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Regional Boards => Northeast => Topic started by: The Ghostbuster on May 25, 2016, 03:37:19 PM

Title: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster 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.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: machias 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.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman 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)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: goldfishcrackers4 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.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: goldfishcrackers4 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
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie 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.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: machias 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. :)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 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.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster 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).
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado 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...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 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.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado 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?...)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 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.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado 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.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: machias 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.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane 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.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: machias 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.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado 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...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 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.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane 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).
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: machias 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.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: mariethefoxy 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.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 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.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman 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.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane 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.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on June 16, 2016, 01:09:30 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.

MO Office Directors.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on August 16, 2016, 01:25:04 PM
Given Cuomo's recent comments, I think it's safe to say that a rebuilt viaduct isn't happening for I-81.
http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2016/08/cuomo_i-81_in_syracuse_a_classic_planning_blunder_1.html
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: machias on August 16, 2016, 05:22:15 PM
Given Cuomo's recent comments, I think it's safe to say that a rebuilt viaduct isn't happening for I-81.
http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2016/08/cuomo_i-81_in_syracuse_a_classic_planning_blunder_1.html

While I don't think ripping down the viaduct is going to be the saving grace that politicians claim it's going to be, on the bright side, all new mile-based interchange numbers for I-81 if it gets rerouted over I-481 and I-690!
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on August 16, 2016, 06:10:31 PM
I think they have procrastinated long enough. Choose an option and build it already!
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on August 16, 2016, 07:31:41 PM
Given Cuomo's recent comments, I think it's safe to say that a rebuilt viaduct isn't happening for I-81.
http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2016/08/cuomo_i-81_in_syracuse_a_classic_planning_blunder_1.html (http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2016/08/cuomo_i-81_in_syracuse_a_classic_planning_blunder_1.html)
I discount heavily ideas proffered without solutions or assessments.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Buffaboy on August 17, 2016, 02:04:58 AM
Although it was partly built over the old Chenango Canal, one could say the Arterial in Utica is a blunder too.

But they're rebuilding it.

Also, I find it amazing that we talk more about tearing down roads/highways/bridges in NY than rebuilding/repairing/building new ones.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on August 17, 2016, 06:48:32 AM
Although it was partly built over the old Chenango Canal, one could say the Arterial in Utica is a blunder too.

But they're rebuilding it.

Also, I find it amazing that we talk more about tearing down roads/highways/bridges in NY than rebuilding/repairing/building new ones.
81 has no simple repair or rebuilt option. 690 is a slalom as well, I enjoyed that in a dark rainy weather yesterday.
And one thing is correct: it is great to discuss all the options, but something has to be done eventually.
 
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: machias on August 17, 2016, 08:28:53 AM
Although it was partly built over the old Chenango Canal, one could say the Arterial in Utica is a blunder too.

But they're rebuilding it.

Also, I find it amazing that we talk more about tearing down roads/highways/bridges in NY than rebuilding/repairing/building new ones.

Well, at least they're rebuilding half of it.  While the Arterial project was originally suppose to remove all five traffic signals, the project was scaled back at the last minute to leave the signals at Noyes and Oswego. Discussions with NYSDOT indicate that they have no plans to remove the other two lights at this time.

Whatever they decide to do with I-81 through Syracuse (personally I'm a fan of rebuilding the viaduct), I just hope they do it all the way.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on August 17, 2016, 03:51:46 PM
Although it was partly built over the old Chenango Canal, one could say the Arterial in Utica is a blunder too.

But they're rebuilding it.

Also, I find it amazing that we talk more about tearing down roads/highways/bridges in NY than rebuilding/repairing/building new ones.

Well, at least they're rebuilding half of it.  While the Arterial project was originally suppose to remove all five traffic signals, the project was scaled back at the last minute to leave the signals at Noyes and Oswego. Discussions with NYSDOT indicate that they have no plans to remove the other two lights at this time.

Whatever they decide to do with I-81 through Syracuse (personally I'm a fan of rebuilding the viaduct), I just hope they do it all the way.

If it gets fully rebuilt, they'd need to widen it. Northbound has a bad weave and SB I-81 narrows to a single lane.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on August 17, 2016, 04:01:40 PM
Have you not read or glanced through the studies, cl94?  Widening to add shoulders, bring to more modern standards, and eliminate the southbound lane drop is already part of that alternative.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on August 18, 2016, 03:31:45 PM
If I had to choose an option, I'd have them rebuild the existing viaduct. A tunnel is too expensive, and a boulevard is pure insanity. In addition, I would do everything I could to make the viaduct less of a barrier, and make non-car improvements as well.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on August 19, 2016, 02:16:48 PM
I half-wonder if they'll tear down the viaduct only to start a new project to rebuild a through north-south freeway a few years later.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on August 19, 2016, 02:40:38 PM
I half-wonder if they'll tear down the viaduct only to start a new project to rebuild a through north-south freeway a few years later.
How much is a "few years" for a big project in NY? I would expect 10 minimum, 25 realistic...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on August 19, 2016, 03:17:22 PM
I half-wonder if they'll tear down the viaduct only to start a new project to rebuild a through north-south freeway a few years later.
How much is a "few years" for a big project in NY? I would expect 10 minimum, 25 realistic...

Depends on the project and who wants it done.

(personal opinion expressed)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: machias on August 19, 2016, 07:37:19 PM
I half-wonder if they'll tear down the viaduct only to start a new project to rebuild a through north-south freeway a few years later.
How much is a "few years" for a big project in NY? I would expect 10 minimum, 25 realistic...

Depends on the project and who wants it done.

(personal opinion expressed)

NYSDOT commissioner Matt Driscoll has described the project as the biggest in NYSDOT history so who knows what they have planned.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on August 20, 2016, 12:34:21 AM
NYSDOT commissioner Matt Driscoll has described the project as the biggest in NYSDOT history so who knows what they have planned.
Who is in charge of Tapan Zee - DOT or Thruway?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on August 20, 2016, 04:10:52 PM
The Tappan Zee is Thruway.  No parts of I-287 are maintained by NYSDOT.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on August 30, 2016, 12:31:43 PM
The Tappan Zee is Thruway.  No parts of I-287 are maintained by NYSDOT.

I'd call Tappan Zee being done by committee.  NYSDOT has definitely pumped in some funding towards its construction.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on August 30, 2016, 06:05:47 PM
If they ever truly decide what they are going to do about this Interstate, somebody let us know. I'm not holding my breath for an answer anytime soon, though.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on August 30, 2016, 06:10:31 PM
We'll find out when Cuomo gets enough political donations. That's what likely caused the mess in Buffalo  :pan:
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Michael on October 06, 2016, 08:31:32 PM
From Syracuse.com: First look at detailed maps of 2 proposals left for I-81 in downtown Syracuse
 (http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2016/10/first_look_at_detailed_maps_for_2_proposals_for_i-81_in_downtown_syracuse.html)
The detailed maps and documents from NYSDOT are on this page (https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/getinvolved) in the yellow Open House section.  There's a lot to look at!
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Buffaboy on October 07, 2016, 12:22:22 AM
If they had put I-81 through Utica back in the 50s, this could have been avoided!
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: amroad17 on October 07, 2016, 05:23:21 AM
I am rather torn about this.  I do see the advantages in both proposals.

The whole section in Syracuse from near the Oakwood Cemetary/Dr. Martin Luther King Drive to just south of Destiny USA (I still say Carousel Center) does need upgrading and modernizing.  In the Viaduct Proposal, I-81 would have to be totally rebuilt from scratch at least from Oakwood Cemetary to I-690 with the section north of I-690 upgraded.  Doing this, we will see what increases in traffic patterns will occur along I-481 and I-690 east of downtown.  In this proposal, I-481 would not be upgraded.  Will it be able to handle the increased traffic when the project actually commences acting as the de facto route for I-81?

The finished product looks good in this proposal, but, other than the $1.4 billion, what other costs would there be?  Obviously, some historic buildings, businesses, and residences will have to be bought and razed for this to come to fruition.  Is this worth it?

On the other hand,  if this is the proposal chosen, the traffic through the downtown area will improve immensely on I-81.  There will be no extremely sharp turns, increased space on the viaduct, and a better interchange with I-690 (with all movements available).

In the Community Grid Proposal, I-81 would be routed around the city with improvements to the freeway.  The viaduct area would become a boulevard (Almond Street/Blvd.) with better access from SU to downtown.  The section from I-481 north of the city to I-690 would be renumbered (swap anyone?) and improved from Hiawatha Blvd. to I-690.  It looks pleasing to the eye in the drawings, but will it look like this?  Will this help a person coming to Syracuse from the south get to the downtown area without going "out of the way"?  Also, what will become of the stub of I-81 from I-481 north toward downtown?  Will this be abandoned/torn up, or will it be used to get to Almond and downtown?

A "pro" in this proposal is that through traffic would not even have to go into Syracuse.  Taking I-481 around the city is only four miles longer than taking I-81 through the city (15 miles vs. 11 miles).  Upgrading both the south and the north I-81/I-481 interchanges would have to be done to allow I-81 to be the "through" route instead of having a TOTSO effect.

The city streets, IMHO, in this proposal should become one-way streets instead of two-way.  I find this works well in many downtown areas.  Yes, one may have to go around a block to get to where they are going, but I consider it a minor inconvenience as I find traffic runs better as one-way grids than as two-way grids.

I have not really made a decision in my mind about this.  I realize I have no say in the matter nor will this adversely affect me as I live near 600 miles away from Syracuse.  However, Syracuse is my hometown and whatever happens there still interests me.  I just have a few opinions and a few questions about this subject.  My avatar and my personal text says it all about how interested I am on what proposal decision is made concerning I-81 in Syracuse.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: machias on October 07, 2016, 07:54:19 AM
If they had put I-81 through Utica back in the 50s, this could have been avoided!

You wouldn't believe the number of older folks in Utica that I've talked to over the years that still bring up that I-81 wasn't built through Utica. Some blame most of Utica's woes on the fact that I-81 didn't come through Utica.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: AMLNet49 on October 07, 2016, 01:05:48 PM
If they had put I-81 through Utica back in the 50s, this could have been avoided!

You wouldn't believe the number of older folks in Utica that I've talked to over the years that still bring up that I-81 wasn't built through Utica. Some blame most of Utica's woes on the fact that I-81 didn't come through Utica.

Doesn't help that the interstate they did get is one of the most shoehorned and worst signed 3DIs in existence.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sparker on October 07, 2016, 05:36:25 PM
If they had put I-81 through Utica back in the 50s, this could have been avoided!

You wouldn't believe the number of older folks in Utica that I've talked to over the years that still bring up that I-81 wasn't built through Utica. Some blame most of Utica's woes on the fact that I-81 didn't come through Utica.
IIRC, several years ago there was a proposal for an "Appalachian Thruway" that would have been an effective continuation of the PA I-99 concept; extending from Horseheads (along I-86) via Ithaca, Cortland, Utica, and Lowville (essentially a large reverse - "C") and merging with I-81 near Watertown.  Whether that was a latter-day attempt to compensate for the actual 1957 Syracuse I-81 alignment or just a '90's attempt to breathe life into the Utica commercial scene is a matter for speculation; I haven't hear a peep about any attempts to revive this plan for years. 

