DeWitt Supervisor Michalenko: Converting I-481 to I-81 would be ‘detrimental’

DeWitt Town Supervisor Ed Michalenko writes in a new op-ed on that Interstate 81’s current route through Syracuse must be maintained in the future.

Michalenko writes:

It is our considered opinion that converting Interstate 481 into I-81 will be detrimental to DeWitt neighborhoods, and our community as a whole, due to significantly increased air and noise pollution, as well as increased traffic on I-481 and also on our secondary town roads. Please see a copy of the Town Board resolution outlining our position at

The Town Board and I are unclear as to why the New York State Department of Transportation has embarked down the path of an I-481 conversion without conducting a regional transportation study. Surely a project of such magnitude, impact, and cost — not to mention the daily disruption for commuters — demands an in-depth study?

Three primary options have been looked at to date: a tunnel, a community grid and a depressed highway. I personally advocate a “Hybrid Community Grid” approach which would allow the Community Grid option, but would also maintain the north-south I-81 connection through the city of Syracuse. Further, an innovatively designed Hybrid Community Grid could work with a depressed highway, an elevated highway, or even a tunnel.

To read Michalenko’s full op-ed, click here.