Portions of Interstate 81 here in Central New York will soon reach the end of their useful life. State and local transportation officials are in the process of deciding the highway’s future, and the decision could be far-reaching.
Save81.org is a diverse coalition of concerned citizens, elected officials, employers, unions, and community groups that believe any plan to rehabilitate the aging portions of I-81 must preserve the highway’s current traffic pattern and alignment through our region, particularly the stretch of I-81 that runs through and connects our community with Downtown Syracuse.
Save81 is opposed to any scheme that would divert the current traffic pattern of I-81 away from Syracuse. This includes the “boulevard” plan being considered by officials in Albany that would re-route I-81 to the east, away from Syracuse. I-81 is a vital transportation backbone for our region, and we believe that altering it would cripple a regional economy already struggling in the wake of a national financial crisis, endanger public safety, undermine the region’s ease of accessibility, overwhelm the infrastructure of neighboring communities and hurt local employment.
As the State contemplates its next move with the I-81 rehabilitation process, Save81 plans to play a prominent role in the discussion, with the goal of ensuring that decision makers hear the voices of all of those with an interest in the outcome, including those who fear that changing the highway’s current traffic pattern through the area would undermine our region’s quality of life.