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Author Topic: Interstate 81 in Syracuse  (Read 116593 times)

The Ghostbuster

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Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« on: May 25, 2016, 03:37:19 PM »

Has anyone got any updates on the proposed reconstruction of Interstate 81 in Syracuse? It seems like the project has gone dormant, as I haven't found out anything that isn't already a few years old.
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machias

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2016, 03:59:30 PM »

There was a public forum earlier this month advising they'll still assessing the options. Commissioner Matt Driscoll said this will be the largest project in the history of NYSDOT. I am dubious of that claim.
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Rothman

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2016, 12:06:35 PM »

Yep.  Still being studied out and the tunnel proponents aren't helping things any.

(personal opinion expressed)
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goldfishcrackers4

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2016, 10:44:34 AM »

I am concerned about this project because of some of the language that has been used by the state and local governments when discussing it.  The "boulevard" and "community grid" have a level of touchy-feelyness that I don't feel would exist if the department were leaning toward replacing the viaduct. Just my opinion, but it seems like an awful lot of effort is going into discussion and visualizations for potential hipster gentrification of where 81 currently stands.

Also of concern to me is the creation of I-781 in the North Country. I don't know enough about it, but it seems like it is leaving potential for a 581 and 681 in Syracuse if the viaduct is eliminated.
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goldfishcrackers4

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2016, 10:48:27 AM »

Yep.  Still being studied out and the tunnel proponents aren't helping things any.

(personal opinion expressed)

An awful lot of effort is going into entertaining a small group of people.  The tunnel is one piece. Another is the proposals of those interested in the boulevard in rerouting 81 slightly to the west. Destroy far more and a far greater cost so college students don't have to walk under a bridge. Some day I'll share how I really feel.  :D
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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2016, 11:24:09 AM »

I was under the impression that options rerouting 81 to the west (like using West St or something similar) had been ruled out a long time ago.  The ongoing study documentation certainly pointed to that awhile back.
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machias

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2016, 03:31:26 PM »

I am concerned about this project because of some of the language that has been used by the state and local governments when discussing it.  The "boulevard" and "community grid" have a level of touchy-feelyness that I don't feel would exist if the department were leaning toward replacing the viaduct. Just my opinion, but it seems like an awful lot of effort is going into discussion and visualizations for potential hipster gentrification of where 81 currently stands.

Also of concern to me is the creation of I-781 in the North Country. I don't know enough about it, but it seems like it is leaving potential for a 581 and 681 in Syracuse if the viaduct is eliminated.

I firmly believe that I-781 was chosen for the North Country because it's in NYSDOT Region 7, much like NY 840 connects Route 8 to CR 40 or NY 747 leads to an airport. I-781 was originally to be numbered NY 781.

NYSDOT can be creative with numbers once in a great while. :)
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cl94

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2016, 05:05:11 PM »

I am concerned about this project because of some of the language that has been used by the state and local governments when discussing it.  The "boulevard" and "community grid" have a level of touchy-feelyness that I don't feel would exist if the department were leaning toward replacing the viaduct. Just my opinion, but it seems like an awful lot of effort is going into discussion and visualizations for potential hipster gentrification of where 81 currently stands.

Also of concern to me is the creation of I-781 in the North Country. I don't know enough about it, but it seems like it is leaving potential for a 581 and 681 in Syracuse if the viaduct is eliminated.

I firmly believe that I-781 was chosen for the North Country because it's in NYSDOT Region 7, much like NY 840 connects Route 8 to CR 40 or NY 747 leads to an airport. I-781 was originally to be numbered NY 781.

NYSDOT can be creative with numbers once in a great while. :)

It is also worth noting that, while not in current use, NY 181 and NY 381 are former designations. 181 was in Jefferson County not far from current I-781, while 381 was in Rensselaer County.

Most of the designations between 500-899 are either SR extensions of Interstates or a number containing the route(s) it bypasses, provides an alternate for, or connects. These combinations are:

-NY 531 (freeway bypass of NY 31)
-NY 598 (connects NY 5 and NY 298)
-NY 631 (alternate of NY 31)
-NY 695 (connects I-690 and NY 5)
-NY 812 (spur of NY 12)
-NY 840 (connects NY 8 with Oneida CR 40)

Two additional ones that are proposed are NY 546 (connects NY 5 and NY 146) and NY 646 (connects NY 146 and NY 156).