I agree both currently considered Syracuse I-81 options have their valid points; but whether the localized benefits (which include non-tangible perceptive values) to a surface-street replacement outweigh the combined loss of income derived from the users of the main north-south I-81 in-town arterial -- plus the cost of tearing down the existing facility, modifying the two current 81/481 interchanges, and expanding present I-481 to accommodate increased through traffic -- is difficult to calculate in concrete terms.  Often, to me, such actions seem like an exercise in form over function.  It looks like the decision regarding those relative benefits is now -- starkly -- in NYDOT's hands.  Whether Syracuse sets a precedent that is portable remains to be seen. 
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: machias on October 07, 2016, 09:29:50 PM
On the bright side, I do believe that interchange numbering is in the plans for all of I-81, regardless of which plan NYSDOT decides to go with.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on October 07, 2016, 09:43:55 PM
If they had put I-81 through Utica back in the 50s, this could have been avoided!

You wouldn't believe the number of older folks in Utica that I've talked to over the years that still bring up that I-81 wasn't built through Utica. Some blame most of Utica's woes on the fact that I-81 didn't come through Utica.
What would Syracuse have gotten out of the deal?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on October 07, 2016, 09:49:05 PM
If they had put I-81 through Utica back in the 50s, this could have been avoided!

You wouldn't believe the number of older folks in Utica that I've talked to over the years that still bring up that I-81 wasn't built through Utica. Some blame most of Utica's woes on the fact that I-81 didn't come through Utica.
What would Syracuse have gotten out of the deal?

Probably another x81. Heck, the NY 12 corridor north of Utica should be an Interstate even with I-81 on its current routing. Certainly gets enough traffic. A decent amount of it is already 4 lanes divided.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: machias on October 08, 2016, 09:33:35 AM
If they had put I-81 through Utica back in the 50s, this could have been avoided!

You wouldn't believe the number of older folks in Utica that I've talked to over the years that still bring up that I-81 wasn't built through Utica. Some blame most of Utica's woes on the fact that I-81 didn't come through Utica.
What would Syracuse have gotten out of the deal?

Probably another x81. Heck, the NY 12 corridor north of Utica should be an Interstate even with I-81 on its current routing. Certainly gets enough traffic. A decent amount of it is already 4 lanes divided.

At the very least it should be posted at 65 MPH but that would kill the revenue generation.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Buffaboy on October 10, 2016, 03:15:02 PM
If they had put I-81 through Utica back in the 50s, this could have been avoided!

You wouldn't believe the number of older folks in Utica that I've talked to over the years that still bring up that I-81 wasn't built through Utica. Some blame most of Utica's woes on the fact that I-81 didn't come through Utica.

Well that's interesting...hahahaha
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on October 10, 2016, 04:25:17 PM
I would choose the viaduct option. The boulevard option would likely be a traffic nightmare.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Michael on November 16, 2016, 10:31:42 PM
From Syracuse.com: How would the I-81 replacement impact the eastern suburbs? (http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2016/11/how_would_the_i-81_replacement_affect_the_eastern_suburbs.html)

If NYSDOT picks the boulevard option, they will add an additional lane each way on I-481 between I-690 and the Thruway.  I wonder how much that will cost since they'd have to widen the bridges over the DeWitt Yard.

As an aside, I think it's kind of funny that the high school students mentioned in the article can't wrap their heads around this.  When I was in high school I could have, but then again, they probably haven't been roadgeeks all their life.

EDIT: After reading the comments, I found the PDF of the display board (https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/repository/2016-11-11%20I-481%20Overview_r6lowres_0.pdf) mentioned in the article on the DOT website.  I find it interesting that there isn't a third southbound lane between the Thruway and Kirkville Road.  If you look closely, the plans only show two lanes northbound between I-690 and Kirkville Road.  Also, there are no additional lanes between the ramps for Kirkville Road.  Is that just another goof, or will there only be two lanes through the Kirkville Road interchange?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on November 17, 2016, 01:01:47 PM
Interesting.  Earlier reports from NYSDOT made it sound like I-481 would be widened both directions all the way from I-690 to I-90, and this shows a much more limited widening.  Not really sure what the reasoning behind it is.  IMO at the very least they should widen both directions between NY 5/NY 92 and NY 298, though I'd really like to see I-481 widened all the way to I-81, regardless of what happens to the viaduct.  Traffic is heavy enough that if you try to drive the speed limit, you'll always be frustrated by someone going slower in front of you, no matter which lane you're in.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on December 09, 2016, 04:51:31 PM
I just read the AARoads link to the story about people wanting to keep Interstate 81 on its present route: http://waer.org/post/majority-support-keeping-i-81s-current-route-new-poll-shows

What do the rest of you think about this story?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: PHLBOS on December 09, 2016, 05:43:01 PM
I just read the AARoads link to the story about people wanting to keep Interstate 81 on its present route: http://waer.org/post/majority-support-keeping-i-81s-current-route-new-poll-shows

What do the rest of you think about this story?
It's a welcome change to hear from people actually supporting a highway.  Sounds like the so-called silent majority might be finally breaking their silence.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: amroad17 on December 09, 2016, 11:00:51 PM
If I-81 can be modernized and brought to "Interstate standards" in its current footpath, then go for it NYSDOT!!!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on December 10, 2016, 12:07:18 AM
If I-81 can be modernized and brought to "Interstate standards" in its current footpath, then go for it NYSDOT!!!  :thumbsup:

Not going to happen.  Not sure where the needle sits in terms of either boulevarding it or just repairing the viaduct, but I don't think you're going to see the gazillions spent to bring it up to full Interstate standards.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Michael on December 12, 2016, 08:32:38 PM
NewsChannel 9: Local lawmakers want tunnel option to be fully considered for I-81 (http://www.localsyr.com/news/local-lawmakers-want-tunnel-option-to-be-fully-considered-for-i-81/618409203)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on December 12, 2016, 10:17:39 PM
Unless those lawmakers are also suggesting a way to pay for a tunnel, they need to kill their rhetoric...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Buffaboy on December 12, 2016, 11:53:34 PM
I bet my student loans that doesn't happen.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on December 13, 2016, 08:47:06 AM
Nevermind that there were other reasons a tunnel wasn't forwarded...same as why the depressed roadway/"trench" didn't make it:  the ramp connections between 81 South and 690 would have severed several key east-west streets, including Erie Blvd and possibly Genessee St.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on December 13, 2016, 10:36:40 AM
The tunnel ain't happening.  NYSDOT may pay some lip service to it just to appease those that want it, but it just will never happen due to the ridiculous cost.

(personal opinion emphasized)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on December 13, 2016, 11:14:13 AM
I do think it's interesting that, generally speaking, the local pols want the thing to stay put in some fashion. The tunnel certainly won't happen. It won't. But it gives me hope that they'll do the viaduct option.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on December 13, 2016, 01:40:04 PM
Plus I remember reading that the tunnel had issues with the water table.  The DestiNY proposal was basically "don't have any connections with I-690", which obviously isn't going to happen.

Meanwhile, there's plenty of community opposition to building the missing movements between I-690 west and I-81 north, as well as the widening north of I-690.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: amroad17 on December 13, 2016, 06:51:29 PM
This has become an absolute mess.  Obviously, very few leaders thought "what do we need to do in 50 years when the viaduct needs to be replaced?"  Also, this is the product of wanting to build Interstate highways through downtown areas that was so prevalent in the 1960's.  Now the residents of Syracuse are going to pay for a solution that has been dragging on for at least five years.

With the terrain around Syracuse (mostly south), NYSDOT more than likely chose a path of least resistance.  I-81 couldn't be built around the city (Onondaga Lake, subdivisions, and hills to the west and hills just south of I-481 southeast) so it had to go through the city.  Unfortunately, with hindsight being 20/20, what was chosen was probably one of the worst choices to build a freeway.  This is one where once the decision was made, there wouldn't be an alternate place to build a new freeway if one was needed.  Right now, it is two choices, use I-481 around the city or have a more modern version of what there is now.

I thought of a "cap-and-cover" in which I-81 would be in a trench and the streets above it, however, the water tables would prevent this.  Syracuse was built amongst swampland and with nearby Onondaga Lake, there would be too much of an issue.  Switching I-81 to ground-level with local streets on overpasses would be waaaay too costly.

Asthetically, the Community Grid option would appease those who did not like the way I-81 "divided the city."  Functionally, would this work?  Would people living south of the city want to take I-81, I-481, and I-690 to their jobs downtown or north of downtown?  Would they be willing to use the "boulevard" to get to their jobs?  I know I wouldn't want to do this every day.

This has become a real serious issue for those in the Syracuse area.  A decision needs to be made as soon as possible.  Choose something NYSDOT!
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on December 13, 2016, 07:21:39 PM
I hope Syracuse doesn't wait until the viaduct collapses before doing anything about Interstate 81 in the city.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on December 14, 2016, 07:46:52 AM
This has become an absolute mess.  Obviously, very few leaders thought "what do we need to do in 50 years when the viaduct needs to be replaced?"  Also, this is the product of wanting to build Interstate highways through downtown areas that was so prevalent in the 1960's.  Now the residents of Syracuse are going to pay for a solution that has been dragging on for at least five years.

With the terrain around Syracuse (mostly south), NYSDOT more than likely chose a path of least resistance.  I-81 couldn't be built around the city (Onondaga Lake, subdivisions, and hills to the west and hills just south of I-481 southeast) so it had to go through the city.  Unfortunately, with hindsight being 20/20, what was chosen was probably one of the worst choices to build a freeway.  This is one where once the decision was made, there wouldn't be an alternate place to build a new freeway if one was needed.  Right now, it is two choices, use I-481 around the city or have a more modern version of what there is now.

I thought of a "cap-and-cover" in which I-81 would be in a trench and the streets above it, however, the water tables would prevent this.  Syracuse was built amongst swampland and with nearby Onondaga Lake, there would be too much of an issue.  Switching I-81 to ground-level with local streets on overpasses would be waaaay too costly.

Asthetically, the Community Grid option would appease those who did not like the way I-81 "divided the city."  Functionally, would this work?  Would people living south of the city want to take I-81, I-481, and I-690 to their jobs downtown or north of downtown?  Would they be willing to use the "boulevard" to get to their jobs?  I know I wouldn't want to do this every day.

This has become a real serious issue for those in the Syracuse area.  A decision needs to be made as soon as possible.  Choose something NYSDOT!

Pfft.  It's not NYSDOT's fault for not choosing an alternative.  It's the freakin' public hearing process and the galvanized factions that have supported the infeasible and ridiculous options that are dragging the thing out.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on December 14, 2016, 09:27:53 AM
Pfft.  It's not NYSDOT's fault for not choosing an alternative.  It's the freakin' public hearing process and the galvanized factions that have supported the infeasible and ridiculous options that are dragging the thing out.

