I-81 Syracuse

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.

John Smith/WAER News

  Just days before a public meeting about the replacement of I-81 through Syracuse, a closed door meeting was held today with local and State DOT Officials.  Senator John DeFrancisco brought in engineering plans provided by his constituents.  It calls for building a 1.2 mile tunnel with an overlapping boulevard. 

The State Department of Transportation has released the schedule of the next four neighborhoods meetings about the future of I-81 through Syracuse.  About 100 people turned out for the first one held two weeks ago in Toomey Abbott Towers, a stone’s throw from the highway. 

Regional transportation officials fear the community will be polarized over what to do with the elevated portion of Interstate 81 through Syracuse.  Engineers just got the green light to spend the next few months conducting an environmental impact review of the various options, and narrow them down to one or two.