If you're just managing to navigate the major reconstruction of the Interstates in Broome County, you can find your changing traffic pattern fix soon on a trip a little to the north of Binghamton.

Motorists who make occasional trips to the Salt City for shopping or a visit to the Great New York State Fair should be aware there are big changes coming to a main roadway system in Syracuse.

The long-talked about Interstate 81 Viaduct Project in Syracuse is finally taking a real step toward getting started.

Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News (file)
Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News (file)

The Final Environmental Impact Statement for the project was published on Friday, April 15.

Governor Kathy Hochul says the publishing of the final E.I.S. is a major milestone that keeps the huge reconfiguration on-track for a ground breaking this fall.

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The work will remove the elevated roadway that has sliced Syracuse for close to six decades.  The old configuration will be replaced with a business loop and what is being called “The Community Grid” aimed at reuniting neighborhoods that had been divided when the Interstate went in.  Public advocates have long said the layout of the roadway impacted many downtown neighborhoods, particularly communities of color.  The Community Grid option got enough public support over the hearing and review process to defeat the original plan for a roundabout.

The filing of the final Environmental Impact Statement started a 30-day period for the public to get a final look at the document.

The cost of the I-81 project in Syracuse is estimated at two-and-a-quarter billion dollars.

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