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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. 


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.


Scott Willis / WAER News

The State DOT on Thursday presented new plans for the leg of the massive Empire State Trail that will run through DeWitt and the eastern part of Syracuse. Preliminary drawings were unveiled at an open house held Thursday evening at DeWitt town hall. Sam Gordon, Director of Planning and Zoning, says the plan focuses on a four mile section of Erie Boulevard East.

The Central New York chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union is hosting a panel discussion about the ongoing plans for I-81, and how it will impact racial isolation and economic exclusion in Onondaga County. 

The panel will be moderated by Director Yusuf Abdul-Qadir. He says plans for the highway must include consideration of the issues of poverty and segregation in the city.

“It’s unfathomable that we would have a community that has the highest concentrations of poverty of African Americans and Latinos and not use this as a means to address those issues." 

Scott Willis / WAER News

The New York State Department of Transportation released its list of three final options that the state will consider for the I-81 Viaduct thru Syracuse, and a tunnel is one of them.   The others in the 261 page "scoping report" include a community grid (boulevard) alternative, and three versions of a new viaduct.