Gov. Andrew Cuomo has named former Syracuse Mayor Matthew Driscoll as New York’s next commissioner of the Department of Transportation.
This announcement comes as the DOT is trying to narrow down possible options to replace the aging viaduct portion of Interstate-81 that goes through downtown Syracuse.
The decision over whether to keep the route through downtown or to divert traffic around Syracuse has been controversial.
Current Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said it's always helpful to know people in positions of authority when decisions like this are being made.
“He certainly won’t have to be told where [Interstate] 81 is or what the implications are and how important it is for the community,” Miner said. “So I think it’s always a good thing to have somebody who’s familiar with the asset and how important it is to our community in a position of leadership.”
Driscoll has to be confirmed by the state Senate before he can start the new job. Driscoll was mayor of Syracuse from 2001 through 2009. He was most recently president and chief executive officer of the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation, the state agency that provides financing for municipal water and sewer projects.