Those For And Against I-81 Through Downtown Consider Report A Win

Syracuse, N.Y. - Politicians in Syracuse and throughout Central New York are reacting to the Feasibility Survey for a Tunnel option for I-81.  Though each side of the debate for or against the Tunnel are considering it a win.  

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner issued the following statement upon hearing results of the independent study of a potential tunnel replacement option for the I-81 viaduct: 

 “This study reaffirms the previous work done by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and what many in our community have long suspected: a tunnel option would take nearly a decade to build and have an outsize price tag. A tunnel is not feasible financially and would have detrimental impacts on the economic and social health of our community. I would urge NYSDOT to remove the tunnel alternative from consideration in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and proceed only with options which focus on connecting the street grid, opening up more land for potential development, and improving the quality of life for Syracuse residents.”

Salina Town Supervisor Mark Nicotra, how is a part of the Organization Save81 had this to say:

"Based on public reports, Save81 is pleased that the Independent Analysis by the NYSDOT confirmed that there are tunnel options that work. The continued operation of the I-81 corridor is vital to the economic stability of our region. We look forward to reviewing the report when it is made available."

The study considered two depressed highway options and seven tunnel options. The consultant for the study, WSP, concluded that both options for depressed highways were unfeasible.  While a tunnel option would be technically feasible, it would cost between $3 and 4.5 billion and could take a decade to build.  There would also need to be several parcel acquisitions to conduct a tunnel project. 

Officials with the DOT will review the findings before making their recommendation.

The complete 264 page Feasibility Study Report can be read here.

PhotoCred: NYS DOT/WSP Consultants 

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