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'A Shadow Cast' Shines Light On History And Present Reality of Communities Along I-81 Viaduct

A temporary exhibit at ArtRage gallery shows the past and present realities of the land where the Interstate 81 viaduct now exists side by side. Organizers of 'A Shadow Cast: Interstate 81' Shane Lavalette and the New York Civil Liberties Union hope the photos help to explain why restorative justice should be a necessary part of the I-81 Project.


A timeline of I-81's construction and the demolition of the 15th Ward also was part of the exhibit. The documents took months to scan and illustrate how redlining and urban renewal made way for a viaduct to be built through a community. 

Now that the NYSDOT has issued a Draft Environmental Impact Statement, orangizations like the NYCLU are working to make sure that the project is done in a way that helps to restore some of what the 15th Ward lost. The state has yet to release a final decision on the Interstate 81 project, but NYCLU's Lanessa Chaplin says relocation, school accomdations and economic redevelopment plans need to be a part of it. 


Katie Zilcosky is WAER’s All Things Considered host and features reporter. She also co-hosts WAER’s public affairs show Syracuse Speaks. As a reporter, she focuses on technology, economy, and identity.