Viaduct_2 Ideas

People from all over the Central New York region shared their visions for the I-81 viaduct at our first round of public workshops. This blog post presents just two of the hundreds of ideas people shared. At this point, no decision has been made about I-81. All options are still on the table. What are your ideas? Share your vision by participating in the virtual workshop.

Description of the Idea #1:

Make I-81 a street level arterial highway similar to the one that currently exists in Utica, NY. Place stop lights, crosswalks and pedestrian bridges at strategic points along the road with simple turn offs for lesser side streets. Renumber I-481 as I-81, but leave exits to the arterial at the North and South ends. Put in access ramps to I-690 East AND West at the Interchange.

How this idea could benefit the region:

It will maintain freeway access to Syracuse from the north and south, eliminate bottlenecks at the few exits in the city by providing more options to turn off or get on, and allow for more points of crossing for pedestrians. A street-level arterial will also be cheaper to maintain in the future.

Description of the Idea #2:

Put I-81 underground and design a tunnel to allow traffic to flow in and out of the city. This tunnel could be two lanes, with a stay-in-lane design to keep traffic in order. Post tunnel signs on the freeway to prepare traffic to merge into two lanes many miles before drivers approach the tunnel.

How this idea could benefit the region:

The tunnel idea would reconnect the city and allow city drivers to get to their destinations quicker. It improves traffic flow on the highway and in downtown, reconnects the downtown area, and decreases accident rates.

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