This really looks to me as a choice between couple of bad alternatives, with each of them being clearly worse than all other options.
I, for one, wouldn't want to be the person to sign off one of them for construction...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on December 14, 2016, 09:36:28 AM
Quote
with each of them being clearly worse than all other options.

Why do you say this?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: PHLBOS on December 14, 2016, 09:39:33 AM
Nevermind that there were other reasons a tunnel wasn't forwarded...same as why the depressed roadway/"trench" didn't make it:  the ramp connections between 81 South and 690 would have severed several key east-west streets, including Erie Blvd and possibly Genessee St.
Another often-overlooked disadvantage with the tunnel option (in general and not just the I-81 option in the Syracuse area) is that such, for safety reasons, imposes a hazmat vehicle restriction; which becomes an issue for local, O&D (origin/destination) transport.  To those drivers; replacing the viaduct (which they presently can use) with a tunnel is, in essence, taking away a viable option for them.  They would be forced off at the last exit ramp prior to the tunnel and would have to use more local, surface roads.

Samples of tunnel hazmat prohibition signs:

Along PA Turnpike:
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f4/Prohibitionboard.jpg/640px-Prohibitionboard.jpg)

Along I-95 in Baltimore, prior to the Fort McHenry Tunnel:
(https://www.aaroads.com/mid-atlantic/maryland095/i-095_nb_exit_051_03.jpg)

If this tunnel option were for a brand new highway (as opposed to a replacement), that's one thing; but since it's replacing an existing viaduct, that drawback needs to be discussed/addressed (if such hasn't already been done so).
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on December 14, 2016, 10:11:55 AM
Another often-overlooked disadvantage with the tunnel option (in general and not just the I-81 option in the Syracuse area) is that such, for safety reasons, imposes a hazmat vehicle restriction; which becomes an issue for local, O&D (origin/destination) transport.  To those drivers; replacing the viaduct (which they presently can use) with a tunnel is, in essence, taking a way a viable option for them.  They would be forced off at the last exit ramp prior to the tunnel and would have to use more local, surface roads.

There are a few 3-digit interstate roads in the area going around the stretch in question, so the problem would not be as severe as it may sound.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on December 14, 2016, 10:21:16 AM
Quote
with each of them being clearly worse than all other options.

Why do you say this?
Because there is no good option, all options on the table have show-stopper grade problems attached to them. It is either too costly, too disrupting to the city, too damaging to traffic flow, and maybe all of the above.
If I had to vote for one of the options, I would just stay at home.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: PHLBOS on December 14, 2016, 01:40:44 PM
Another often-overlooked disadvantage with the tunnel option (in general and not just the I-81 option in the Syracuse area) is that such, for safety reasons, imposes a hazmat vehicle restriction; which becomes an issue for local, O&D (origin/destination) transport.  To those drivers; replacing the viaduct (which they presently can use) with a tunnel is, in essence, taking a way a viable option for them.  They would be forced off at the last exit ramp prior to the tunnel and would have to use more local, surface roads.

There are a few 3-digit interstate roads in the area going around the stretch in question, so the problem would not be as severe as it may sound.
I will clarify; if a hazmat vehicle's origin or destination is, for example, near/at Syracuse University or Upstate Medical University; I-481 or 690 won't help if the vehicle is coming/going from the south (via I-81).  Such vehicles would have to use either US 11, another parallel street or whatever boulevard would be placed over a tunnel.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on December 14, 2016, 04:24:13 PM
Another often-overlooked disadvantage with the tunnel option (in general and not just the I-81 option in the Syracuse area) is that such, for safety reasons, imposes a hazmat vehicle restriction; which becomes an issue for local, O&D (origin/destination) transport.  To those drivers; replacing the viaduct (which they presently can use) with a tunnel is, in essence, taking a way a viable option for them.  They would be forced off at the last exit ramp prior to the tunnel and would have to use more local, surface roads.

There are a few 3-digit interstate roads in the area going around the stretch in question, so the problem would not be as severe as it may sound.
I will clarify; if a hazmat vehicle's origin or destination is, for example, near/at Syracuse University or Upstate Medical University; I-481 or 690 won't help if the vehicle is coming/going from the south (via I-81).  Such vehicles would have to use either US 11, another parallel street or whatever boulevard would be placed over a tunnel.
Or loop around and come from the north.  Which may be not the nicest thing to do, but for me extra 10 minutes on interstate is a reasonable price to pay to avoid 5 minutes trip on side streets.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: amroad17 on December 15, 2016, 12:02:00 AM
This has become an absolute mess.  Obviously, very few leaders thought "what do we need to do in 50 years when the viaduct needs to be replaced?"  Also, this is the product of wanting to build Interstate highways through downtown areas that was so prevalent in the 1960's.  Now the residents of Syracuse are going to pay for a solution that has been dragging on for at least five years.

With the terrain around Syracuse (mostly south), NYSDOT more than likely chose a path of least resistance.  I-81 couldn't be built around the city (Onondaga Lake, subdivisions, and hills to the west and hills just south of I-481 southeast) so it had to go through the city.  Unfortunately, with hindsight being 20/20, what was chosen was probably one of the worst choices to build a freeway.  This is one where once the decision was made, there wouldn't be an alternate place to build a new freeway if one was needed.  Right now, it is two choices, use I-481 around the city or have a more modern version of what there is now.

I thought of a "cap-and-cover" in which I-81 would be in a trench and the streets above it, however, the water tables would prevent this.  Syracuse was built amongst swampland and with nearby Onondaga Lake, there would be too much of an issue.  Switching I-81 to ground-level with local streets on overpasses would be waaaay too costly.

Asthetically, the Community Grid option would appease those who did not like the way I-81 "divided the city."  Functionally, would this work?  Would people living south of the city want to take I-81, I-481, and I-690 to their jobs downtown or north of downtown?  Would they be willing to use the "boulevard" to get to their jobs?  I know I wouldn't want to do this every day.

This has become a real serious issue for those in the Syracuse area.  A decision needs to be made as soon as possible.  Choose something NYSDOT!

Pfft.  It's not NYSDOT's fault for not choosing an alternative.  It's the freakin' public hearing process and the galvanized factions that have supported the infeasible and ridiculous options that are dragging the thing out.
All right, SOMEBODY make a decision and get on with it or we at AAROADS.com can make the decision for them!

Wouldn't that be nice?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on December 15, 2016, 07:32:18 AM
All right, SOMEBODY make a decision and get on with it or we at AAROADS.com can make the decision for them!

Wouldn't that be nice?
Would be interesting if we can come to any conclusion over here. Is there a way to setup a poll within comments, or do something similar?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Michael on December 15, 2016, 06:20:32 PM
Syracuse.com: DOT officials say tunnel feasibility study coming for I-81 in Syracuse
 (http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2016/12/i-81_options.html)
Senator John DeFrancisco called a meeting with NYSDOT officials, and a study from NYSDOT "will be coming soon".
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on December 15, 2016, 08:20:09 PM
Nice to see that there's a city where people are actually opposed to getting rid of the thing entirely. It's not like most of these removal things actually work. Yeah, let's make it so no through traffic actually drives through Syracuse and patronizes the businesses.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on December 15, 2016, 08:21:15 PM
How many times is NYSDOT going to be forced to study this because some people won't take "it's not feasible or affordable" for an answer?  Makes me wonder if the viaduct will collapse while the tunnel is studied again and again.

(personal opinion emphasized)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on December 16, 2016, 09:04:01 AM
It should be noted that Senator John DeFrancisco represents a district that surrounds Syracuse (some serious gerrymandering there, BTW), but doesn't actually include south of I-690 where the viaduct is.

This has basically turned into a city vs. suburbs argument.  As a general rule, the city (and its residents) want the viaduct gone, but the suburbs don't.

Quote from: cl94
It's not like most of these removal things actually work.

And your rationale behind this statement is...?

Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on December 16, 2016, 09:09:45 AM
Syracuse.com: DOT officials say tunnel feasibility study coming for I-81 in Syracuse
 (http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2016/12/i-81_options.html)
Senator John DeFrancisco called a meeting with NYSDOT officials, and a study from NYSDOT "will be coming soon".

Talk about p***ing money down the drain.  What a freakin' waste.

(personal opinion expressed)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: mvak36 on December 16, 2016, 09:42:27 AM
I have no dog in this fight, but the sense I get from that article is that they're going to be routing 81 around the city. That tunnel is more than doubling the cost of the other 2 proposals, so I don't think it will get selected based on the state of transportation funding around the country.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on December 16, 2016, 10:16:46 AM
I have no dog in this fight, but the sense I get from that article is that they're going to be routing 81 around the city. That tunnel is more than doubling the cost of the other 2 proposals, so I don't think it will get selected based on the state of transportation funding around the country.
If it only was that simple.
Through traffic is a relatively small portion of it, and I bet it can be rerouted on existing bypass with moderate disruption if all other traffic patterns are not changed. After all, there is not too much going on north of Syracuse. I-81 has 15-17k traffic counts over there, and I have hard time saying how many of those vehicles actually continue I-81 south, as opposed to going to/from Syracuse and I-90 Thruway. Military base Fort Drum is probably the biggest destination up there.
But interstate through city center inevitably becomes major commuter road - and it is those commuters who need a real replacement road, as well as traffic coming from the south to the city and back.   So bypass is pretty useless for them. And traffic from the south is traffic from NYC and Philadelphia, which is probably somewhat important for the city.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on December 16, 2016, 01:55:19 PM
I-81 through traffic isn't the issue. Not only is it minimal, I-481 doesn't add much time. The bigger one is traffic between the south and west. How would they get through? Most of them would take surface roads.

And your rationale behind this statement is...?

I worked for the Buffalo MPO during the NY 198 crap. I performed the counts in that area myself both before and after the speed limit was lowered and changes were made.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: goldfishcrackers4 on December 16, 2016, 02:01:00 PM
If I'm not mistaken, this whole "boulevard" plan came about from some people at Syracuse University.  The former president of SU is the one who championed this and she is no longer there. The people who seem to think this "community grid" (so named because it sounds nice) is smart are urbanist hipsters who lack a basic understanding of what will happen without the viaduct. If you drove through the Utica area last week when the 5/8/12/840 interchange was closed due to the fuel spill, you got a small taste of what Syracuse will look like if 81 moves.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on December 16, 2016, 02:03:56 PM
Nobody drives through Utica.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on December 16, 2016, 03:35:20 PM
Quote from: cl94
I-81 through traffic isn't the issue. Not only is it minimal, I-481 doesn't add much time. The bigger one is traffic between the south and west. How would they get through? Most of them would take surface roads.

Given experience elsewhere, there are a number of things that would happen.  Some, yes, would take surface roads.  Some would take 481 to 690 to avoid traffic signals.  Some would take the boulevard.  Some trips simply would go away.  I realize this last part seems unbelievable, but yes it does happen.

