I-81

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…

WAER

A leading expert in urban design and infrastructure planning will bring his experience to Syracuse on Wednesday, September 24th as the next speaker in the I-81 Speaker Series. Harvard Design critic, Peter Park, says there are many lessons to be learned from building highways through US cities, and it's a good starting point to understand what worked and what didn't.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner has released her first public opinion about the future of I-81 thorough he city…but stops short of endorsing any specific replacement plan.  

  On the last day of the public comment period, Miner sent a letter to New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald saying she supports the state’s decision to eliminate a stacked viaduct, tunnel, depressed highway, and rehabilitation as alternatives as options.  But Miner doesn’t say what should replace the aging, obsolete viaduct.  

Scott Willis / WAER News

An observer of population trends and urban issues says Syracuse appears to be on the right path toward making its downtown a more thriving place.

Matt Carmichael is editor of livability.com, and was the keynote speaker at Wednesday’s annual meeting of the Downtown Committee. 

Downtown Committee Executive Director Merike Treier says downtown's growth seems to be spreading or strenghening nearby neighborhoods previously disconnected from the city's core, like the Inner Harbor and Franklin Square. 

Boston University Professor Virginia Greiman shares her experiences as a consultant on Boston's Big Dig road project tonight at a presentation and Q & A session in the Onondaga County Civic Center.  It's meant to provide some insight into the process Syracuse is going through with the necessary replacement for Interstate 81'S elevated portion

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