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Ice buildup closes I-81 southbound in southern Jefferson County

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ADAMS — A stretch of Interstate 81 southbound is closed because of an ice pack against a bridge over South Sandy Creek.

The highway is closed from Exit 43 at Kellogg Hill to Exit 38 near the Oswego County line.

As a result, traffic is reported to be at a near standstill in Adams as traffic is diverted to Route 11.

Northbound I-81 remains open because it has a separate bridge that is not affected by the ice buildup.

The southbound lanes of the highway closed at 12:10 p.m. Friday. Michael R. Flick, public information officer for DOT Region 7, said the department will “monitor it through the night,” but warned that the section could remained closed well into Saturday.

Mr. Flick said if the ice is significant enough, it could potentially move the southbound bridge off its bearings.

Meanwhile, Adams again is seeing the impact.

“There’s lots of traffic,” said Seth Widrick, an employee of Bob’s Auto Supply, 64 N. Main St. “It’s bumper to bumper.”

While the I-81 bridge is prone to ice packing, it has not been closed because of ice in a long time, Mr. Flick said.

The bridge is threatened because the ice is up the eastern side of the span, Mr. Flick said.

“If the ice was underneath, it would be fine,” he said.

There is no timetable as to when the section will be reopened.

“It all depends on the ice pack,” Mr. Flick said.

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