Neighborhood Meetings Start: Future of I-81 Still Up in the Air

Oct 19, 2016
Comments Box on table at Henninger High School.
Elana Sukert, WAER

The first of six Neighborhood Meetings to discuss the I-81 Viaduct Project was held Tuesday night at Henninger High School. The Open House format allowed the public to interact one-on-one with participants involved in the project from the State DOT to architects. Comment boxes were readily available on site as the public were hoping for their opinions to be heard.

Community member Peggy Conan turned out last night to get more insight on the two options left for consideration.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Leaders on Syracuse’s north side are concerned about the potential impact of the I-81 project on their neighborhoods.  Director of the Northside Urban Partnership Dominic Robinson stood outside the new One Group Center adjacent to Spencer Street and the freeway.

Frank Moses/FOCUS / http://www.focussyracuse.org/

  Syracuse residents got a chance to get an update on the options to replace the elevated portion of Interstate 81 today from one of the key figures who will decide.  Former Syracuse Mayor Matt Driscoll is now the Commissioner of the State Department of Transportation and he spoke at a forum hosted by FOCUS Greater Syracuse. 


Syracuse-Area residents  are getting a first look at a study examining the possibility of bus rapid transit or light rail transit along two pre-determined corridors through the city.  Transportation officials say it’s an early step in a long process to improve public transit in areas that use it the most.

Scott Willis / WAER News

The New York State Department of Transportation released its list of three final options that the state will consider for the I-81 Viaduct thru Syracuse, and a tunnel is one of them.   The others in the 261 page "scoping report" include a community grid (boulevard) alternative, and three versions of a new viaduct.

What's Could be in Store for I-81 Without the Proper Funding?

Apr 9, 2015
Scott Willis / WAER

By the end of May, the federal highway trust fund is scheduled to run out of money,  leaving many including Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner asking what the future may hold for I-81.  At a press conference Thursday called by the Mayor, she asked Congress to find a way to get revenue back in the fund.  She says if not, the future of I-81 could be at stake.

Chris Bolt / WAER News

The future of I-81 in Syracuse and access to adolescent mental health services  are among 11 priorities Rep. John Katko laid out Tuesday for his inaugural term in office.  Katko says he has lobbied the state, spoken with the federal highway administration, and met with local businesses regarding the future of the highway viaduct through Syracuse.  He wants to stay in front of the issue… 

Rethink 81

The group of property owners, businesses, and residents who want to see the I-81 viaduct torn down revealed computer generated renderings showing what a boulevard may look like. Developer Bob Doucette with Rethink 81 says their analysis of land values in the path and around the freeways shows a street level solution could generate $140 million in property value.

Bryan Cereijo / WAER News

Syracuse Common Councilors Monday made their position on the future of I-81 clear…and official.  They approved a non-binding resolution asking the governor, state legislature, and the state DOT to re-design and re-construct the I-81 viaduct into a street level boulevard.  

  Council President Van Robinson has advocated for its removal years before the state began planning for its future.  Now he’s hoping others will follow the council’s lead…