BUFFALO, New York — For many Southtowners, the confusion heading into downtown Buffalo might bring back memories from last summer. 

Friday, phase two of Skyway construction began.

This time around the outbound lane is closed for deck repairs.

The inbound Skyway bridge will still be in use. On weekday mornings that side of the Skyway will accommodate drivers heading into the city, and then in the afternoons, it will accommodate drivers leaving the city.

On the weekends, the inbound side will be left open only for outbound traffic.

"People tend to stagger when they arrive at events, but everyone leaves at the same time. We're gonna let that bridge carry that peak traffic all weekend long," said Susan Surdej, the New York State Department of Transportation regional public information officer.

Surdej told 2 On Your Side that drivers will be alerted of the changes throughout their commute. 

She explained, "Follow the detour signs and you're either gonna be accommodated on the open Skyway bridge or you're gonna be detoured on local routes."

We tried out a few of the alternative routes.

It took us about 19 minutes to get from Tifft Street to the foot of the Skyway, using the detour from Route 5 to Ohio Street and then the 190. 

However, many drivers diverted off the Skyway will hit the 90, which is also under construction. 

"That's unfortunate that the two projects are going hand in hand but that was the case last year and drivers adjusted," said Surdej.

She added it's important people stay patient throughout the construction season. 

"Our goal is safety and we really wanna make sure our crews get home safe at the end of their shift and that the traveling public arrives at their destination safely," Surdej said.

The project was originally slated to take two and a half years, but based on last year's progressive timeline, crews anticipate phase two will be wrapped up this fall.


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