Quote
I worked for the Buffalo MPO during the NY 198 crap. I performed the counts in that area myself both before and after the speed limit was lowered and changes were made.

One could make a pretty strong argument that NY 198 was the exception to the rule, especially considering how it was handled.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: compdude787 on December 16, 2016, 04:12:47 PM
If I'm not mistaken, this whole "boulevard" plan came about from some people at Syracuse University.  The former president of SU is the one who championed this and she is no longer there. The people who seem to think this "community grid" (so named because it sounds nice) is smart are urbanist hipsters who lack a basic understanding of what will happen without the viaduct. If you drove through the Utica area last week when the 5/8/12/840 interchange was closed due to the fuel spill, you got a small taste of what Syracuse will look like if 81 moves.

Totally agree with this. I will never, ever, ever support getting rid of the freeway and replacing it with some stupid surface street. It's a shame that the water table makes it such that a tunnel wouldn't be possible.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on December 16, 2016, 04:14:01 PM
I-81 through traffic isn't the issue. Not only is it minimal, I-481 doesn't add much time. The bigger one is traffic between the south and west. How would they get through? Most of them would take surface roads.
If I remember correctly, signs on Thruway direct through traffic to either I-390 - I-86 or some roads near finger lakes. Until you originate in Weedsport (BTW, I never understood if that is a place of mowing competition or a barge port for marijuana shipments) there are options other than negotiating city center.
Local traffic from points west - the state fairgrounds and places like Crucible may suffer, though..
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on December 16, 2016, 04:25:44 PM
Given experience elsewhere, there are a number of things that would happen.  Some, yes, would take surface roads.  Some would take 481 to 690 to avoid traffic signals.  Some would take the boulevard.  Some trips simply would go away.  I realize this last part seems unbelievable, but yes it does happen.
690 is 88k traffic on 3 lanes, 481 is 65k on 2 lanes. I doubt they would handle significant portion of diverted traffic.
I know 481 is up for some expansion, but I suspect traffic collapse would go first
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on December 16, 2016, 05:27:17 PM
The Thruway actually directs all traffic to Binghamton from the west to use 690 to 81. Trucks generally take 63-390-17, but most car drivers are stupid.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: machias on December 16, 2016, 05:45:38 PM
The Thruway actually directs all traffic to Binghamton from the west to use 690 to 81. Trucks generally take 63-390-17, but most car drivers are stupid.

And there are signs for the reverse on I-81 NB down by Cortland, telling motorists to use 81 to 690 to the Thruway.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Buffaboy on December 19, 2016, 12:22:52 AM
Nevermind that there were other reasons a tunnel wasn't forwarded...same as why the depressed roadway/"trench" didn't make it:  the ramp connections between 81 South and 690 would have severed several key east-west streets, including Erie Blvd and possibly Genessee St.
Another often-overlooked disadvantage with the tunnel option (in general and not just the I-81 option in the Syracuse area) is that such, for safety reasons, imposes a hazmat vehicle restriction; which becomes an issue for local, O&D (origin/destination) transport.  To those drivers; replacing the viaduct (which they presently can use) with a tunnel is, in essence, taking a way a viable option for them.  They would be forced off at the last exit ramp prior to the tunnel and would have to use more local, surface roads.

Samples of tunnel hazmat prohibition signs:

Along PA Turnpike:
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/f4/Prohibitionboard.jpg/640px-Prohibitionboard.jpg)

Along I-95 in Baltimore, prior to the Fort McHenry Tunnel:
(https://www.aaroads.com/mid-atlantic/maryland095/i-095_nb_exit_051_03.jpg)

If this tunnel option were for a brand new highway (as opposed to a replacement), that's one thing; but since it's replacing an existing viaduct, that drawback needs to be discussed/addressed (if such hasn't already been done so).

This is more of a problem that a lot of people may think. FedEx and UPS load hazmats on their trailers all the time.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Buffaboy on December 19, 2016, 12:26:08 AM
Syracuse.com: DOT officials say tunnel feasibility study coming for I-81 in Syracuse
 (http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2016/12/i-81_options.html)
Senator John DeFrancisco called a meeting with NYSDOT officials, and a study from NYSDOT "will be coming soon".

Talk about p***ing money down the drain.  What a freakin' waste.

(personal opinion expressed)

Now that the "New NY Bridge (stupid name, what happens when the GI bridges need to be replaced) is wrapping up, this could be Cuomo's next pet project.

I bet tunnling the Skyway and part of NY-198 would cost less than this.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on December 19, 2016, 01:46:37 PM
They should rebuild the existing viaduct to modern design standards, and possibly add an additional lane in each direction. Enough said!
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on December 19, 2016, 02:07:04 PM
^ Have you even read this thread?  Have you not noticed or seen the right-of-way issues that widening the viaduct (especially to add lanes) would entail?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on December 19, 2016, 02:11:38 PM
They should rebuild the existing viaduct to modern design standards, and possibly add an additional lane in each direction. Enough said!

:ded:
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: seicer on December 19, 2016, 03:12:51 PM
Let's just go ahead and tear down the remainder of Syracuse's building stock just so we can add more freeway capacity that isn't needed!
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Michael on December 19, 2016, 07:00:17 PM
Syracuse.com: 3 tunnel options for replacing Syracuse's I-81 and why NYS rejected them (http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2016/12/what_were_the_3_tunnel_options_the_dot_rejected_for_replacing_syracuses_i-81.html)

This article goes into detail about how the tunnel options wouldn't work according to NYSDOT.  I wonder if using a TBM or tunnel jack for the shallow tunnel would address the issues with ground stability and road/railroad construction impacts.

I also got a kick out of one of the commenters calling the Community Grid option the Community Gridlock option.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on December 20, 2016, 04:56:39 PM
I've never been to Syracuse, so my recommendation was out of ignorance. It appears rebuilding the viaduct to modern design standards would have too many right-of-way impacts. Even so, I would think a tunnel would be too expensive, and a boulevard would be too congested.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on January 11, 2017, 01:36:15 PM
I've put together an I-81 boulevard concept that draws heavily from the Community Grid option but adds a few other elements to it.  Because of the fictional nature of some of those elements, I posted it in Fictional Highways (https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=19512).
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on January 11, 2017, 03:14:43 PM
Tunnel's going to be studied again by some third party.  *sigh*
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Michael on January 11, 2017, 04:34:35 PM
I saw that on Syracuse.com about an hour before your post, but didn't have time to post the link.  Governor Cuomo directed NYSDOT to do it this time.  I have a feeling that in the end, it will be a boulevard.  I wouldn't be surprised if this study is just for show.

Syracuse.com: After 4 years of study, Cuomo orders new study on I-81 project (http://www.syracuse.com/state/index.ssf/2017/01/syracuse_cuomo_state_of_the_state_i-81_cny.html)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: machias on January 11, 2017, 04:51:36 PM
I saw that on Syracuse.com about an hour before your post, but didn't have time to post the link.  Governor Cuomo directed NYSDOT to do it this time.  I have a feeling that in the end, it will be a boulevard.  I wouldn't be surprised if this study is just for show.

Syracuse.com: After 4 years of study, Cuomo orders new study on I-81 project (http://www.syracuse.com/state/index.ssf/2017/01/syracuse_cuomo_state_of_the_state_i-81_cny.html)

Anyone want to lay odds on when the existing structure will unfortunately fall down in a fit of chaos?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on January 11, 2017, 04:58:31 PM
Haven't they studied this enough? Pick an alternative, design it, fund it, and build it! At this rate, the viaduct will collapse before they're through arguing about how to replace it.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on January 11, 2017, 05:30:14 PM
Haven't they studied this enough? Pick an alternative, design it, fund it, and build it! At this rate, the viaduct will collapse before they're through arguing about how to replace it.
My bet that every time an alternative is finally chosen, one of affluent Cuomo's friends give him a call and asks for a second look. And there are way to many friends...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Michael on January 11, 2017, 05:35:17 PM
If the community grid is chosen, I wonder how much (if anything) would be saved as opposed to going with a replacement viaduct or tunnel in the first place.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on January 11, 2017, 05:39:58 PM
If the community grid is chosen, I wonder how much (if anything) would be saved as opposed to going with a replacement viaduct or tunnel in the first place.

There seems to be a ton of political opposition to full removal. I'm really curious about how this will turn out.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on January 11, 2017, 05:54:54 PM
Judging by the article, I'm guessing the viaduct is off the table.  Maybe this will be Cuomo's next 10 billion dollar project?  But what happens if the consultant just comes to the same conclusion as Region 3 did?  How many times are we going to spend money on studying this again and again because some residents and businesses can't be bothered to look at the existing reasons for removing the tunnel from consideration?

(personal opinion emphasized)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Revive 755 on January 11, 2017, 06:10:38 PM
I would think not have the viaduct as an alternative in the study would open said study up to a major lawsuit for not considering (if only briefly) a viable alternative.  Or is New York planning not to use any federal funds for the replacement?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on January 11, 2017, 06:19:20 PM
Quote
There seems to be a ton of political opposition to full removal.

Mostly outside of Syracuse.  And the state rep who's hell bent on having a tunnel alternative doesn't represent the area the Viaduct's located in (he represents north & west of downtown).
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: DJStephens on January 12, 2017, 12:09:51 PM
This appears to be the first time a movement to remove a section of a major highway is being considered.  A true inter-state route, not a stub such as Detroits I-375 or New Havens route 34.   May wind up very badly, if the vocal minority wins out, and the route through Syracuse is decommissioned.   
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on January 12, 2017, 01:16:54 PM
This appears to be the first time a movement to remove a section of a major highway is being considered.  A true inter-state route, not a stub such as Detroits I-375 or New Havens route 34.   May wind up very badly, if the vocal minority wins out, and the route through Syracuse is decommissioned.

AFAIK, it is. The governor ordered a diet of NY 198, but that only served local traffic.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: seicer on January 12, 2017, 01:19:53 PM
The underutilized bypass would serve as Interstate 81, so it's not as if the route in the area is evaporating entirely. Through Syracuse that eliminated and destroyed hundreds of historic residences and commercial buildings without their will and agreement, by politicians that later regretted their decision? (There was a great book at Cornell's library that I'll have to find again on this topic.)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on January 12, 2017, 01:57:42 PM
The underutilized bypass would serve as Interstate 81, so it's not as if the route in the area is evaporating entirely. Through Syracuse that eliminated and destroyed hundreds of historic residences and commercial buildings without their will and agreement, by politicians that later regretted their decision? (There was a great book at Cornell's library that I'll have to find again on this topic.)

A slightly-underutilized bypass would go nearly to capacity with little room for growth.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: seicer on January 12, 2017, 02:22:04 PM
What is the cost breakdown of adding a lane to the bypass versus demolition-and-reconstruction of the viaduct or tunnel? Surely adding one lane where there is a wide median and support for an addition lane will be cheaper.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on January 12, 2017, 02:31:09 PM
What is the cost breakdown of adding a lane to the bypass versus demolition-and-reconstruction of the viaduct or tunnel? Surely adding one lane where there is a wide median and support for an addition lane will be cheaper.

