ITHACA, N.Y. — Beginning Monday, Aug. 19, Spencer Road will be closed to through traffic for paving.

In an update Thursday, the City of Ithaca said the road will be closed from the traffic circle to Stone Quarry Road. Residents will still be able to access their properties. All other vehicles will be detoured onto South Aurora Street/96B. The project is expected to be finished by Sept. 19.

Anyone driving around Ithaca this summer has likely hit several detour signs and stretches of road construction. The repaving of Spencer Road — which recently topped our list of streets with the most pothole complaints this year — is one of several ongoing construction projects around the City of Ithaca. Spencer Street is also being repaved and there are also detours and construction in Collegetown, in the Southside neighborhood and West Hill.

On Monday, Aug. 12 South Aurora Street reopened ahead of schedule, as crews finished work on the sidewalk extension project between Hillview Place and Grandview Avenue.

Interactive Pothole Map: Residents report roughest roads in Ithaca

The city recently put together a webpage and map of active projects to keep track of work impacting streets here. In a post on Facebook, Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick noted that all the road work this year is inconvenient. “It’s made even more inconvenient because our construction window is so short – shortened by winter and school schedules. Often multiple roads in the same neighborhood need to be closed at the same time. We have professionals in charge of our planning, engineering and street work who have decades of experience. They work hard to minimize the inconvenience – but there’s only so much we can do.”

Here’s an updated look at some of the projects and their expected completion dates.

  • Spencer Street Mill and Pave – Expected Completion Date: Aug. 9 (still in progress as of Aug. 15) — The 200 block of Spencer Street is closed to traffic as the old asphalt surface is removed, manholes are reset and it is repaved. Traffic will be routed from Clinton Street to Albany Street.
  • College Avenue Sewer Replacement Project — Expected completion date: Oct. 31 — College Avenue is closed for the duration of this project as water and sewer services are upgraded. The full project is expected to wrap up at the end of October.
    • Recommended detours per the city’s website:  “Since Catherine, Cook, and Bool Streets are within the zone of this phase of work, access in or out of these roads will not be possible.  College Avenue will remain closed to thru traffic however, local access will be accommodated as best as crews can.  Delays should be expected.  Local delivery trucks will continue to be accommodated throughout 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.”
  • Gas utility work by NYSEG in the Southside and West Hill neighborhoods — Expected Completion Date: Dec. 31, 2019 — In the Southside neighborhood, the project is located on the 400 block of South Geneva St., 300 block of North Titus Ave, 200-300 blocks of South Titus Ave, 401 South Titus Ave., 502 South Albany St, and South Plain St. Bridge. In the 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. The estimated completion date is by the end of the year. More details are available here.

For questions or concerns, contact the City of Ithaca Streets and Facilities Department at 607-272-1718.

(As a side note, we know there is some debate about whether it’s West Spencer Street or Spencer Road. This writer, whose postal address is Spencer Road, is sticking with the latter.)

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.