Plans to change elevated portion of I-81 in Syracuse stirs strong feelings

thei81challenge.org
August 2, 2013

The growing number of voices against tearing down the part of Interstate 81 that runs through downtown Syracuse has become more organized.

The new group called 'Save 81' says they're opposed to the seemingly narrowed options for the mile-and-a-half of elevated highway through downtown. They don't like the 'urban boulevard' idea.

Many suburban business owners - and some in the city, like Sweet On Chocolate owner T. John Goodman - say it will steer customers away from them."For my business, it means customers can easily get to my business and other businesses located in Syracuse and Armory Square."

That counters many living in the city that say the highway chokes economic development and divides neighborhoods.

The Associated Press reports that names of more prominent lawmakers, like Congressman Dan Maffei, have been removed from the group's website. Maffei has also called for more options for I-81.

State transportation planners have slowed the process slightly in response to the outcry. A decision is still at least four years away.

More information about proposed plans here