Problem isn't necessarily the one lane. It's the bridges (one of which is quite long) and two interchanges need to be completely redesigned. Cost will probably end up being even because of that. Bridges as they are are ~30 feet wide and, when widened, need full shoulders to meet standards.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on January 12, 2017, 03:06:58 PM
Quote
Cost will probably end up being even because of that. Bridges as they are are ~30 feet wide and, when widened, need full shoulders to meet standards.

I think you're overstating the costs of improving I-481, especially considering that widening the long bridge you're referring to was already factored into the Community Grid cost estimate.  I also think you're overstating the amount of traffic that would flood I-481.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on January 12, 2017, 03:40:14 PM
Quote
Cost will probably end up being even because of that. Bridges as they are are ~30 feet wide and, when widened, need full shoulders to meet standards.

I think you're overstating the costs of improving I-481, especially considering that widening the long bridge you're referring to was already factored into the Community Grid cost estimate.  I also think you're overstating the amount of traffic that would flood I-481.
I had an impression community grid plan did not include widening 481 throughout...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: seicer on January 12, 2017, 03:48:32 PM
From what I've come across, I-481 would see improvements to its southern and northern access points where I-81 would join, and the mainline would be widened. It's not really shifting that much more traffic onto the bypass as that traffic is already through traffic for I-81. Most of the I-81 traffic is for local access.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on January 12, 2017, 05:56:42 PM
Quote from: kalvado
I had an impression community grid plan did not include widening 481 throughout...

It didn't.  But widening the long bridges over the railyard north of I-690...the long bridges cl94 alluded to...IS part of that plan.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on January 12, 2017, 08:23:51 PM
IMO the widening selected for the community grid plan is weird.  I can't figure out a rhyme or reason why the stretches widened were selected.  When NYSDOT said widening from I-690 to I-90, I assumed the entire way in both directions.  Instead, it's much more limited, and not on both directions at the same time.  IMO the entire route should be widened throughout.

(personal opinion emphasized)

The underutilized bypass would serve as Interstate 81, so it's not as if the route in the area is evaporating entirely. Through Syracuse that eliminated and destroyed hundreds of historic residences and commercial buildings without their will and agreement, by politicians that later regretted their decision? (There was a great book at Cornell's library that I'll have to find again on this topic.)
Underutilized?  Every single time I have been on that road, there was enough traffic that one could not drive the speed limit.  It's frustrating.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on January 12, 2017, 08:40:57 PM
The underutilized bypass would serve as Interstate 81, so it's not as if the route in the area is evaporating entirely. Through Syracuse that eliminated and destroyed hundreds of historic residences and commercial buildings without their will and agreement, by politicians that later regretted their decision? (There was a great book at Cornell's library that I'll have to find again on this topic.)
Underutilized?  Every single time I have been on that road, there was enough traffic that one could not drive the speed limit.  It's frustrating.

I was thinking the same thing. I have never been able to drive 65 on that road. Never. AADTs aren't a good metric to ascertain peak volumes, but since I don't have PHVs, NY 5 to I-90 ranges from 47K to 65K. I-81 south of downtown has an AADT of 82K. Enough of that is through traffic, much of it being between the south and west.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: seicer on January 13, 2017, 08:31:24 AM
Never? Outside of rush hour, the LOS is acceptable. I've driven 65 to 80 MPH on I-481 outside of rush hour. Sustained for the entire distance? No. It's a candidate for widening but you can't expect to drive 65 MPH for the entire duration around a major city.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: amroad17 on January 13, 2017, 05:29:05 PM
I've put together an I-81 boulevard concept that draws heavily from the Community Grid option but adds a few other elements to it.  Because of the fictional nature of some of those elements, I posted it in Fictional Highways (https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=19512).
I do like your concepts for this.  I could see a good portion of these come to fruition, except the NY 815 concept.  I, personally, would have loved to see that happen--but it would have had to have been built in the early 1980's before much of the development around now was completed.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on January 13, 2017, 06:01:24 PM
I hope this gets resolved soon. It truly is taking forever.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on January 13, 2017, 09:12:07 PM
I hope this gets resolved soon. It truly is taking forever.

Because yet another round of studies are being made on it, it's going to be a while before even the alternative is chosen.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Michael on January 13, 2017, 09:56:26 PM
I was thinking the same thing. I have never been able to drive 65 on that road. Never. AADTs aren't a good metric to ascertain peak volumes, but since I don't have PHVs, NY 5 to I-90 ranges from 47K to 65K. I-81 south of downtown has an AADT of 82K. Enough of that is through traffic, much of it being between the south and west.

I had to Google PHV, and I'm assuming you mean peak hour volumes?

Did you get the AADT values from the Traffic Data Viewer?  In the TDV, you can click the line to get a popup, and select the volume report link.  For some reason, the AADT label between NY 5/92 and I-690 is for both directions, but the volume report is only for the northbound (mislabeled in the report as eastbound) direction.  In that direction, the current report (from 2010) shows a peak of 3,454 between 8 and 9 AM.  The speed report lists a peak of 2,866 northbound between 8 and 9 AM, and 3,153 southbound between 6 and 7 PM.  The speed report numbers are from 2006.  I've seen plenty of old data in the TDV, and it would be nice if they updated the PDFs.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on January 14, 2017, 12:59:30 AM
The TDV has data as recent as the year of update; any counts taken after that (currently only the ones taken in 2016) wouldn't be there.  Not every station gets counted every year; ideally, most get counted every three years, but they sometimes get missed (which happens often with interstates due to high volume/traffic speeds); some local bridges and railroad crossings are every five years, and ramps are every six years.  Note that this is for the VOLUME data; class/speed historically hasn't had such a rotation, although these days we are striving to get those types of counts more often.

The NB-only report is interesting.  Makes me wonder if there was an issue with the hourly breakdown for the SB report or something.

Never? Outside of rush hour, the LOS is acceptable. I've driven 65 to 80 MPH on I-481 outside of rush hour. Sustained for the entire distance? No. It's a candidate for widening but you can't expect to drive 65 MPH for the entire duration around a major city.
I don't think most of my trips are in rush hour, and I still can't hit 65, especially between NY 5/NY 92 and I-90 (which is the sections that I have cause to see most times; nearly every trip on the rest of I-481 has been specifically to clinch parts of it, though I have had issues on the southern end as well; no issue with the northern end, but then, I've only been on that part of it once).
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Buffaboy on January 15, 2017, 01:18:10 AM
Why don't they route it along the train tracks to the west and up to the T interchange at I-690, and then continue northward?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on January 15, 2017, 07:46:50 AM
They looked at that, but A) those tracks are still active, and B) not enough rail ROW to shoehorn a freeway in there without requiring significant land takings adjacent to the railroad.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: TML on February 19, 2017, 11:53:37 PM
As a former Syracuse resident (having lived there from 1994-1999), I went through this stretch of 81 countless times, and even now, most map websites and GPS devices will direct me over 81 in downtown Syracuse when traveling between points south (e.g. NYC, Binghamton, etc.) and points west (e.g. Rochester, Buffalo, Toronto, etc.). So this is definitely a very well utilized freeway.

After careful consideration of this issue, I support keeping 81 on its present course and I do not support rerouting 81 onto 481. I believe that rerouting 81 onto 481 will unduly favor the city of Syracuse at the expense of outlying areas: while the city itself may seem improved, outlying areas will see increased traffic (especially commercial traffic) resulting in more noise and/or pollution. The eastern/northern suburbs will have increased traffic as a direct result of 481 being changed to 81, while the southern/western suburbs will have increased traffic as a result of the increased overall distance of 81, which would lead many to exit 81 south of Syracuse and travel onto suburban (non-freeway) roads in those areas.

That said, however, it seems to me like there is no single solution which will make everyone involved happy. The simplest solution, which is rehabilitation of the existing viaduct, will keep everything (the routing of 81, existing buildings, etc.) as-is, but will not fix features of the highway which do not conform to modern standards. The two "finalist" options presented by the DOT will each leave winners and losers: the new viaduct option will probably leave those in the city (especially those associated with the affected buildings) unhappy, while the community grid & reroute option will probably leave those in outlying areas unhappy. The tunnel and depressed highway options, which some say satisfies both people who want the viaduct gone for good as well as those who want 81 to remain on its present course, are not favored by the DOT due to their relatively high costs compared to other options, as well as potential logistical challenges with the terrain below.

I have noticed that even lawmakers (local, state, and federal) have gotten involved in this issue. I suspect that if TPTB chooses either of the "finalist" options mentioned above, protests will follow. I note that protests have already occurred in Denver as a result of the 70 viaduct replacement project there, and given the sentiment here in the Syracuse area, I have every reason to believe that there will be similar protests - perhaps even stronger than those in Denver - here once TPTB announces a decision. I think the final outcome will probably depend on which side lobbies harder.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sparker on February 23, 2017, 01:16:39 AM

I have noticed that even lawmakers (local, state, and federal) have gotten involved in this issue. I suspect that if TPTB chooses either of the "finalist" options mentioned above, protests will follow. I note that protests have already occurred in Denver as a result of the 70 viaduct replacement project there, and given the sentiment here in the Syracuse area, I have every reason to believe that there will be similar protests - perhaps even stronger than those in Denver - here once TPTB announces a decision. I think the final outcome will probably depend on which side lobbies harder.

Politics -- and its byproduct, political will -- has proven to be the proverbial "double-edged sword"; used to both place facilities that have less than consensus approval as well as remove them to satisfy the desires of a particular constituency.  For better or worse, that's the norm within the realm of transportation policy these days. 
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Michael on October 21, 2017, 08:27:51 PM
I saw a Reddit thread (https://www.reddit.com/r/Syracuse/comments/75jat9/i81_calling_all_urban_planners_architects) a few days ago that had a link to a site called Without 81 (http://without81.com), which compares driving directions in Syracuse with and without I-81.  Something must be wrong with the code since most of the routes I tried still used I-81 even on the "without I-81" directions.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on October 22, 2017, 08:19:05 PM
I saw a Reddit thread (https://www.reddit.com/r/Syracuse/comments/75jat9/i81_calling_all_urban_planners_architects) a few days ago that had a link to a site called Without 81 (http://without81.com), which compares driving directions in Syracuse with and without I-81.  Something must be wrong with the code since most of the routes I tried still used I-81 even on the "without I-81" directions.
Or they're making a point. :-D
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on October 24, 2017, 08:47:30 AM
Quote
And let's face it, most of the thru traffic using the viaduct is going between south and west.

My experience is that this isn't the case.  This is backed up by what NYSDOT found when they did a through traffic check near the beginning of the I-81 studies.  First thing they found is that there's less than 6,000 through vehicles a day.  Second thing they found is there's more traffic continuing north on 81 than there is going from the south to either direction on the Thruway.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on October 24, 2017, 10:05:06 AM
Quote
And let's face it, most of the thru traffic using the viaduct is going between south and west.

