A public meeting will be held today on Interstate 81 through Onondaga County. The meeting is an opportunity to participate in the process of determining the future of the highway, which may need to be replaced, reconstructed, removed, or changed. Our Brad Vivacqua reports.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- DOT officials say Interstate 81 in Syracuse, particularly the elevated sections of the highway, are reaching the end of their lifespan. That's why the state DOT and the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council will be introducing five master improvement strategies at today's public meeting.
Last May, the public commented on how they envisioned the future of the popular highway, and as a result five strategies were developed.
Officials say between 80,000 and 100,000 vehicles use the roadway each day, and that's why it's important to cover all options.
Options include no-build, rehabilitate the road and bridges, reconstruct the road and replace bridges, depress the road and build a tunnel, and replace the elevated portion with an urban boulevard.
Tonight, those strategies will better be explained and the public will get another opportunity to learn more and speak out. The Oncenter's lower ballroom will be set up with a number of stations.
"One of the stations has all the information collected from last year, sorted and categorized. And, then you move into the second half where you get into the strategies, and the five strategies that you mentioned are developed in a little more detail and will give the public a chance to comment on those," said Gene Cilento, NYS DOT Region PIO.
Following today's meeting, each of the strategies will undergo further analysis, considering its impact on issues like traffic, land use, pedestrians, and the economy.
The meeting will take place beginning at 2 p.m. and run through 8 p.m. in the lower level ballroom at the Oncenter, located at 800 South State Street in Syracuse.
For more information about the options, visit the I-81 Challenge website at http://thei81challenge.org/.