Town of DeWitt is taking action on latest I-81 plans

Future of 81

DEWITT, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It’s already seeing a newly designed exit and other improvements in the latest I-81 plan, but the DeWitt Town Supervisor is still holding out hope an option other than the community grid is chosen by the New York State Department of Transportation.

Sam Young, one of DeWitt’s town board members, made sure I-81 was on Monday night’s meeting agenda.

The town’s Comprehensive Plan committee has been meeting regularly and says it has identified concerns over the community grid option.

Young believes the town needs to come together and speak with one voice.

“We must determine what the impacts are. We know there are going to be considerable impacts, probably more on DeWitt than any other town,” Young explained.

I-81 Timeline, NYS DOT

Collectively, the town only has a few weeks to submit any concerns. The board says it is planning on putting together a long list of concerns.

“We are going to work with professionals such as engineers and traffic experts to put together a set of comments that reviews the environmental impact statement,” Michalenko said.

DeWitt wants more done by the State Department of Transportation if I-481 becomes the new I-81. There’s talk of noise barriers, planting more trees on the highway border and other measures.

Town Supervisor Ed Michalenko said he also plans on submitting his own comments.

It’s expected the town’s suggestions are going to be submitted before the public comment period runs out on September 4.

There will also be two public hearings. A virtual public hearing on August 17, as well as an in-person public hearing on August 18 for anyone to take part in.

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