My experience is that this isn't the case.  This is backed up by what NYSDOT found when they did a through traffic check near the beginning of the I-81 studies.  First thing they found is that there's less than 6,000 through vehicles a day.  Second thing they found is there's more traffic continuing north on 81 than there is going from the south to either direction on the Thruway.

Precisely. Traffic from the south generally gets off around what was Carousel Center or further south. A lot of the traffic between Binghamton and Buffalo uses I-86/390, NY 63, and US 20 to avoid the toll.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on October 24, 2017, 01:22:52 PM
Traffic going between Watertown and Binghamton is already directed to I-481.  Traffic between the south and east already takes I-481 or I-88 depending on origin/destination.  It's only traffic between the south/west that HAS to take I-81 (and yes, it is faster to do so over I-86 and I-390).  I-481 is a bit of a detour, plus it already has enough traffic that you can't drive the speed limit, and the official widening plans are IMO less that what is needed NOW, much less what will be needed when you get rid of I-81.

(personal opinion emphasized)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on October 24, 2017, 08:26:08 PM
Quote from: webny99
I assume "through traffic" excludes those headed to I-690, which is problematic, since I-690 serves those traveling between south and west. Obviously, anyone originating south of Syracuse isn't going to get on the thruway at the I-81/thruway interchange. Eastbound uses I-481, westbound uses the viaduct (but then I-690).

You tell me... (http://www.thei81challenge.org/cm/ResourceFiles/resources/Interstate%20Through%20Traffic.pdf)

Bottom line:  there's not a whole lot of through traffic.  And over half of what is there is strictly I-81 through traffic which could easily be diverted to I-481 (especially with the proposed direct route connections) should the Boulevard option be chosen.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on October 25, 2017, 09:50:33 AM
They could.  And they would if the viaduct were ever shut down for any reason (which occasionally does happen).

I would agree that the mitigation they currently have planned for the Boulevard option is insufficient (especially the I-481 segments that vdeane mentioned).  But I'm also not convinced that the Boulevard is a bad option and that additional mitigation could not be included.   In fact, what I had in mind (https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=19512) would effectively cover things and likely still cost less than the viaduct replacement option.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Henry on October 25, 2017, 10:26:46 AM
They should look to The Embarcadero to see how a boulevard can effectively replace a freeway if it is done right. Sure, CA 480 would've been a quick way to get from one bridge to the other, but as completed, it would also have destroyed too much of San Francisco to recover.

BTW, are there still plans to remove I-83 in Baltimore?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on October 25, 2017, 08:52:58 PM
The big difference between I-81 and I-480 is that I-480 was never completed.  What was removed was essentially a spur that quickly petered out onto surface streets anyways.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on October 26, 2017, 10:31:36 AM
Depends what you define as "significant".  From Exit 39 to 81 at Nedrow, it's 8 miles longer taking 690 to 481, and 10 miles longer staying on the Thruway to 481.  For long-distance travelers, that's not really a high percentage of overall trip length.

But you're also talking about only around 2,000 vpd who are through travelers in those directions.  Small potatoes.

BTW, for "variety", there's a route from Exit 41, via NY 318, US 20, NY 34, and NY 90 that's 20 miles shorter and only a few minutes longer than going through Syracuse.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on October 26, 2017, 11:14:54 AM
They should look to The Embarcadero to see how a boulevard can effectively replace a freeway if it is done right. Sure, CA 480 would've been a quick way to get from one bridge to the other, but as completed, it would also have destroyed too much of San Francisco to recover.

BTW, are there still plans to remove I-83 in Baltimore?
The Embarcadero is clogged with slow traffic at all hours with all of its non-sequentially timed lights. Your point? I'm tired of removing freeways just because they're urban or elevated. There is enough traffic to warrant a freeway, even if most of it isn't through, and that is still the most efficient way to distribute downtown traffic. Instead of talking about how good Syracuse will be without a freeway, we should be discussing how best to rebuild it.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 26, 2017, 12:07:41 PM
They should look to The Embarcadero to see how a boulevard can effectively replace a freeway if it is done right. Sure, CA 480 would've been a quick way to get from one bridge to the other, but as completed, it would also have destroyed too much of San Francisco to recover.

BTW, are there still plans to remove I-83 in Baltimore?
The Embarcadero is clogged with slow traffic at all hours with all of its non-sequentially timed lights. Your point? I'm tired of removing freeways just because they're urban or elevated. There is enough traffic to warrant a freeway, even if most of it isn't through, and that is still the most efficient way to distribute downtown traffic. Instead of talking about how good Syracuse will be without a freeway, we should be discussing how best to rebuild it.
Well, there are enough people who believe highway in downtown is a worst thing ever - and democracy means their voice is also heard.. We can disagreee with them, but they do have some point.
A more interesting way of putting it - and there is a grain of truth in that  - that old cities are not getting what they expect to get from cooperation with suburbs; and that they would do bette without looking at interests of suburbs (= commuters using those freeways). I don't really believe in that - but see above...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 26, 2017, 10:13:42 PM
The Embarcadero is clogged with slow traffic at all hours with all of its non-sequentially timed lights. Your point? I'm tired of removing freeways just because they're urban or elevated. There is enough traffic to warrant a freeway, even if most of it isn't through, and that is still the most efficient way to distribute downtown traffic. Instead of talking about how good Syracuse will be without a freeway, we should be discussing how best to rebuild it.

Rebuild it just like many other older freeway bridges have been rebuilt.  The substructure looks adequate, so the superstructure (beams and roadway deck) can either be replaced or redecked.  If there is room then widen the substructure so that it can support a wider roadway deck with full shoulders.  If there is room then realign roadways and ramps as needed.  If there is not room for widening and/or realignment of the viaduct then don't do that, just replace the substructure or the roadway deck.

This is not complicated; some of the locals are making it complicated.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on October 26, 2017, 11:38:50 PM
Quote from: Beltway
The substructure looks adequate

I can tell you from experience that it's not.

And the FHWA won't sign off on "just replace the substructure" without substantial improvements to the geometry.  So it really is a lot more complicated than you're making it out to be, and not just because of "the locals"...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 26, 2017, 11:55:53 PM
Quote from: Beltway
The substructure looks adequate
I can tell you from experience that it's not.
And the FHWA won't sign off on "just replace the substructure" without substantial improvements to the geometry.  So it really is a lot more complicated than you're making it out to be, and not just because of "the locals"...

Then replace or rehab the substructure.  The bridge was built in an Interstate highway project.  The FHWA is not going to force them to widen it and/or realign it if there would be infeasible right-of-way impacts.

The realignment/expansion of the highway would obviously have huge right-of-way impacts --
http://cdn.thinglink.me/api/image/660135028889485313/640/10/scaletowidth


The I-95 James River Bridge in Richmond was rebuilt 1999-2002, was originally opened in 1958.  Major rehab to the substructure, replacement of most of the superstructure and all of the roadway deck.  The FHWA did not force them to widen it to provide full shoulders, which would have been rather expensive.  So there are precedents for rebuilding Interstate highway bridges even when the DOT keeps certain features from the original design that are obsolete today.  (I would like to see full shoulders there, but it would have greatly increased the costs).
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: PHLBOS on October 27, 2017, 08:45:55 AM
They should look to The Embarcadero to see how a boulevard can effectively replace a freeway if it is done right. Sure, CA 480 would've been a quick way to get from one bridge to the other, but as completed, it would also have destroyed too much of San Francisco to recover.

BTW, are there still plans to remove I-83 in Baltimore?
The Embarcadero is clogged with slow traffic at all hours with all of its non-sequentially timed lights. Your point? I'm tired of removing freeways just because they're urban or elevated. There is enough traffic to warrant a freeway, even if most of it isn't through, and that is still the most efficient way to distribute downtown traffic. Instead of talking about how good Syracuse will be without a freeway, we should be discussing how best to rebuild it.
Well, there are enough people who believe highway in downtown is a worst thing ever - and democracy means their voice is also heard.. We can disagreee with them, but they do have some point.
A more interesting way of putting it - and there is a grain of truth in that  - that old cities are not getting what they expect to get from cooperation with suburbs; and that they would do bette without looking at interests of suburbs (= commuters using those freeways). I don't really believe in that - but see above...

FWIW, here's the Wiki account (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_State_Route_480) with an excerpt (below) regarding the Embarcadero (bold emphasis added):
Quote from: Wikipedia
In the 1980s, opposition to the Embarcadero Freeway resurfaced in proposals to tear it down. On November 5, 1985, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to tear down the Embarcadero Freeway.   The proposal was put to the voters in 1987 and soundly defeated, opposed in particular by influential Chinatown community organizer Rose Pak, who feared that Chinatown would suffer catastrophic consequences if it would lose this fast crosstown connection.  The October 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake significantly damaged the structure, causing it to be closed to traffic. Caltrans planned to retrofit and retain the double-decker freeway. Various groups in and outside the City supported the Caltrans plan, but there was a significant opinion within the City in favor of removing the freeway structure. Then-Mayor Art Agnos proposed demolishing the freeway in favor of a boulevard with an underpass at the Ferry Building to allow for a large plaza.

Opposition to demolishing the freeway mounted again, with over 20,000 signatures gathered to again create a ballot measure.   Prior to the earthquake, the Embarcadero Freeway carried approximately 70,000 vehicles daily in the vicinity of the Ferry Building. Another 40,000 vehicles per day used associated ramps at Main and Beale streets. The strongest opposition came from Chinatown and other neighborhoods north of downtown.  Merchants in Chinatown had suffered a dramatic decline in business in the months immediately following the earthquake and feared that if the freeway was not reopened they would not recover.

Agnos continued to negotiate with federal and state officials to win enough funding to make the demolition practical, and the opposition relented. Agnos argued that the city would squander "the opportunity of a lifetime" if it allowed the freeway to remain.  After months of debate, the Board of Supervisors narrowly voted in favor of demolition by a 6–5 margin.  Demolition began on February 27, 1991. That year, Agnos was defeated for re-election as Chinatown switched its support away from him.

Upshoot to the above IMHO:

1.  Had the 1989 earthquake not happened, the Freeway might be still standing & in use.

2.  Support for the keeping the freeway came from locals (i.e. voters) as well as commuters (i.e. outsiders).

3.  The Mayor who supported the freeway removal was shortly voted out of office.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 27, 2017, 09:07:47 AM
They should look to The Embarcadero to see how a boulevard can effectively replace a freeway if it is done right. Sure, CA 480 would've been a quick way to get from one bridge to the other, but as completed, it would also have destroyed too much of San Francisco to recover.

BTW, are there still plans to remove I-83 in Baltimore?
The Embarcadero is clogged with slow traffic at all hours with all of its non-sequentially timed lights. Your point? I'm tired of removing freeways just because they're urban or elevated. There is enough traffic to warrant a freeway, even if most of it isn't through, and that is still the most efficient way to distribute downtown traffic. Instead of talking about how good Syracuse will be without a freeway, we should be discussing how best to rebuild it.
Well, there are enough people who believe highway in downtown is a worst thing ever - and democracy means their voice is also heard.. We can disagreee with them, but they do have some point.
A more interesting way of putting it - and there is a grain of truth in that  - that old cities are not getting what they expect to get from cooperation with suburbs; and that they would do bette without looking at interests of suburbs (= commuters using those freeways). I don't really believe in that - but see above...

