Newsmakers: The Future of I81

Newsmakers

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – Dan’s guests are Dave Smith, regional director of the NYS Department of Transportation, and Mark Frechette, Route 81 Project Director.   Smith and Frechette discuss the status of the project, which would remove the Interstate 81 viaduct through Syracuse and replace it with a “Business Loop” and “Community Grid” of city streets.  The timeframe for the project is growing longer.   The formal public hearing, which originally was going to happen this fall, will now happen sometime next year.  Smith and Frechette say they must take a closer look at what needs to be done to re-route interstate traffic onto the current Route 481.   DOT is also in the middle of a study into how the project will affect the economy of Salina and other northern suburbs.   Smith says given the complex issues involved, it’s possible that phase one construction won’t even begin now until 2022.  

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