‘Mayor Pete,’ as Transportation Secretary, will visit Syracuse to tour I-81 corridor

Future of 81

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is scheduled to visit Syracuse on Tuesday, along with New York Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, to tour the I-81 corridor.

Under Buttigieg’s oversight, the Federal Highway Administration has to approve the State Department of Transportation’s plan for how to replace the aging I-81 viaduct through Downtown Syracuse.

The State DOT has a plan before the federal government, in which it endorses a grid of ground-level streets to replace the I-81 viaduct and reroute high-speed through-traffic around Syracuse on I-481.

The updated design is expected to be released in the coming weeks, according to Congressman John Katko, which puts a public hearing on the schedule around August.

Some people, primarily living in the suburbs of Onondaga County, have opposed the grid, fearing lack of high-speed access through Syracuse cuts off their communities.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has indicated that construction on the project will begin in 2022.

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