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Katko says DOT submits draft I-81 plan to Federal Highway Administration

By Eric Reinhardt (


The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has submitted of the plan recommending the community grid option for I-81 in downtown Syracuse to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for review, per the office of U.S. Representative John Katko (R–Camillus). (Eric Reinhardt / CNYBJ file photo)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has submitted the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) for the massive Interstate 81 (I-81) viaduct construction project to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

That’s according to the office of U.S. Representative John Katko (R–Camillus).

Katko says he’s “glad” to see the NYSDOT taking the “long-awaited” step to formally submit the state’s draft I-81 plan to the FHWA.

“Now, the Federal Highway Administration must immediately begin review of the state’s draft plan so that the public comment period may begin in a timely fashion. Once the public comment period commences, it will be essential that individuals, families, and businesses from across Central New York share their opinions so that our community’s voice is fully heard. I held a series of town hall meetings on this topic, and I know that there are many valid and strong opinions about this project, and the impact it will have on different regions surrounding I-81 for years to come. All of those voices must be heard by FHWA,” Katko said in a statement.

As the review continues, the lawmaker says he’ll continue his efforts in Congress and on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee to “ensure” the federal dollars are available for this critical project, per his statement.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic straining resources on our state and local governments, it is essential, now more than ever, that we deliver this funding,” Katko added.

The (NYSDOT) in April 2019 released a preliminary DEIS for the I-81 viaduct project in which it recommended the community grid option as the best plan for the highway’s future in downtown Syracuse. It’s been subject to public and now FHWA review and comment prior to a final decision.


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