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Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council approves first phase of I-81 project

By Eric Reinhardt (ereinhardt@cnybj.com)

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The Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council has approved the first phase of the Interstate 81 viaduct-replacement project. The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) called it a “necessary step” for the receipt of federal funds. (Photo credit: zoeyadvertising.com)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The policy committee of the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council on Friday approved the first phase of the Interstate 81 viaduct-replacement project.

The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) called it a “necessary step” for the receipt of federal funds.

The Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council, which operates at 126 N. Salina St. in the city, describes itself as the metropolitan planning organization for the Greater Syracuse area.

Reacting to the approval, NYSDOT commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez issued the following statement on Friday.

“From the very beginning of this process, the New York State Department of Transportation has been committed to engaging with the community and the plan that was approved today by the Policy Committee of the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council is a product of those conversations. [The] overwhelming vote is a significant milestone for the advancement of the Interstate 81 viaduct project that demonstrates the unifying appeal of the Community Grid concept and moves us a step closer toward making this transformative plan a reality. This project will help reconnect divided communities, improve mobility and bring about new opportunities for growth and economic activity throughout the Central New York Region, and is a key component of Governor Hochul’s vision for a modern transportation system that promotes equity, connectivity and multi-modal transportation opportunities. I thank the committee members for their support and look forward to continuing our dialogue as this project advances.”

The final environmental impact statement (FEIS) on the $2.25 billion Interstate 81 (I-81) viaduct-replacement project is published and has been available for public viewing since April 15.

Release of the FEIS triggered a 30-day wait period for the public to continue to review the document, per the office of the governor.

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