Interstate 81

WRVO Public Media

The decision about the future of Interstate 81 in downtown Syracuse still looms over the region. Called the most important decsion for the city in a generation, the public is largely split on what should replace the elevated portion of highway that runs through the city. Many in the city favor a community grid, which would route trhough traffic around the city via Interstate 481, while many outside the city prefer to see the highway stay where it is. 

WRVO Public Media

The decision about the future of Interstate 81 in downtown Syracuse still looms over the region. Called the most important decsion for the city in a generation, the public is largely split on what should replace the elevated portion of highway that runs through the city. Many in the city favor a community grid, which would route trhough traffic around the city via Interstate 481, while many outside the city prefer to see the highway stay where it is. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

As central New York continues to wait for a state study on the future of Interstate 81 in downtown Syracuse, a group that wants to keep a high speed Interstate running through the city is sharing some three-year old data it says supports it’s view.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

White, suburban men are reaping the benefits of public construction projects in the Syracuse area, despite the city's demographics, according to a new report. Advocacy groups are sounding the alarm, before a decision is made regarding the future of the Interstate-81 viaduct in Syracuse.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A central New York business group is bringing some new compromises to the table as the region waits for a state report that could determine the future of Interstate 81 through downtown Syracuse.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Several hundred people turned out Thursday for the last of a series of hearings about the future of Interstate 81 through Syracuse held by Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus). The forum was held at Fowler High School, just a few miles from the elevated portion of the highway, which has reached the end of its useful lifespan. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

State Assemblywoman Pamela Hunter said she’s supporting the community grid option for replacing the elevated portion of Interstate 81 that cuts through downtown Syracuse. Her decision comes as a long-awaited environmental impact statement from the state is expected soon.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

At a forum in East Syracuse this weekend, central New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) heard a variety of opinions about why the state should either replace or rebuild the aging I-81 viaduct in Syracuse. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

The Onondaga County Legislature passed an agenda Wednesday that legislators said will determine the success or failure of the county for years to come. In addition to some significant financial decisions, the county passed a resolution on the future of Interstate-81.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News (file photo)

Thirty-three village and town executives in Onondaga County wrote a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other state officials last week urging them to keep high-speed access along the I-81 corridor in Syracuse. The local officials say rebuilding the viaduct or replacing it with a tunnel are both better options than the community grid for which many in Syracuse are advocating.

WRVO News File Photo

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer is sticking by his decision not to get involved in supporting a particular option to replace the aging Interstate 81 viaduct through Syracuse. 

His counterpart, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), went on record last month standing behind the street-level community grid option. Schumer said his job is not choosing an option, but providing the funds to pay for it. 

"I don’t believe it’s my job as a Washington senator to say to a community, you have to do it this way," Schumer said. "Let the community decide, and I’ll try and get the dollars."

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro said a compromise approach to replace the aging Interstate-81 viaduct in downtown Syracuse seems to be the most appropriate way to move forward. Molinaro also criticized Gov. Andrew Cuomo for taking too long to make a decision.

Speaking in Syracuse Thursday, Molinaro weighed in on the I-81 debate and said a tunnel with a street-level community grid above it, makes perfect sense.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

As central New York politicians met with Gov. Cuomo and his staff this week for the opening day of the New York State Fair, the topic of a major project that looms over central New York kept coming up.  

It’s one of the biggest public works projects to take place in central New York in a generation. How to deal with an aging section of Interstate 81 in downtown Syracuse that ferries thousands of vehicles through upstate New York every day. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Central New York residents took familiar sides in the ongoing debate over what should replace the aging Interstate-81 viaduct in Syracuse. 

City of Syracuse

Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh placed the future of the Interstate 81 viaduct at the center of his first State of the City speech Wednesday night.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

There’s a new way for disabled motorists to get help on a couple of major interstate highways in Onondaga County. 

