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Syracuse Common Councilor Joe Driscoll to manage the impact of I-81 project for the city

 Joe Driscoll stands in front of part of the I-81 viaduct.
City of Syracuse
Joe Driscoll stands in front of part of the I-81 viaduct.

Syracuse common councilor Joe Driscoll will be taking on a new role with the upcoming I-81 viaduct replacement project.  Mayor Ben Walsh appointed Driscoll to be the city’s I-81 project director. He’ll serve as the primary liaison with the state DOT and work closely with departments across city government to manage the impact of the massive project on residents and city infrastructure.

Driscoll founded the “Community for the Grid” campaign, and serves as the council’s public works committee chair. Walsh says Driscoll has been a constructive voice regarding the community grid.

"[He] helped make sure the facts about the alternatives reached more people. He is deeply knowledgeable about the 81 project and is respected across the city for his integrity. Joe is a true public servant who understands city government and our neighborhoods,” Walsh said in a release.

For his part, Driscoll says the job is a calling for him.

"I feel like all of my experiences have led to this moment. I believe passionately in the potential of the Community Grid to positively transform Syracuse, to advance equity and make people’s lives better,” said Driscoll. “This will likely be the most transformative project to happen in Syracuse during our lifetimes, and I plan to continue on with my work as an advocate, keeping the needs and health of city residents foremost, and working to make positive changes that will improve the quality of life for all the people in our community, hopefully for generations to come."

In addition to his work with the DOT and city departments, Driscoll will be responsible for the city’s community engagement regarding the 81 project. He’ll have to leave his seat on the council to take on his new role. A replacement will be appointed.

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