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You Ask, We Answer: Balloon design along SR 7

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- In this edition of "You Ask, We Answer," 12 News spoke with Scott Cook of the New York State Department of Transportation to learn more about a local design featured along Route 7 in Binghamton.

For those of you who may not know, there's a hot air balloon design along the route, where I-81 and Route 17 cross over. Cook says the design was chosen by landscape architects in the project's early phases as a way to celebrate one of the area's big events, the Spiedie Fest and Balloon Rally.

"We chose balloons for that particular area because that bridge, that cluster of bridges, is very close to Otsiningo Park," Cook said. "We thought that would be a nice little gateway feature for people coming down Route 7 to see the balloons there."

The balloons are featured on what the DOT calls "wing walls," so that drivers can take a quick glance at them without getting distracted while driving.

Cook says designs like this aren't uncommon, as many other structures across the state feature images connected to the local area and the state. The projects are open to design ideas, too.

"I'll take a look at the projects we have in the works, I'll approach the project managers we have with the ideas," he said. "We do have landscape architects as part of every design, and they are always looking for things like this."

Some viewers have asked about other images, such as a carousel, also being included in projects like this one. Cook says NYSDOT has plenty of projects in the works, and to submit your ideas, you can email him at scott.cook@dot.ny.gov.

To get an answer to a question on your mind, send an email to weanswer@wbng.com.

Cal Dymowski

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