Community grid

Scott Willis / WAER-FM 88.3

The towns likely to be most affected by the state’s community grid recommendation for I-81 will have a chance to express their concerns to the DOT on their home turf Wednesday…or will they?

Shane Lavalette

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.


Daniel Lobo / Wikimedia Commons

Mayor Ben Walsh wants the Interstate 81 project to prioritize the communities adjacent to the viaduct and local workforce development. In a presentation during GreeningUSA’s Green Bag Lunch series Friday, Walsh said one of the key issues that will affect those living right next to the interstate is displacement.

Onondaga County’s Town Supervisors and Village Mayors say the state DOT has not considered their input regarding the department’s recommendation of a community grid to replace the I-81 viaduct through Syracuse. 

Funding for the I-81 project could come from a massive, $2 trillion infrastructure spending plan being considered by President Trump and congressional democrats. 

file photo

One of the first city leaders to call for the I-81 viaduct to come down is excited that the state has finally made a recommendation to replace it.

"I was very much overjoyed that the community grid had been the chosen option.  Although that does not mean that's the end of the story."

Scott Willis / WAER News

Businesses on I-81 just north of Syracuse and the county legislators that represent them are continuing to insist that a high-speed highway be maintained through the city.  They’re urging residents and others to speak out against the state’s recommendation last week of a community grid to replace the aging viaduct that cuts through downtown.

Scott Willis / WAER News

The state Department of Transportation officials overseeing the planned street grid to replace Interstate 81 viaduct in Syracuse took time Wednesday to clarify some details and stress the benefits of the nearly $2 billion project.  The recommendation came Monday as part of a 15,000 page report on the project’s social, economic, and environmental impacts.

File Photo

 This is a developing story and will be updated.

The New York State Department of Transportation released its long awaited Draft Environmental Impact Statement on Monday and named the Community Grid as its preferred alternative. The DOT says the decision was made after considering social, econoimc, and environmental effects as well as the need for safe and efficient transportation. 

Scott Willis/WAER News

Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud is officially coming down on the side of the Community Grid Option for replacing Interstate 81.  His announcement Friday indicates the decision was made only after a great deal of research on the implications of each potential choice.  But now, with the draft environmental impact statement expected from the state, Syverud thought it time to lend his and the University's clout behind one of the options.