FHWA and New York State DOT Release I-81 Viaduct Project Scoping Report
The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced the release of the Scoping Report for the Interstate 81 Viaduct Project. The report is available on the project website www.i81opportunities.org. It also will be available later this week at local libraries and other project document repositories, including the Project Outreach Center at the Carnegie Building, 335 Montgomery Street in Syracuse.
The project area includes a 3.75-mile section of highway containing the aging viaduct in the City of Syracuse, from Colvin Street to Hiawatha Boulevard.
The report identifies project alternatives that merit additional study, down from 17 initial alternatives. The alternatives to be studied include:
- No-Build Alternative – This would maintain the highway in its existing configuration while providing routine maintenance and minor repairs. A “No-Build” option is required under federal environmental laws in order to serve as a baseline comparison for the other alternatives.
- Viaduct Alternative – This would involve replacing the elevated section of highway.
- Community Grid Alternative – This would reroute traffic from the interstate around the city and weave it into the existing street grid to enhance traffic flow.
- Tunnel Alternative – This would route traffic through a tunnel, however, none of the four tunnel alternatives presented in the Draft Scoping Report met the project’s screening criteria. NYSDOT will conduct additional engineering and analysis to determine if a tunnel concept can be developed that meets the purpose and objectives of the project, as well as the established screening criteria.
“Scoping” is an early phase of the environmental review process required for major highway improvement projects that require Environmental Impact Statements. During scoping, FHWA and NYSDOT provided information about the project to the public and stakeholders, and solicited feedback about which factors should be considered in designing the project.
NYSDOT and FHWA released a Draft Scoping Report last June and more than 1,200 individuals commented on it.
A Stakeholders’ Committee meeting is planned for this spring and additional public meetings to inform the community about project developments will be held as the project advances.
For information about the project, please visit the project website at
www.i81opportunities.org, or call the project hotline at 855-181-TALK (855-481-8255). Follow the I-81 Viaduct Project on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/I81viaduct#!/I81viaduct.