Save 81 Statement On Release Of Latest DEIS

Recently, the residents of Central New York were given access to the New York State Department of Transportation’s (DOT) latest Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Interstate 81 project.

As we have stated throughout, it is critical that the public have ongoing access to, and be fully able to understand, the impacts of each alternative approach to this project. All of Central New York must be a part of this important decision. It is more important than ever to make sure a vocal few don’t end up making the decision for us all.

Save 81 continues to urge the retention of Interstate 81’s vital function of uniting all segments of this community. We are staunchly supportive of retaining Interstate 81 in its current alignment, in one form or another.

We are naturally pleased that this time around the DOT is making the latest version of this important document available for public inspection, unlike the previous DEIS version, which Save 81 was able to obtain only after six months of Freedom of Information law (FOIL) requests. Save 81 distributed that document for full public inspection earlier this year.

Our professional analysis resulted in the disheartening revelation that the DOT’s public messages have conflicted starkly with the DOT’s own engineers’ analyses and data. Review of the earlier DEIS made it unavoidably evident that the Community Grid plan, as proposed, would have produced crippling gridlock across a broad swath of the central and southern areas of the city of Syracuse.

Save 81 will submit this latest DEIS to the same intense, independent, professional scrutiny and report those findings to the public as soon as possible. Until this document has been carefully scrutinized by all of the public, including independent professionals, it is premature to make definitive statements about its findings.

Now, as we enter the public comment period, it’s more important than ever to make our voices heard. Thank you for your continued support!