Syracuse residents voice opinions at I-81 public meeting

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June 11, 2013

A small number of Syracuse residents let city lawmakers know their feelings on the future of Interstate 81 through the city's downtown at a public hearing on Monday.

While public forums hosted by transportation planners have attracted hundreds of comments, the Common Council hearing brought out just a handful of people.

The mile and a half elevated portion of Iinterstate-81 that runs through downtown is reaching the end of its lifespan. D-O-T planners are engaged in a lengthy process to do decide the roadway's future.

Several people who did attend, told the council they want more options and discussion.

Resident Arleen Fordock says that section of the 81 is what brings people and goods into the city.

"We're talking about 1.4 miles to be reconstructed and put back up," she says. "In that time period, 481 can be used, that's a good suggestion, but then flip it back. That's how we get our tourists."

She says the highway should be widened, though, to make room for emergency and law enforcement stops.

The county Legislature formerly took a stand against the highway coming down. The city council has yet to take an official position.