Of the others, you have NY 747 (obvious reference to the airport), NY 635, NY 825 (no idea where those come from) and NY/I-781 (possibly due to location). It's also very possible that I-781 was chosen to avoid confusion with I-181 in Tennessee and I-381/581 in Virginia.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2016, 05:25:00 PM »

Although I have never been to Syracuse, here's what I think should be done. Either upgrade the existing viaduct to modern design standards, or build the tunnel. The boulevard proposal should be done away with (too much congestion).
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kalvado

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2016, 05:37:34 PM »

Although I have never been to Syracuse, here's what I think should be done. Either upgrade the existing viaduct to modern design standards, or build the tunnel. The boulevard proposal should be done away with (too much congestion).
Problem in that there is a big enough "urbanist" movement which doesn't want highway, in any shape or form, in tunnel, overhead, and in no other configuration, within the city. They are vocal enough to be heard, and they don't care about commute screw-up.
If boulevard option prevails, would be quite interesting to see what happens with the city -  commuters switching to buses, or business follow the road. Probably both to some extent...
There is actually similar situation 100 miles east in Albany, where 787 elevated portion is similar design and similar age to I-81 in Syracuse. So Syracuse can become a precedent for Albany...
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cl94

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2016, 05:46:27 PM »

Although I have never been to Syracuse, here's what I think should be done. Either upgrade the existing viaduct to modern design standards, or build the tunnel. The boulevard proposal should be done away with (too much congestion).
Problem in that there is a big enough "urbanist" movement which doesn't want highway, in any shape or form, in tunnel, overhead, and in no other configuration, within the city. They are vocal enough to be heard, and they don't care about commute screw-up.
If boulevard option prevails, would be quite interesting to see what happens with the city -  commuters switching to buses, or business follow the road. Probably both to some extent...
There is actually similar situation 100 miles east in Albany, where 787 elevated portion is similar design and similar age to I-81 in Syracuse. So Syracuse can become a precedent for Albany...

Except that the barrier in Albany is also the very active rail line which runs in the median of I-787. Additionally, I-787 is nearing the end of a major rehab. Everything south of and including the I-90 interchange has been redone over the past few years. The bridges were redecked and everything else was resurfaced. Get rid of I-787 and the elevated rail line is still there.
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kalvado

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2016, 05:57:44 PM »

Except that the barrier in Albany is also the very active rail line which runs in the median of I-787. Additionally, I-787 is nearing the end of a major rehab. Everything south of and including the I-90 interchange has been redone over the past few years. The bridges were redecked and everything else was resurfaced. Get rid of I-787 and the elevated rail line is still there.
I had an impression that rail line is not elevated  except for Broadway bridge (that doesn't mean it wouldn't be a "barrier", though). It ends 
Interchange, as far as I understood, got piers replaced as well... making it effectively a brand new structure (correct me if I am wrong?...)
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cl94

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2016, 06:07:19 PM »

Except that the barrier in Albany is also the very active rail line which runs in the median of I-787. Additionally, I-787 is nearing the end of a major rehab. Everything south of and including the I-90 interchange has been redone over the past few years. The bridges were redecked and everything else was resurfaced. Get rid of I-787 and the elevated rail line is still there.
I had an impression that rail line is not elevated  except for Broadway bridge (that doesn't mean it wouldn't be a "barrier", though). It ends 
Interchange, as far as I understood, got piers replaced as well... making it effectively a brand new structure (correct me if I am wrong?...)

The entire thing is on an embankment from Rensselaer St to Division St. Within the circle stack, I-787 is below track level but at ground level, giving the impression of a sunken highway. North of there, a pedestrian bridge crosses everything. The barrier existed long before I-787 was built, so removing it won't do much.
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kalvado

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2016, 06:20:39 PM »

The entire thing is on an embankment from Rensselaer St to Division St. Within the circle stack, I-787 is below track level but at ground level, giving the impression of a sunken highway. North of there, a pedestrian bridge crosses everything. The barrier existed long before I-787 was built, so removing it won't do much.
If you ask me, removing all those commonly hated things -  787 along with rail line, plaza, and whatever else they want to remove, won't do much good to city of A. anyway. And beware of what you ask for - you may get it...
But that is a bit off-topic in  I-81 discussion.
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machias

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #14 on: June 14, 2016, 07:08:39 PM »

Although I have never been to Syracuse, here's what I think should be done. Either upgrade the existing viaduct to modern design standards, or build the tunnel. The boulevard proposal should be done away with (too much congestion).
Problem in that there is a big enough "urbanist" movement which doesn't want highway, in any shape or form, in tunnel, overhead, and in no other configuration, within the city. They are vocal enough to be heard, and they don't care about commute screw-up.
If boulevard option prevails, would be quite interesting to see what happens with the city -  commuters switching to buses, or business follow the road. Probably both to some extent...
There is actually similar situation 100 miles east in Albany, where 787 elevated portion is similar design and similar age to I-81 in Syracuse. So Syracuse can become a precedent for Albany...

