Tue July 24, 2012
NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century

A City Faces Its 'Berlin Wall': An Interstate Highway

Originally published on Thu July 26, 2012 12:25 pm

A sign for Interstate 81 sits under an overpass in Syracuse, N.Y. City officials and residents are debating what to do about an aging stretch of the highway that cuts through the city.
Zack Seward for NPR

Interstate 81 runs through the heart of Syracuse, N.Y., where a 1.4-mile-long elevated stretch of the highway is known locally as "the viaduct." Like many road projects built in the middle of the last century, I-81 is bumping up against the end of its life span. While officials say it's still safe to drive on, the highway is crumbling in parts.

Read more


Wed May 9, 2012

Sticky notes and surveys pave the way for I-81's future in Syracuse

The I-81 Challenge held its second public meeting Wednesday. Planning officials want the public to help determine the future of Interstate 81 in Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The dozens of sticky notes mean the jury is still out.

The tabs of paper were posted next to five options Wednesday afternoon. Each represents a different future for the stretch of Interstate 81 that runs through downtown Syracuse.

Transportation planners from the I-81 Challenge began a second round of community meetings Wednesday. The public input they gather will help decide the aging highway's fate.

Read more


Tue May 8, 2012

Officials inch closer to decision day with I-81 public meeting

The second round of public forums on the future of Interstate 81 in Syracuse begins Wednesday.
Zack Seward WXXI

The magic number for the future of Interstate 81 in downtown Syracuse is five:

Five different options, with a final decision five years away.

Tomorrow afternoon transportation planners from the I-81 Challenge will present a broad set of options for what to do about the aging, elevated portion of I-81 known locally as "the viaduct."

After that, planning officials begin the process of collecting the public's opinion.

Read more


Wed June 8, 2011

Syracuse groups seek wrecking ball for aging I-81

Interstates 81 and 690 meet above downtown Syracuse.
Oliver Hine via Flickr

Mid-twentieth century Syracuse was confronted with something new and modern: a plan for an elevated interstate running through the heart of the city. Now, the 'Cuse is trying to imagine what life might be like without it.

"The Viaduct," as the elevated portion of Interstate-81 is known, was completed in the late '60s. It's now nearing its expiration date.

Read more