LocalSYR

Congressman weighs in on I-81 issue

I-81 through Syracuse is fast approaching the end of its lifespan. By 2017, the highway will either be overhauled or replaced.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – I-81 through Syracuse is fast approaching the end of its lifespan.

By 2017, the highway will either be overhauled or replaced.

The New York State Department of Transportation has been working on the plan, but Congressman Dan Maffei said he’s not happy with either of the options they’re considering.

The two proposals include: turning the roadway into a street-level six-lane boulevard and diverting highway traffic onto I-481; or tearing down the elevated highway altogether and replacing it.

Maffei says he has talked to people who are opposed to both plans, and he agrees with them.

“I think there are other options. In other cities they've moved elevated highways or taken them down and done parkways or other expressways. We don't need to settle for these two options,” Maffei said. “This decision shouldn't be made in Albany or Washington. It should be made here in Central New York.”

Maffei says upgrading I-81 is an opportunity to fix and eyesore in Syracuse, but the solution needs to be geared toward helping the middle class and boosting the economy.

To learn more about the I-81 project, visit the I-81 Challenge website.

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