Studying I-81 tunnel now is an investment in Syracuse’s future

Article originally published here.

To The Editor:

Many Syracuse business owners such as myself believe preserving Interstate 81’s north-south route through the region is vital for the region’s economy. This is why I found the Post-Standard’s March 20 editorial about the Access Syracuse tunnel-boulevard plan to be shortsighted and disappointing.

It is certainly not a waste of time and money to study the Access Syracuse plan, which will maintain I-81’s path while eliminating the downtown elevated highway. In fact, taking the time to study the Access Syracuse plan now is an investment in the economic future of Central New York’s infrastructure.

My business, which has been located at Exit 17 of Route 81 for decades and employs more than 80 people, relies on I-81 to bring customers through the front door. Like many others, we would suffer if I-81 is re-routed, which would hurt our economy and put jobs at risk.

Access Syracuse has a wide range of community support, from many residents to business owners to unions to elected officials. It simply makes no sense to shut down debate about a plan that has brought together such a diverse group of stakeholders.

Our community deserves to learn more about Access Syracuse and other plans so we can be fully informed about our choices. I hope the DOT listens and includes Access Syracuse among the final options for study.

Jim Bright
Dunk & Bright Furniture Co., Inc.