FWIW, here's the Wiki account (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_State_Route_480) with an excerpt (below) regarding the Embarcadero (bold emphasis added):
Quote from: Wikipedia
In the 1980s, opposition to the Embarcadero Freeway resurfaced in proposals to tear it down. On November 5, 1985, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to tear down the Embarcadero Freeway.   The proposal was put to the voters in 1987 and soundly defeated, opposed in particular by influential Chinatown community organizer Rose Pak, who feared that Chinatown would suffer catastrophic consequences if it would lose this fast crosstown connection.  The October 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake significantly damaged the structure, causing it to be closed to traffic. Caltrans planned to retrofit and retain the double-decker freeway. Various groups in and outside the City supported the Caltrans plan, but there was a significant opinion within the City in favor of removing the freeway structure. Then-Mayor Art Agnos proposed demolishing the freeway in favor of a boulevard with an underpass at the Ferry Building to allow for a large plaza.

Opposition to demolishing the freeway mounted again, with over 20,000 signatures gathered to again create a ballot measure.   Prior to the earthquake, the Embarcadero Freeway carried approximately 70,000 vehicles daily in the vicinity of the Ferry Building. Another 40,000 vehicles per day used associated ramps at Main and Beale streets. The strongest opposition came from Chinatown and other neighborhoods north of downtown.  Merchants in Chinatown had suffered a dramatic decline in business in the months immediately following the earthquake and feared that if the freeway was not reopened they would not recover.

Agnos continued to negotiate with federal and state officials to win enough funding to make the demolition practical, and the opposition relented. Agnos argued that the city would squander "the opportunity of a lifetime" if it allowed the freeway to remain.  After months of debate, the Board of Supervisors narrowly voted in favor of demolition by a 6–5 margin.  Demolition began on February 27, 1991. That year, Agnos was defeated for re-election as Chinatown switched its support away from him.

Upshoot to the above IMHO:

1.  Had the 1989 earthquake not happened, the Freeway might be still standing & in use.

2.  Support for the keeping the freeway came from locals (i.e. voters) as well as commuters (i.e. outsiders).

3.  The Mayor who supported the freeway removal was shortly voted out of office.

Each situation is somewhat unique... I-81 (and - somewhat similar - I-787 next door) are a bit different, as there is more or less clear division of local vs commuter. And while 787 removal is just a pipe dream (riverfront? How about learning how to deal with your shit first, Albany? literally), 81 is a possibly winning case. If there is much to win for Syracuse anyway...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on October 27, 2017, 09:13:21 AM
I really doubt removing I-81 is a win.  I just imagine a crowded boulevard and angry long-distance drivers.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 27, 2017, 09:19:19 AM
I really doubt removing I-81 is a win.  I just imagine a crowded boulevard and angry long-distance drivers.
A win as in win of inner city residents' current opinion. Long term.... My impression is that there are only some bad solutions on the table. Some are even worse than others, but no good one. Combined with upstate not having a prime time in general....
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on October 27, 2017, 10:01:48 AM
Quote from: Rothman
and angry long-distance drivers.

One of them in this thread.  Though they are clearly in the minority here.  And it's not like there aren't alternatives for that long-distance travel, despite the claims that it's "too long of a detour".

Of course, if NYSDOT can't figure out how to fund whatever they choose, deterioration may give us the "boulevard" answer anyway...without the planned mitigation.  This is also where the boulevard option has a leg on the viaduct replacement:  it's cheaper.  And despite what Beltway posted above, I have to expect that FHWA has been in on the planning for this...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on October 27, 2017, 10:10:34 AM
Although funding is a significant issue, I believe it isn't as problematic as it could be.  Unlike other states, NYSDOT has stayed well under its advance construction threshold and therefore I bet it will use that room to help fund I-81.

(personal opinion emphasized)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 27, 2017, 10:15:17 AM
Although funding is a significant issue, I believe it isn't as problematic as it could be.  Unlike other states, NYSDOT has stayed well under its advance construction threshold and therefore I bet it will use that room to help fund I-81.

(personal opinion emphasized)
Depending on what is considered "problematic". Tunnel will be an ideal solution - and wouldn't cost much more than the Big Dig...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on October 27, 2017, 10:19:55 AM
Tunnel will not be happening.

(personal opinion emphasized)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 27, 2017, 10:23:16 AM
Tunnel will not be happening.

(personal opinion emphasized)
Of course. Until they find some gold in the ground to be mined during construction....
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 27, 2017, 10:55:21 AM
Of course, if NYSDOT can't figure out how to fund whatever they choose, deterioration may give us the "boulevard" answer anyway...without the planned mitigation.  This is also where the boulevard option has a leg on the viaduct replacement:  it's cheaper.  And despite what Beltway posted above, I have to expect that FHWA has been in on the planning for this...

The last 10 to 15 years we have entered a new era in the Interstate highway system, namely where numbers of major Interstate bridges are reaching 40 to 50 years old or more, and  are simply wearing out and need major reconstruction or replacement.  Saying that "it's cheaper" to let them deteriorate and eventually close is no solution, this is something that state and federal funding needs to address and solve.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 27, 2017, 11:06:45 AM
Of course, if NYSDOT can't figure out how to fund whatever they choose, deterioration may give us the "boulevard" answer anyway...without the planned mitigation.  This is also where the boulevard option has a leg on the viaduct replacement:  it's cheaper.  And despite what Beltway posted above, I have to expect that FHWA has been in on the planning for this...

The last 10 to 15 years we have entered a new era in the Interstate highway system, namely where numbers of major Interstate bridges are reaching 40 to 50 years old or more, and  are simply wearing out and need major reconstruction or replacement.  Saying that "it's cheaper" to let them deteriorate and eventually close is no solution, this is something that state and federal funding needs to address and solve.

NYSDOT recently invested quite a bit of money into rehabilitation of I-787, which is of similar era and design as I-81
Problem of I-81 is that there is no (relatively)cheap and (comparatively)simple option of fixing existing structure. There has to be a significantly different replacement, and given high traffic road in dense city - anything you can think of is a pain. Discussion is primarily focused on the question if cutting off a leg is better than cutting off a hand. Or maybe let the patient die to avoid making a choice? 
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on October 27, 2017, 11:42:25 AM
For what it is worth, the I-787 rehab was a drop in the bucket compared to I-81's situation.  I-81 adds a whole bunch of zeroes. :D
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 27, 2017, 12:17:47 PM
For what it is worth, the I-787 rehab was a drop in the bucket compared to I-81's situation.  I-81 adds a whole bunch of zeroes. :D
Problem of I-81 is that there is no (relatively)cheap and (comparatively)simple option of fixing existing structure.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 27, 2017, 02:14:07 PM
For what it is worth, the I-787 rehab was a drop in the bucket compared to I-81's situation.  I-81 adds a whole bunch of zeroes. :D

The New Tappan Zee Bridge added a couple more zeros to that.  It still had to be built, and is being built.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: PHLBOS on October 27, 2017, 02:52:02 PM
For what it is worth, the I-787 rehab was a drop in the bucket compared to I-81's situation.  I-81 adds a whole bunch of zeroes. :D

The New Tappan Zee Bridge added a couple more zeros to that.  It still had to be built, and is being built.
To add: one of the new spans is already (temporarily serving both directions) in use & the old bridge is now closed for removal/demolition.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 27, 2017, 02:53:24 PM
For what it is worth, the I-787 rehab was a drop in the bucket compared to I-81's situation.  I-81 adds a whole bunch of zeroes. :D
The New Tappan Zee Bridge added a couple more zeros to that.  It still had to be built, and is being built.
To add: one of the new spans is already (temporarily serving both directions) in use & the old bridge is now closed for removal/demolition.

Indeed, I was aware of the project stage.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on October 27, 2017, 03:45:28 PM
For what it is worth, the I-787 rehab was a drop in the bucket compared to I-81's situation.  I-81 adds a whole bunch of zeroes. :D

The New Tappan Zee Bridge added a couple more zeros to that.  It still had to be built, and is being built.
Can't toll I-81.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: seicer on October 27, 2017, 04:53:55 PM
I travel it on a very routine basis and it would not inconvenience me. FWIW.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Michael on October 27, 2017, 08:20:43 PM
It's pretty common to see garbage trucks going from NYC to the Seneca Meadows landfill in Seneca Falls cut the corner of Syracuse by going through Auburn.  They travel along US 20 when it splits from NY 5.  There's a ban for trucks over 10 feet wide on NY 41 and NY 41A, so I'm not sure how they get between US 20 and I-81.

At one point, there was talk of banning all trucks on NY 41 and NY 41A, but I couldn't find anything online about it.  I did come across a list of truck restrictions in the Finger Lakes (https://www.dot.ny.gov/nypermits/large-truck-restrictions) on the NYSDOT website.  I don't know if garbage trucks are restricted under a Special Hauling or Divisible Load permit.

On a side note, in 2015, Seneca Meadows proposed building a rail spur (http://www.fltimes.com/news/nyc-trash-train-is-it-on-the-way/article_2feeaa6e-7409-11e5-ab98-d32cb5a9bc43.html), which would have cut down a lot of the truck traffic between the south and west.  Seneca Meadows withdrew the proposal last year (http://www.fltimes.com/news/seneca-meadows-cites-local-opposition-in-dropping-proposed-trash-by/article_da509e0e-1e90-11e6-aeb9-5bb6df3c9f3c.html) after local opposition.  I thought of building a rail spur years ago since the landfill is so close to the railroad, and I was surprised it took as long as it did for it to be proposed.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 27, 2017, 08:26:15 PM
For what it is worth, the I-787 rehab was a drop in the bucket compared to I-81's situation.  I-81 adds a whole bunch of zeroes. :D
The New Tappan Zee Bridge added a couple more zeros to that.  It still had to be built, and is being built.
Can't toll I-81.

Indeed, but it shouldn't need to be tolled.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on October 27, 2017, 08:32:00 PM
For what it is worth, the I-787 rehab was a drop in the bucket compared to I-81's situation.  I-81 adds a whole bunch of zeroes. :D
The New Tappan Zee Bridge added a couple more zeros to that.  It still had to be built, and is being built.
Can't toll I-81.

Indeed, but it shouldn't need to be tolled.
But you're comparing apples and oranges. Tap is more money, but supported by toll revenue.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 27, 2017, 08:34:21 PM
For what it is worth, the I-787 rehab was a drop in the bucket compared to I-81's situation.  I-81 adds a whole bunch of zeroes. :D
The New Tappan Zee Bridge added a couple more zeros to that.  It still had to be built, and is being built.
Can't toll I-81.
Indeed, but it shouldn't need to be tolled.
But you're comparing apples and oranges. Tap is more money, but supported by toll revenue.

