What is The I-81 Challenge?

Over the next decade, portions of I-81, particularly the elevated sections of the highway in downtown Syracuse, will need to be replaced, reconstructed, removed, or otherwise changed.

The citizens of the Syracuse region have a significant opportunity: a chance to reevaluate the needs and desires of those who use I-81 and live or work in the area, to formulate a vision and a plan that will best serve our goals for the future. Thus, we are posing a challenge, a challenge to you and a challenge to ourselves, a challenge to think big and think outside the box, a challenge to think about the ways that we, both as individuals and as a community, interact with our surroundings and what we need from our transportation systems.

The official decision-making process, The I-81 Challenge, is being led by two entities, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) 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.

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To ensure that all people feel comfortable engaging in discussions about the material posted here on the blog, we’ve adopted the following commenting policy. We reserve the right to delete any comments containing the following content:

1.       Comments in support of or opposition to political campaigns or ballot measures or that are politically biased;

2.       Profane language or content;

3.       Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation;

4.       Sexual content or links to sexual content;

5.       Solicitations of commerce;

6.       Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity;

7.       Information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of SMTC, the public or public systems; or

8.       Content that violates a legal ownership interest of any other party

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