For Immediate Release: January 17, 2014

Contact: Mark Nicotra, (315) 313-5765, [email protected]

In Comment Period Submission To State Officials, Highlights Numerous Negative Effects Of Replacing I-81 With A Boulevard In Syracuse

SYRACUSE — In a letter sent Friday, urged the state Department of Transportation to abandon its consideration of a contemplated “boulevard” alternative for dealing with the aging viaduct portion of Interstate 81 in Downtown Syracuse.  The letter, signed by 25 coalition members, was included in’s submission to the DOT as part of the public comment period of the I-81 project’s Environmental Impact Study.  The letter and accompanying materials will be made part of the I-81 project’s official record.

“Replacing I-81 with a boulevard in Downtown Syracuse would have significant negative effects on our region’s economy, public safety, traffic and environment, which is why more than 3,500 residents have signed our petition,” said Mark Nicotra, spokesman and Town Supervisor of Salina. “We’re committed to making sure the state acknowledges these concerns and explores solutions for I-81 that will work for the entire community, such as a tunnel, depressed highway or iconic new bridge.  We look forward to continue playing a role in this important discussion as we progress through 2014.”

In the letter, calls for the boulevard proposal to “be eliminated and not considered further,” because it fails “to meet the purposes, goals and objectives which have been identified by [Federal Highway Administration] and NYSDOT in connection with the Syracuse region I-81 corridor” and could create “a host of unintended consequences.” 

Additionally,’s submission to the DOT cites analysis demonstrating the disastrous affect a boulevard would have on area traffic; resolutions by the Central New York Area Labor Federation (AFL-CIO) and the Central and Northern New York Building & Construction Trades Council; and results from a November poll commissioned by in showing overwhelming opposition to a boulevard among Syracuse and Onondaga County voters.

About is a diverse coalition of concerned residents, elected officials, employers, union members, and community groups that have come together as officials in Albany determine how to deal with the aging portions of I-81 in our area. opposes a plan being considered to replace I-81 in Downtown Syracuse with a boulevard that would divert Interstate traffic away from the City and leave traffic congestion and air pollution in its place.