Forest Home Drive should reopen this month, says Cornell

Two years ago, Forest Home Drive was closed near the Thurston Avenue bridge “due to ongoing erosion of the gorge wall” along Fall Creek Gorge. Work to reopen the road is nearly done.

Forest Home Drive has remained closed for two years. 14850 photo.

A project to shore up the gorge began at the end of August, and was originally slated to be completed about a week ago. A Cornell representative says it should now be done about December 22nd.

Cornell officials had announced on September 16th, 2015, that the roadway would be closed between the intersection with East Avenue and Thurston Avenue and the service drive to Olin Laboratory, near Martha Van Rensselaer Hall.

City of Ithaca bridge systems engineer Addisu Gebre told us this summer that the project included “three primary components:”

  • A soil nail wall will be installed to repair the damaged portion of the Forest Home Drive retaining wall
  • About 20 feet of new retaining wall will be built eastward from the east end of the existing southeast bridge abutment, and new sidewalk and masonry wall will be built to match the existing structures
  • Existing beam support for the 16-inch sewer main will be reinforced

The delayed completion date is due to the need for “additional nailings.”

Forest Home Drive meanders along Fall Creek from the east end of University Avenue on Ithaca’s east hill through the Forest Home neighborhood adjacent to the Cornell campus, over two one-lane bridges, around the Cornell Botanic Gardens, and to Route 366 in Varna.

During the two-year closure, access to the MVR loading dock, Forest Home parking garage, and Toboggan Lodge has been maintained from the east.

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