Welcome to Save81.org!

As many people in our area know, Interstate 81 in Central New York is coming to the end of its useful lifespan in some spots and will need to be repaired, rebuilt or replaced. One of those sections is the stretch of elevated highway that runs north-south through Downtown Syracuse. The state’s Department of Transportation, along with local officials, is currently considering several paths forward for the elevated highway’s future.

Options such as tearing down the elevated highway and replacing it with a tunnel or depressed roadway have been discussed, but the state appears focused on two specific options:

  • Replace the elevated highway with a modernized elevated highway, which would keep I-81 flowing through the region in its current pattern; or
  • Replace the elevated highway with a street-level boulevard and re-route I-81 onto I-690 around the city.

As officials consider these options, they must be made aware of the potential negative consequences that a boulevard and subsequent re-routing of I-81 would have on the region’s economy, local businesses, residents and visitors.

Save 81 is a diverse coalition of local business owners, concerned residents, bipartisan public officials and civic-minded groups that are opposed to a plan that alters I-81’s current form and alignment. We believe that this will harm local businesses that rely on I-81 traffic for customers; inconvenience residents and visitors who rely on the ease of accessibility provided by I-81; endanger public safety; and overwhelm the infrastructure of neighboring small communities.

Public opposition to a boulevard and re-route plan is mounting. Hundreds of area residents have signed petitions against the proposal, and many towns throughout the region have overwhelmingly passed resolutions against this approach. The Onondaga and Cayuga county legislatures have done the same.

Over the coming months, Save 81 will seek to organize these voices and make clear to the I-81 decision-makers that our community wants to preserve I-81’s current form and function.

This space will be a home for updates on that process and serve as a resource tool for local residents to learn more about the issue, get involved and take action. You’ll hear from area business owners, residents and community leaders as they share their concerns about a boulevard plan and how they would like the state to proceed.

We hope that you will consider joining our effort. The future of our region’s infrastructure is at stake.