183 Austin_Flickr Nuevo Anden_Cropped

At the first round of public workshops, members of the public shared many visions for the futures of I-81. In previous posts we’ve shared a few of their individual drawings and ideas. While the ideas that meeting attendees proposed at the workshops varied significantly, the visions generally fell into three major categories:

- Rebuild the viaduct
- Remove the viaduct and replace it with an urban boulevard
- Replace the viaduct with a below grade highway

This post presents a snapshot of the first category: Rebuild the viaduct. We’ll explore the other two major themes in subsequent blog posts. You can also find more information in the meeting summary, which will be published soon.

In the category of rebuilding the viaduct, many of the visions presented by attendees involved keeping the I-81 viaduct through downtown Syracuse.  The primary goals of these visions were to keep commuting times low, minimize traffic congestion, and provide a cost-effective solution, as represented in this list:

Increase capacity and improve traffic flow

- Add new general use or HOV lanes
- Improve highway signage
- Improve curve radii through the I-690 Interchange

Improve regional accessibility

- Create a full Interchange at I-81 and I-690
- Add new on-ramps and off-ramps on I-690 to serve downtown
- Streamline complex interchanges
- Create a western bypass around Syracuse
- Keep the Interstate through downtown

Improve safety

- Longer on-ramps/merges
- Straighten sharp curves

Mitigate negative impacts

- Incorporate sound dampening materials
- Add design elements such as public art to improve overall appearance
- Improve the experience under the viaduct by making it lighter and more open and incorporating parks and public use spaces

For more information about what we learned at the workshops, make sure to sign up for our mailing list –  you’ll be the first to know when the full workshop summary is available!

Photo of Route 183 in Austin, by Nuevo Anden via Flickr. Read more about the Route 183 project in our Case Studies Report.

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