Group of Businesses, Elected Officials Wants To Save The I-81 Bridge

Aug 1, 2013

Getting around Downtown Syracuse seemed a little challenging this morning because of the Interstate 81 South closure at Harrison Street.  A local group of business owners, elected officials and community members say it might be a vision of the future. 

Broad coalition opposes removing the I-81 bridge through downtown Syracuse
Broad coalition opposes removing the I-81 bridge through downtown Syracuse
Credit John Smith/WAER News

The deadline to replace the I-81 overpass at the end of its useful life is could result in street-level traffic if the bridge portion is removed.  Members of Save I-81.org want the State D-O-T to keep the highway through downtown.  Onondaga County Legislator Kathy Rapp is also a member of the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

“I want to ensure that I-81 decision makers in Albany hear the voices of the residents here and are concerned about what the consequences may be.  That’s why I’m here today in support of Save I-81 dot org.”

Rapp adds the State D-O-T informed her yesterday that they’re planning plan to provide plenty of opportunity for community input on the project. 

BUSINESSES WORRY ABOUT FEWER CUSTOMERS

For businesses south of the I-81 closure at Harrison Street, the prospects of not having the highway through the city is already a bit surreal.  Jim Bright... the Owner of Dunk & Bright Furniture on South Salina Street speaks from experience.

“Traffic is about 15 percent this week versus last week when the highway was open.  We have a lot of slow traffic in front of our store, which is interesting because the traffic is rerouted right to Salina and Brighton, but not all of those people are coming in, of course."

The members of Save I-81 plan to host several events in the months ahead to serve as a voice for the community’s throughout the city and Onondaga County.  Their website is Save 81 dot org.

SAVE I-81 GROUP BOASTS BROAD MEMBERSHIP

Robert Andrews          Onondaga County Legislator, 9th districtMark Atkinson            Mayor, Village of North SyracuseJim Bright                    Dunk and BrightTodd Buchko               WonderWorksMichael Chapman        Chairman, Cayuga County LegislatureJim Corl                       Supervisor, Town of CiceroPatrick Danial              TerakeetJohn Dougherty           Onondaga County Legislator, 2nd districtJoseph Emmi               Super 8 SyracuseMarc Emmi                  Hampton Inn LiverpoolCarmen Emmi, Jr         Homewood SuitesJoe Falcone                  Dominick Falcone InsuranceDeborah Gallagher       North Area Volunteer Ambulance Corps (NAVAC)Jim Gallagher               Holiday InnT-John Goodman         Sweet on Chocolate, Armory SquareHolland C Gregg III     Executive Director, Citizens to Preserve the Character of Skaneateles (CPCS)Gary Hatfield               Supervisor, Town of MoraviaJeff Herrick                  Supervisor, Town of SennettDavid Heymann           Sheraton SyracuseSteve Hughes               Tim HortonsBruce Kenan                Destiny USADavid Knapp               Onondaga County Legislator, 12th districtMichael Lazar              Chaiman, Town of DeWitt Planning BoardDanny Liedka              Onondaga County Legislator, 7th districtTony Mangano            Ramada InnKerry Mannion            Member, Town of DeWitt Town BoardBrian May                   Onondaga County Legislator, 1st districtGary May                    May's AutoTodd May                   Southern Wine and SpiritsRyan McMahon          Chairman, Onondaga County Legislature, 15th districtEd Michalenko             Supervisor, Town of DeWittMark Nicotra               Supervisor, Town of SalinaMichael Plochocki       Onondaga County Legislator, 6th DistrictKathleen Rapp             Onondaga County Legislator, 5th districtTeresa Roney               Supervisor, Town of SkaneatelesChristopher Ryan        Onondaga County Legislator, 8th DistrictGary Searing                Supervisor, Town of FlemingJohn Sposato               Sposato CompaniesRichard Sykes              The Inns at Armory SquareAnn Marie Taliercio    UniteHERE 150Judy Tassone               Onondaga County Legislator, 4th districtEd Wagner                    Supervisor, Town of OwascoGary White                  Mayor, Village of LiverpoolSteve White                  Citizens to Preserve the Character of Skaneateles (CPCS)