ITHACA, N.Y.—The New York State Department of Transportation is closing a section of Pine Tree Road starting this week, presenting a potential traffic issue as student move-ins loom at local colleges. 

The closure will last from Aug. 14 to Sept. 22, according to a Tompkins SIREN alert. reported the disruption is a result of work on a culvert replacement. 

Detours will be along Route 79 and Route 366.

“The New York State Department of Transportation will be closing Pine Tree Road, from the intersection of Mitchell Street and Ellis Hollow Road, to Snyder Hill Road, in the Town of Ithaca for paving,” the alert said. “The road will be closed to all through traffic (local traffic only) on Monday, Aug. 14, 2023, and will remain closed until approximately Sept. 22, 2023.”

The announcement comes as an estimated 20,000 students will descend upon Ithaca — which has a permanent population of slightly under 33,000 — over the course of the next week, as Cornell began general move-in to campus Monday, Aug. 14 and Ithaca College students will begin theirs on Thursday, Aug. 17. 

The portion of Pine Tree Road that will close is one of the primary routes to Cornell’s campus from the east or southeast.

Ellis Hollow Road and Pine Tree Road intersection that will close. Credit: Google Maps screenshot

Jonathan Mong is a reporter from The Cornell Daily Sun working on The Sun’s summer fellowship at The Ithaca Voice.

Jonathan Mong is a contributor for The Ithaca Voice. He can be reached at