SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- When will the mile long traffic jam end? A crumbling historic building that houses a bike shop on North State Street in Syracuse has forced the New York State Department of Transportation to close a portion of 81 North.
The interstate has been closed since Friday after heavy, wet snow destroyed part of the facade near the highway. Now the state is talking about tearing it down.
In the meantime, owner Anthony Tartaro watches as several area bikers help him remove the contents of the building. Tartaro says he bought the building from an old friend, Paul Bravos, roughly eight years ago. And even then, he says, it was littered with reminders of companies that proceeded him.
"Paul got this building around the mid-70s. And it was supposed to be emptied out, but he got killed. It left 26 years worth of restaurant equipment in this building. But that's not all that's in there. The previous owner left stuff in this building and the owner before that left stuff in this building. So it was just a tremendous amount of stuff to move around and to deal with," Tartaro said.
DOT leaders from Syracuse were in Albany Tuesday, discussing the demolition of the building and how it will be paid for. If Governor Paterson declares the building an emergency, then state workers can tear it down and traffic can flow freely again.
We've reached out to the Governor's office and DOT officials in Albany. We have not heard back from them.