LINK: Public comment period for State DOT’s I-81 design open now through September 14

Future of 81
I-81 graphic

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Members of the public have until Tuesday, September 14 at 5pm to formally submit a comment regarding the design for the I-81 viaduct replacement.

A 60-day formal public comment period was triggered Friday, July 16 when New York’s Department of Transportation released the latest version of the I-81 design plan, called the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).

The plan lays out details of three options to replace the I-81 viaduct in Downtown Syracuse: 1) a community grid of ground-level streets, 2) rebuild a modern viaduct, 3) maintain the current viaduct.

As the DOT did in its 2019 DEIS, the 2021 version endorses the grid of ground-level streets as the preferred alternative, claiming that the project best achieves the project’s mission.

Comments submitted now through September 14 at 5pm will be put on record as part of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). According to the State DOT, all substantive comments will be summarized and responded to in the FEIS.

Comments can be submitted via the electronic comment form or by emailing

Voicemails can be called into the project hotline: 1-855-I81-TALK (1-855-481-8255).

Comments sent via U.S. Mail should be directed to either: 

Mark Frechette, P.E.
Project Director
NYS Department of Transportation, Region 3
333 East Washington Street
Syracuse, NY 13202      

Rick Marquis
Division Administrator
Federal Highway Administration
Leo W. O’Brien Federal Building
11A Clinton Avenue, Suite 719
Albany, NY 12207

Two types of public hearings will be held as part of the public comment period.

On Tuesday, August 17 at 11am and then at 5pm, the DOT will host two virtual public hearings. People can register with the DOT to make verbal comments via Zoom.

A live video stream of the hearing will be available for those who do not wish to make an oral comment. 

On Wednesday, August 18, the DOT will be host two in-person public hearings at the Oncenter in Downtown Syracuse. Doors open at 3:30pm.

A pre-recorded presentation will be shown at 4pm and 6pm, which will be followed by comments.


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