I-81 Challenge Public Meeting

The SMTC and NYSDOT will host its third public meeting for The I-81 Challenge from 3:30 until 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, at the OnCenter Ballroom. Interested attendees may drop in any time that is convenient.

At this meeting, attendees will be able to:

  • Review materials and public feedback from the previous public meetings
  • View conceptual drawings of strategies
  • Review initial traffic analysis and cost ranges for these strategies
  • Learn which strategies will progress to the  next phase of analysis and provide your thoughts
  • Learn about the next steps and how the public will be involved going forward

The project teams will be there to talk with attendees and hear feedback.

If planning to attend, you can informally RSVP through the Facebook event page.

The Oncenter is located at 800 South State St. Click here for directions to the Oncenter. Attendees will be offered either free (validated) parking in the Oncenter garage or lot or two single-use transit passes at the meeting.

The official decision-making process, The I-81 Challenge, is being led by two entities, the New York State Department of Transportation and the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council (SMTC), the region’s metropolitan planning organization (MPO). Together, these two entities are trying to engage a broad cross-section of community members in developing and evaluating options for the future of this vital corridor.

Over the next several years, the I-81 Challenge will advance the community discussion that has already started about the future of I-81. Information about the existing conditions of the highway and the regional transportation system will be collected. An understanding of the community’s values, goals, and ideas will be used to generate a wide range of options for the future of the highway and a set of criteria for evaluating them.

This broad range of options will be narrowed down to a small number of viable alternatives through a combination of technical analysis and continued public involvement. Later, the viable alternatives will be refined and analyzed in further detail, and a formal environmental review process, including official hearings, will begin. That process will ultimately lead to a decision, and to a project or projects that can be implemented.

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