla Creek

Project Start Date:  Monday, June 10th, 2019

Scheduled Completion Date: December 1st, 2019

Project Description and Goal: The project aims rehabilitate the North Aurora Street Bridge over Cascadilla Creek, and to reconstruct the immediate approaches to the bridge.

Local Impacts: The existing bridge will be closed to all traffic, vehicular and pedestrian, an offsite detour using local streets will be utilized for all traffic during construction until the bridge is re-opened.

Recommended or State Detours in Place: North and southbound traffic should use East Court Street, North Tioga Street, and Farm Street as an alternate route to avoid the work area.
Cascadilla Avenue, on the south side of the creek, is to remain open to pedestrian traffic.

For additional information contact: Addisu Gebre, Bridge Systems Engineer, DPW - Engineering (607) 274-6536  


North Cayuga Street

A water main break under the 200 block of N Cayuga St between Buffalo and Seneca Streets has caused significant damage to the road and forced a closure of the block. The break washed out the support materials for the water and gas lines and damaged much of the support materials beneath the asphalt surface. Unfortunately, it has become clear that to avoid further damage to the road and utility lines, and to prevent damage to vehicles, a complete rebuild is necessary before traffic can be allowed back on that section of road.

The City is still developing a full schedule, but the work will involve removing the pavement, digging up and replacing the water and sewer lines, replacing the sand bedding around the gas line that was washed away by the water leak, and then rebuilding and compacting the subsurface. Finally, a base layer and a top coat of asphalt will be laid down. This whole process will likely take until May, in part because the City cannot complete the work until the asphalt plants reopen in the spring.

The City has been seeing an increasing number of water main breaks in recent years (see figure below), and this winter has had one of the highest number ever. In recognition of this fact, last year Common Council voted to add a new crew to the Water and Sewer division to help make more progress in replacing the underground infrastructure.

• • • • •

Like most cities throughout the United States, Ithaca’s water and sewer infrastructure was built over 100 years ago and needs to be replaced. The City has over 90 miles of underground water pipe, with an average age of over 80 years. One third of the pipes are over 100 years old, with some approaching 150 years. The pipe that broke was 89 years old. The City is seeing a record number of breaks this year, driven by a combination of pipe age and an increased trend in freeze thaw cycles due to climate change.

Much of the nation’s water infrastructure was built with substantial federal assistance, but as reported in one article, “the federal government's share of water infrastructure spending has plummeted from about 75 percent to about 3 percent in the past 35 years… The result is that state and municipal governments are often forced to shoulder an impossible expense.”  There has been some recent rhetoric at the federal level about reinvesting in the nation’s infrastructure, but so far no action has been taken. In the meantime, the American Society of Civil Engineers gives America’s infrastructure a grade of D+.

The City, unable to wait for federal assistance, rebuilt its water plant in the last few years, which has driven an increase to water rates. And though it would be ideal to rapidly replace all the water and sewer pipes in order to minimize the leaks and breaks, the increase in costs, and the disruption from all the construction, would be too much for taxpayers and businesses to handle. So the City is taking a measured approach through the addition of the new crew for Water and Sewer.

Similarly, Common Council added a new streets crew in the 2019 budget to help accelerate the rebuilding and repaving of the City’s streets. The work on our streets and the water and sewer work will need to be coordinated to avoid digging up recently repaved roads in order to repair water main breaks. Unfortunately, to some extent this will be unavoidable, as breaks can occur anywhere at any time. However, the City is confident that through this judicious investment in our infrastructure, we will finally get ahead of the problem.


Photo of the 89-yr old pipe extracted from the site of the break

Cayuga 1

Damaged road sub-structure

Cayuga 2

Cayuga 3

Crews working to repair the break

Brindley Street Bridge Project

Project Start Date: March 4, 2019

Scheduled Completion Date: December 31, 2020

Project Description and Goal: This project includes the relocation of Brindley Street by connecting Taber Street with the West State Street/Taughannock Boulevard intersection. The existing Brindley Street roadway and structure will remain (with appropriate improvements) and be utilized for pedestrian traffic. The existing bridge will continue to be used by the public during construction of the new bridge and approach roadways until September/October 2020.

As this project is a two-year construction project, timely project updates will be provided to the public as the project progress.

For additional information contact: Addisu Gebre, Bridge Systems Engineer, DPW (607) 274-6530

East State Street Retaining Wall Project

Documents regarding the East State Street Retaining Wall Project can be found here.

Hector Street Complete Street Project

You can find the Design Report for the Hector Street Complete Street Project here.

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