Transportation Officials Ignore Consensus Amongst Central New York by Removing Tunnel Alternative

SYRACUSE, NY – In response to the Department of Transportation’s announcement today that the (Access Syracuse) tunnel plan will not be one of the Interstate 81 options included in the draft environmental impact statement, stated:

“On the day that New York State announces a plan to spend 200 Billion dollars on roads, tunnels and bridges elsewhere in the state, the New York State Department of Transportation has announced Syracuse will get only a cheapened answer to the I-81 dilemma.  Tunnel versions, preferred by traffic experts and many in Syracuse and Central New York, have been declared “too expensive”, and the DOT has chosen to abandon examination of those alternatives.  New York is spending at least 4 Billion dollars on an additional span for the Tappan Zee bridge, but apparently the voters of Syracuse and Central New York do not warrant that kind of attention.

It is a mistake to toss aside the hybrid tunnel plan before it has been thoroughly examined, and fully compared with the shortcomings of the alternatives.  We are disappointed that officials did not listen to the thousands of Central New Yorkers who have urged them to pursue the hybrid option for I-81.  The (Access Syracuse) tunnel alternative has the support of every one of the region’s elected officials in Albany, the Onondaga County Legislature and area labor leaders.  It is clear the plan has the potential to unite the community thoughtfully as well as physically, and all in the Central New York community deserve to know all of the facts about it.

Today’s decision does not change, however, the fact that the majority of Central New York residents want to preserve I-81’s current north-south path through the region, which is critical for the area’s economy, jobs and public safety.  We will continue working closely with all stakeholders to ensure we choose a plan that maintains I-81 and works for the entire community.”


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.