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Interstate 81 Overpass Through Syracuse Dilemma. What's Next?


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.

Kathy Rapp is an Onondaga County Lawmaker, Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council Member, and member of the group Save  She's concerned people are already taking sides even before knowing the final options.

“Obviously, there’s lots of different opinions and they’re all over the board.  But, I think at at the end the day, everybody shares the same goal at making this community better and growing it and looking at this as an opportunity.  There could be a billion dollars coming to this community and how can we leverage that for the most good for the most people?”

Meanwhile, Rapp says the county plans to open up the Carnegie Building in Downtown Syracuse around Labor Day to give the community a place to learn more about the project.  She says the State DOT will set up information boards in the former library on the corner of Montgomery and East Jefferson Streets  where people can stop in at their leisure and leave their comments.

John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.
Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at