Department of Transportation

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.


Majority Support Keeping I-81's Current Route, New Poll Shows

Dec 6, 2016
Scott Willis

A group that wants to keep Interstate 81 – or at least its path – through downtown Syracuse has some new support for its position. A new poll by the group Save 81 showed that the majority of respondents support keeping the highway’s current route. Spokesperson Mark Nicotra said past surveys have showed that people are in favor of keeping 81 running through the city, and they wanted to feel the public’s temperature once again.

“We want to see it that still was the thought process and we thought it might be and we are certainly excited to see that it was.”

Advocates for highway and auto safety

  A change in federal law could mean trucks with double trailers, more than 80 feet in overall length will be driving on upstate New York roads and highways.  Senator Chuck Schumer says that would mean a dangerous change in traffic that puts people at risk.  On average 4000 people a year are dying from truck related crashes and Schumer worries that would only get worse. 

John Smith/WAER News

  Just days before a public meeting about the replacement of I-81 through Syracuse, a closed door meeting was held today with local and State DOT Officials.  Senator John DeFrancisco brought in engineering plans provided by his constituents.  It calls for building a 1.2 mile tunnel with an overlapping boulevard. 

Amtrak is getting $22  million of your state tax dollars…all to make sure the service continues and maybe improves.  An agreement announced today has New York picking up a portion of the costs of four specific routes, with the federal government also subsidizing a share.  Transportation Department Spokesperson Beau Duffy explains the support helps some of the busiest lines…and can perhaps lead to improvements.

Central New Yorkers will get another opportunity to add their opinions to the debate over the future of Interstate 81 Tuesday.