TOWN OF SALINA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It may be the first mass opposition to the State Department of Transportation’s preferred community grid option to replace the I-81 viaduct in Syracuse.
Salina businesses, many of their workers and that area’s legislative leaders came together Thursday afternoon to express their concerns over what this plan would mean to them.
On April 22 the State DOT released a 15,000 page report that says demolishing the elevated highway and making a street level community grid is their recommendation for I-81 in Syracuse.
The State DOT also encourages public feedback on ways the Final Draft Environmental Impact Statement can mitigate as many negative impacts the community grid would create as possible.
Salina Town Supervisor Colleen Gunnip says, “How do you mitigate a truck stop down the road right here if truck traffic is not going to come this way, they’re going to go around 481 and continue to go North or South.”
“Right now we’re getting to the end where we need to get more voice and more people to weigh in on this, that’s why so many people came here today,” says 4th District Onondaga County Legislator Judy Tassone.
Fellow County lawmaker Deb Cody, representing the 5th District, says, “This is not a final decision, so this is the recommendation so now this is why we’re doing this. Now is the time to get everybody motivated, the folks in Salina and folks who are going to be hurt by this, to make sure they are submitting their public comments to make sure they’re looking for those public hearings that are taking place.”
The State DOT has not released exact dates for those public meetings only that they will start in June.
A large, formal public hearing on the I-81 DEIS is planned for some time in the Fall.