Draft EIS Phase Alternatives

Transportation Officials Ignore Consensus Amongst Central New York by Removing Tunnel Alternative. Click here to read more.  
Putting Syracuse to Work During the I-81 Project: Click here to read more.
For Immediate Release: Save81.org commends Chairman McMahon for calling on the DOT to study Access Syracuse.
Rep. John Katko has come out in support of including a tunnel, boulevard, and viaduct option in the Final Scoping Report to allow CNY residents to evaluate a full range of options for the I-81 project.

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The number of alternatives currently under consideration for the I-81 project has been narrowed down from nearly twenty to four. These alternatives will be the subject of the Environmental Impact Study (EIS), with the ultimate goal of narrowing down these four plans to one final Preferred Alternative to be used to replace the current I-81 viaduct through Syracuse. The current proposals under consideration include:

  • No Build Alternative: NEPA requires examination of a No Build Alternative, which serves as a baseline against which the other alternatives can be compared. This would maintain the highway in its existing configuration with only routine maintenance and minor repairs.

  • Viaduct: The similar viaduct alternatives from the Draft Scoping phase have been combined into a single alternative, with several options with respect to the I-81 and I-690 interchange. At this time, it is estimated that approx. 30 to 35 buildings would need to be removed for the construction of this option, and would be likely to take up to six years and cost $1.4 billion.

  • Community Grid: Previously the Street-level Alternative/At-grade Alternative, this option contains two separate alternatives. One is a boulevard option, the other option involves making greater use of the local street network and reducing the number of traffic lanes on Almond Street. At this time, it is estimated that this alternative would take up to six years and cost $1.0 billion.

  • Tunnel: This option would reroute traffic through an underground tunnel. The NYSDOT will conduct additional engineering and further analysis to establish a tunnel option that meets the project purposes and objectives.