SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) has a decision to make after new design improvements for the I-81 southern interchange have been presented.

On Tuesday night, Nov. 14, CNY Alliance is hosting an open house as part of Contract 2 of the I-81 Viaduct Project, presenting a new design to the NYSTDOT that would help with long-term maintenance and inspection costs.

The Design-Build contract laid out in Contract 2 allows the CNY Alliance to evaluate and propose alternative designs to NYSDOT’s preliminary design.

Their alternative design includes reducing the number of required bridges from eight to six and introducing two new roundabouts in place of signalized intersections on Brighton Avenue. The benefits of fewer bridges in the southern interchange include less steel, concrete, excavation, and more.

The attached two renderings show NYSDOT’s preliminary design from the FEIS and the contractor’s proposed design.  

According to CNY Alliance, roundabouts prove to be safer, more sustainable, and more efficient than traditional intersections. The roundabouts, which would be on the Brighton Avenue bridge, would replace the current signalized intersections at Rock Cut Road and relocate East Glen Avenue.

According to the NYSDOT, “crashes in roundabouts are less severe, resulting in fewer injuries and fatalities. They help traffic move more smoothly while reducing congestion.”

The NYSDOT now has to consider the changes including time and cost savings, safety enhancements, and expansion of the potential use of innovative design and technology.