The State Department of Transportation has expanded the HELP Roadside Service to central New York. Assistant DOT Commissioner Sean Hennessey says the emergency local service has started patrolling a 70-mile stretch of Interstate’s 81 and 690 during morning and evening rush hour.

WSP

An independent study of the tunnel options to replace the Interstate-81 viaduct in Syracuse was released Monday. The study said tunnel options are feasible, which contrasts the analysis the New York State Department of Transportation made last year.

WRVO News File Photo

Updated at 2:30p.m. Monday

The state Department of Transportation released a long-awaited study Monday on the feasibility of replacing the aging elevated section of I-81 that runs through downtown Syracuse with a tunnel or depressed highway. 

WRVO News

One of the bright spots in the recent history of the city of Syracuse has been the redevelopment of parts of the city's downtown area. One of the primary movers of that revitalization has been Robert Doucette. This week, Doucette joins Grant Reeher to discuss the city, economic development, and the replacement of Interstate 81 through downtown.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The future of Interstate 81 through downtown Syracuse hinges on an independent investigation of the options, currently being overseen by the New York State Department of Transportation. In the meantime, champions of different options for the aging highway continue to butt heads.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News (file photo)

A new national study lists Interstate-81 in Syracuse as one of America’s ten worst urban highways that should be removed. The nonprofit that conducted the report is advocating the elevated viaduct be torn down and replaced with a boulevard.

President and CEO of Congress for the New Urbanism Lynn Richards said I-81 in Syracuse made the list because active discussions about removing the viaduct have been going on for a decade.

WRVO News

The decision on the replacement of I-81 will be one of the most important public policy junctures for the Syracuse region in a generation.  This week on the Campbell Conversations, host Grant Reeher is joined by two local public officials who see in this moment the opportunity for a wholesale renewal of the housing and real estate landscape surrounding the old highway, which could lead to a city-wide regeneration.  Andrew Maxwell is Director of policy and innovation for the city of Syracuse, and Bill Simmons is the Director of the Syracuse Housing Authority. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

In his State of the State speech in Syracuse, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that planning for Interstate-81 reconstruction in downtown Syracuse will once again include studies of the tunnel and depressed highway options. Those are two options that the state Department of Transportation previously eliminated.

Members of the audience applauded when Cuomo announced the return of the tunnel and depressed highway options.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News (file photo)

Over the past several years, many central New York residents have debated passionately about what they think should happen to the Interstate-81 project through downtown Syracuse. 

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Politically, central New York will have something new when it comes to Congressional representation this year. For the first time in a decade, the 24th District, which represents Syracuse and surrounding areas, will have someone other than a freshman member of Congress representing it.

Doug Kerr / via Flickr

Onondaga County lawmakers on Tuesday will ask the state to consider eliminating tolls for local travelers on the New York State Thruway.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Interstate-81 project to replace the current viaduct in downtown Syracuse is down to two options. But regardless of whether a community grid or new viaduct is built, common features are proposed for another section of I-81 north of the viaduct. Those features include a new I-81 and I-690 interchange known as flyovers. It will also expand lanes and reconstruct several bridges.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Residents in the town of DeWitt got a chance to see the final two proposals for reconstructing Interstate-81 through downtown Syracuse. Rebuilding the viaduct or replacing it with a street-level community grid could impact the DeWitt area.

If the state goes with the community grid option, Interstate-481, which runs through DeWitt, would be redesignated as the new I-81. It would circumvent the city of Syracuse rather than going through it as I-81 does currently and would continue to do if the viaduct is rebuilt.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The New York State Department of Transportation is hosting neighborhood meetings regarding the Interstate-81 reconstruction project through downtown Syracuse. Many residents in Skaneateles are concerned that the project could negatively affect their area.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

As the Interstate 81 viaduct through downtown Syracuse comes to the end of its useful life, the state’s alternatives are down to two options: the viaduct reconstruction or community grid. The third option of a tunnel was dropped from consideration.

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