I sent an email to Region 3 asking what their intentions are as far as exit numbering and milepost location if they decide to relocate I-81 to other routes and go with the boulevard option. I strongly pointed out that leaving everything as is will create even more confusion for motorists and that they should budget in the costs for a complete renumbering of the interchanges along I-81 in its entirety in New York State. I have not yet received a response.
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vdeane

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2016, 08:04:04 PM »

Main Office will probably make the call.  At the very least, Region 7 will also be affected, and I don't think the regions have the authority to change an existing road from sequential to mile-based numbers anyways.  I think I heard from someone that, were it up to the Regions, Upstate NY (minus the Thruway) would have switched to mile-based exit numbers years if not decades ago.
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machias

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2016, 01:38:14 PM »

Main Office will probably make the call.  At the very least, Region 7 will also be affected, and I don't think the regions have the authority to change an existing road from sequential to mile-based numbers anyways.  I think I heard from someone that, were it up to the Regions, Upstate NY (minus the Thruway) would have switched to mile-based exit numbers years if not decades ago.

I've heard similar things from some of the upstate regions over the years, it's concerns about the five boroughs holding back all of the exit numbering throughout the state.  For the life of me I'll never understand why they can't separate the exit numbering scheme for New York City from the rest of the state.

There was a memo back with the adoption of the 2009 MUTCD in New York which stated that regions were not to act autonomously when it came to interchange numbering.
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kalvado

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2016, 02:16:53 PM »

There was a memo back with the adoption of the 2009 MUTCD in New York which stated that regions were not to act autonomously when it came to interchange numbering.
Would be very cool if half of I-88 got mileage-based numbers and other half kept sequential scheme...
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cl94

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2016, 06:54:46 PM »

There was a memo back with the adoption of the 2009 MUTCD in New York which stated that regions were not to act autonomously when it came to interchange numbering.
Would be very cool if half of I-88 got mileage-based numbers and other half kept sequential scheme...

Almost all of it is in R9. 2 exits are in Schenectady County. R1 was one of the first to start going distance-based.
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vdeane

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2016, 07:18:42 PM »

I suspect it's a case of "we've always done it this way" (which is becoming more and more prevalent in NYSDOT as time goes on).
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machias

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #20 on: June 15, 2016, 10:03:49 PM »

There was a memo back with the adoption of the 2009 MUTCD in New York which stated that regions were not to act autonomously when it came to interchange numbering.
Would be very cool if half of I-88 got mileage-based numbers and other half kept sequential scheme...

NYSDOT held off numbering the interchanges on I-88 for a very long while because they didn't make final decision to stay sequential until later in the game. The NYSMUTCD in the 1970s talked about distance based numbers for all new freeways but it was ramped back to sequential later on. That's why many of the logo service signs say "NEXT RIGHT" instead of the interchange number. Before the latest round of sign replacements, the exit numbers were added after the signs were installed. The signs had blank exit tabs for a long time.
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mariethefoxy

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2016, 11:05:07 PM »

Main Office will probably make the call.  At the very least, Region 7 will also be affected, and I don't think the regions have the authority to change an existing road from sequential to mile-based numbers anyways.  I think I heard from someone that, were it up to the Regions, Upstate NY (minus the Thruway) would have switched to mile-based exit numbers years if not decades ago.

What about Long Island? seems like down here is going to be the last part of the state to switch to mileage exits. We still dont have proper mile markers like the rest of the state.
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cl94

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2016, 11:09:20 PM »

Main Office will probably make the call.  At the very least, Region 7 will also be affected, and I don't think the regions have the authority to change an existing road from sequential to mile-based numbers anyways.  I think I heard from someone that, were it up to the Regions, Upstate NY (minus the Thruway) would have switched to mile-based exit numbers years if not decades ago.

What about Long Island? seems like down here is going to be the last part of the state to switch to mileage exits. We still dont have proper mile markers like the rest of the state.

Long Island is included. Regions 8, 10 and 11 are holding everything back. 1-7 and 9 would have changed long ago if it wasn't for those three.
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Rothman

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2016, 12:08:15 PM »

Main Office will probably make the call.  At the very least, Region 7 will also be affected, and I don't think the regions have the authority to change an existing road from sequential to mile-based numbers anyways.  I think I heard from someone that, were it up to the Regions, Upstate NY (minus the Thruway) would have switched to mile-based exit numbers years if not decades ago.

What about Long Island? seems like down here is going to be the last part of the state to switch to mileage exits. We still dont have proper mile markers like the rest of the state.

Long Island is included. Regions 8, 10 and 11 are holding everything back. 1-7 and 9 would have changed long ago if it wasn't for those three.

I really don't know if this is true or not.  Discussions here I've been involved in -- granted, in years past -- encountered nearly monolithic opposition to mileage-based exit numbers.
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vdeane

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2016, 12:55:47 PM »

Would those discussions have been with managers or with the actual sign designers?  In my experience, managers are opposed to just about anything that is new/different or involves spending money.  The mentality is just to maintain the system and our processes as they were 30 years ago when the vast majority of current employees were hired.
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