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I-81 Challenge public meeting underway at the Oncenter

Central New Yorkers have another opportunity to learn more about the changes coming to I-81 in Syracuse today.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - Central New Yorkers have another opportunity to learn more about the changes coming to I-81 in Syracuse today.

The third and final I-81 Challenge informational meeting is underway at the Oncenter in Downtown Syracuse.

There are five channels under consideration, according to the New York State Department of Transportation:

- Removing the elevated system and replacing it with a tunnel
- A depressed highway, which would essentially be a tunnel without a roof
- Rerouting traffic to I-481 and demolishing the viaduct, making way for a new boulevard that would connect Downtown Syracuse with the medical and SU communities
- Build a new, elevated viaduct from scratch
- Rehabilitate the current highway according to contemporary design standards

The cost-effectiveness of each plan is a factor. The price tags range from $500 million to $1.2 billion.

There are a number of stations set up at the I-81 challenge designed to help illustrate the options available for I-81.

The highway will be paid for with State and Federal aid.

The goal is to have one plan chosen, and funding secured, by 2017.

The I-81 Challenge will run through 8 p.m. tonight.

The event is open to the public.

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