Responds to SMTC Vote Moving I-81 Project into Next Phase

On Monday, the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council unanimously approved spending $32 million to move the Interstate 81 rehabilitation project into the next phase.

As The Post-Standard noted, SMTC’s vote allows the state Department of Transportation “to hire Parsons Transportation Group to execute the next step: soliciting more ideas from the public, narrowing down options, analyzing the impacts the changes will have on the region, and drawing up final design plans for the aging highway.”

In response to Monday’s SMTC vote, Salina Town Supervisor Mark Nicotra, a member of, stated:

“This is another key step in the process to determine Interstate 81’s future in our region. We look forward to playing a role in the discussion as we move into this next phase and working to ensure that officials in Albany hear the voices of area residents who are concerned about replacing I-81 in Downtown Syracuse with a boulevard.”

More than 1,000 residents from throughout Central New York have already signed’s online petition in support of preserving I-81’s designation as an Interstate Highway through Syracuse and opposing a plan to replace it with a boulevard. believes that any plan to rehabilitate the aging portions of I-81 must preserve the highway’s Interstate designation through the City. The coalition believes there are multiple solutions that could accomplish this goal, including a tunnel, depressed roadway, a new bridge, a rebuilt elevated highway or an idea that has yet to be proposed.