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Thruway-related truck traffic angers Camillus, Van Buren residents

Just a few weeks into construction sesason, residents of Bennetts Corners Road in Camillus and Van Buren are already rattled by the volume and schedule of trucks hauling materials through their neighborhoods and on to the Thruway construction site.

Complaints poured in last week to both Camillus town officials and the NYS Thruway Authority when the construction firm contracted by the Thruway extended its typical daily schedule. From May 24 to 27, trucks traveled over the winding back road and through residential areas until 2 a.m. some mornings, only to pick back up a few hours later.

The trucks, hauling aggregates from Hanson on Route 321 in Skaneateles, traveled north on Route 321 and continued onto Bennetts Corners Road through Memphis to the Thruway construction site near Interchange 39. The route takes them through three townships and past many homes, including Mary and Scott Simpsons' house in Memphis.

On Wednesday afternoon, Mary Simpson said the couple had been awoken by the sound of rumbling trucks passing their home around 6 a.m.

Mary Simpson said the neighborhood was prepared for the traffic to resume with the season, as the Thruway reconstruction project is ongoing -- but no one warned them of the extended hours last week.

"Whoever runs the trucking company needs to be better at communicating with the communities," Simpson said.

Communication breakdown

Simpson echoed one of the major complaints of residents along the route: that the first they heard about the night shifts was the sound of trucks rumbling outside their homes while they were trying to sleep.

Guy Hulbert, public affairs representative with the Syracuse Division of the Thruway Authority, admitted there had been a communication breakdown for the people of Camillus, though Van Buren town officials had been notified of last week's night shifts.

"The problem with this job is its a $129 million project, and its kind of, for lack of a better word, fluid," Hulbert said. "The situation changes quite a bit, and its a little tough to get notice to people. As far as the town of Camillus goes, unfortunately it looks like they got left out of the loop."

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