Interstate projects are supported by up to 90% federal funding. 
Turnpikes normally don't get any federal funding.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: jemacedo9 on October 27, 2017, 09:48:13 PM
I travel the I-81/I-690 corridor sometimes from PA to Rochester NY...if I-481 were to remain free-flowing if I-81 were removed, I don't think removing I-81 would annoy me all that much.  An extra 10 minutes on a 5 hr trip isn't brutal.

The question is...would I-481, and I-690, remain free flowing, if not widened?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on October 27, 2017, 10:13:31 PM
Can't toll I-81.
Indeed, but it shouldn't need to be tolled.
But you're comparing apples and oranges. Tap is more money, but supported by toll revenue.

Interstate projects are supported by up to 90% federal funding. 
Turnpikes normally don't get any federal funding.
Federal monies go all over the country. Toll monies go straight to the road they're collected from. No matter what you try to say, it's apples and oranges in terms of how these projects are funded. Toll agencies look at their total revenue and decide how to allocate it. State agencies need to work with a more limited budget and apply for more. You know all of this.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: bugo on October 27, 2017, 10:17:06 PM
Mileage based exit numbers are far superior to sequential exit numbers.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: bugo on October 27, 2017, 10:22:08 PM
"Trips would just go away"? I question the theory that somebody would say "I want to go to (grocery store/club/Walmart/dispensary/church) but they tore the freeway down so I'll just stay home."
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on October 27, 2017, 10:38:35 PM
For the benefit of everyone, assume we have a supermarket, a Target, and a liquor store in a strip mall. If it takes you 10 minutes to drive there and gas costs $2/gallon, most people wouldn't think twice about making separate trips to each store. But suppose the travel time increases to 30 minutes each way or gas goes up to $5/gallon. You'll start hitting 2-3 of those stores during each trip and traveling to the area less often. Same idea is at play here. People will generally be combining trips as it will now be more inconvenient to travel to the other side of the metro area. If people work on one side and live on the other, they'll start visiting the stores on their way home from work to save a trip.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 27, 2017, 11:43:29 PM
Can't toll I-81.
Indeed, but it shouldn't need to be tolled.
But you're comparing apples and oranges. Tap [TZ Bridge] is more money, but supported by toll revenue.
Interstate projects are supported by up to 90% federal funding. 
Turnpikes normally don't get any federal funding.
Federal monies go all over the country. Toll monies go straight to the road they're collected from. No matter what you try to say, it's apples and oranges in terms of how these projects are funded. Toll agencies look at their total revenue and decide how to allocate it. State agencies need to work with a more limited budget and apply for more. You know all of this.

Not quite.  There is a varied funding package --

The New York State Thruway Authority projects the 3.1-mile replacement bridge will cost $3.98 billion.  The state has already budgeted $3.65 billion of that cost.  More than half of the cost will be covered through borrowing.  The Thruway Authority has taken out an $850 million bond with payments through 2056.  The federal Department of Transportation loaned the state $1.6 billion.  Payments on the loan begin in 2023 and will last 30 years.  The state has spent $750 million on the project and has committed to spend $450 million more through 2018.

http://www.politifact.com/new-york/article/2017/aug/21/whos-paying-4-billion-tappan-zee-bridge-replacemen/
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 28, 2017, 07:33:03 AM
[[ ... Embarcadero Freeway cites snipped ... ]]
Upshoot to the above IMHO:
1.  Had the 1989 earthquake not happened, the Freeway might be still standing & in use.
2.  Support for the keeping the freeway came from locals (i.e. voters) as well as commuters (i.e. outsiders).
3.  The Mayor who supported the freeway removal was shortly voted out of office.

Very interesting.  I didn't realize that there was strong citizen support for keeping the freeway in service, existing both before and after the earthquake. 

Basically there was a local coup by the mayor and bare majority of the city council, a bogus and corrupt process used to remove the freeway.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 28, 2017, 08:16:15 AM
For the benefit of everyone, assume we have a supermarket, a Target, and a liquor store in a strip mall. If it takes you 10 minutes to drive there and gas costs $2/gallon, most people wouldn't think twice about making separate trips to each store. But suppose the travel time increases to 30 minutes each way or gas goes up to $5/gallon. You'll start hitting 2-3 of those stores during each trip and traveling to the area less often. Same idea is at play here. People will generally be combining trips as it will now be more inconvenient to travel to the other side of the metro area. If people work on one side and live on the other, they'll start visiting the stores on their way home from work to save a trip.
It is pretty well known that demand for gas is not really elastic. Of course, combining trips is an option - but if I need 2 eggs for the dish I am making and realizing I am short of ingredients; or if I need a 4" section of plastic pipe to complete that sewer project - guess what?..
Even better, I have to go to work 5 days a week. Combining those trips with Lowes stop or grocery shopping is normal for me, but number of weekly trips is not really negotiable...
Tail of this graphs show 2008 recession, $5 gas.. and effect is in single digit %%..
(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gkMBwZppcDo/TzppPsZQdSI/AAAAAAAAE9I/ySSI49bKhQc/s1600/zb-total-us-vehicle-miles-driven-in-previous-year-jan-1986-nov-2011.png)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on October 28, 2017, 09:26:57 AM
And how do you guys think the loans are going to be paid back?  Tolls.  There's currently talk of the toll rising to $10 in 2020.  It's also worth noting that some of the money contributed by the state came from a one-time windfall from a bank settlement, and NY may be looking at a budget shortfall next year.

Also worth noting that you can't just spend money on interstates and get reimbursed at 90%.  Federal funds are given as block grants and have to be obligated, and that requires approval from a MPO in an urban area, and there are many other interests, including municipalities, competing for limited federal funds, and the MPO's priorities and the state's don't always line up, either.  Just because a road is an interstate is NOT a guarantee of how much federal funding (if any) will be available.  And the state's share can be an issue too; there are more needs in the state than there are funds to fix them.

(personal opinion emphasized)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 28, 2017, 12:03:07 PM
And how do you guys think the loans are going to be paid back?  Tolls.  There's currently talk of the toll rising to $10 in 2020.  It's also worth noting that some of the money contributed by the state came from a one-time windfall from a bank settlement, and NY may be looking at a budget shortfall next year.

Agreed, $2.45 billion of bonds and loans is a lot of debt that needs to be serviced.  There is a whole funding package using innovative financing techniques to fund the TZ Bridge project.

Also worth noting that you can't just spend money on interstates and get reimbursed at 90%.  Federal funds are given as block grants and have to be obligated, and that requires approval from a MPO in an urban area, and there are many other interests, including municipalities, competing for limited federal funds, and the MPO's priorities and the state's don't always line up, either.  Just because a road is an interstate is NOT a guarantee of how much federal funding (if any) will be available.  And the state's share can be an issue too; there are more needs in the state than there are funds to fix them.

That's true, each state has annual allocation amounts from FHWA and it of course is a finite resource.

Nevertheless, maintenance, which includes maintenance replacements, is a fundamental and priority need on highway systems, that needs to be fully funded before spending money on new highways and expansion projects.  The state can't let MPOs be the sole arbiter of how to maintain Interstate highways.

I have been visiting friends in the Buffalo areas a couple times a year since 2008.  I noticed that the whole Interstate system there had major rehabs some time not very long before that time.  Long elevated sections had nice new roadway decks and parapets, with some ramp improvements.  I observed the total reconstruction project on the NY-5 freeway just south of the skyway bridge.

There is no reason why Syracuse should not receive similar treatments.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on October 28, 2017, 12:17:41 PM
It still goes back to how to pay for them.  Some of those Buffalo improvements you mention, specifically along I-90 and I-190, are Thruway-supported (as 90 and 190 through Buffalo were NYSTA-supported routes at the time).  And redecking a bridge, even a long viaduct, costs considerably less than completely replacing it under traffic as you well know.

So how do you pay for the Syracuse improvements?  FHWA funding is very finite, as you already mentioned...and Congress has been very loathe to increase the gas tax which is the #1 source of that money.  Nevermind that NYSDOT has needs that stretch far beyond Syracuse which is also a factor for potential state funding.  PPP?  Would likely require tolls, and all the regulatory hurdles that such would entail.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 28, 2017, 12:29:04 PM
It still goes back to how to pay for them.  Some of those Buffalo improvements you mention, specifically along I-90 and I-190, are Thruway-supported (as 90 and 190 through Buffalo were NYSTA-supported routes at the time).  And redecking a bridge, even a long viaduct, costs considerably less than completely replacing it under traffic as you well know.

They were Thruway-supported routes in the early 2000s timespan?
 
I didn't look at them closely enough to see what had been done to the substructure; there may have been major rehabs to parts of them (as with I-95 JRB and Lombardy Bridge for example).

As for the Syracuse bridge, I have not seen definitive DOT evaluations that the substructure is not repairable.

So how do you pay for the Syracuse improvements?  FHWA funding is very finite, as you already mentioned...and Congress has been very loathe to increase the gas tax which is the #1 source of that money.  Nevermind that NYSDOT has needs that stretch far beyond Syracuse which is also a factor for potential state funding.  PPP?  Would likely require tolls, and all the regulatory hurdles that such would entail.

It's not my job to figure it out.  NYSDOT has had the last 10 to 20 years to plan for how to fund and execute this project.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on October 28, 2017, 12:40:02 PM
Quote
They were Thruway-supported routes in the early 2000s timespan?

Yep...and still are per NYSTA.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 28, 2017, 01:09:30 PM
Quote
They were Thruway-supported routes in the early 2000s timespan?
Yep...and still are per NYSTA.

Maybe we need more examples of such major Interstate bridge rebuild or replace projects performed on toll-free Interstate highways, where age and wear alone were sufficient warrants to replace or rebuild the bridge.

I-95 JRB and Lombardy Bridge already cited.  Originally built on a turnpike 1955-1958, but the rebuild projects (1999-2002 and 2012-14) took place on a toll-free Interstate highway.

I-91 bridge in Vermont, a $60 million project underway now.

I-81 New River bridges, Pulaski County, VA, opened 1965 and the $100 million replacement projects are now getting underway.  Modern picturesque bridges when built but are simply wearing out and need to be replaced.

I-71 bridges in Ohio -- The Jeremiah Morrow Bridge is the name for a pair of concrete box girder bridges built between 2010 and 2016 which carry Interstate 71 over the Little Miami River gorge between Fort Ancient and Oregonia, Ohio.  The bridges are 239 feet (73 m) above the river, making them the highest bridges in Ohio, and are 2,252 ft (686 m) long, 55 ft (17 m) wide, with 440 ft (130 m) main spans.  Cost $88 million.  [Wikipedia]

I-90 bridges in Cleveland, OH -- The George V. Voinovich Bridges are two bridges in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., that carry Interstate 90 over the Cuyahoga River. They are named for George Voinovich, former mayor of Cleveland, Governor of Ohio, and United States Senator.  Innerbelt Fwy, Cleveland, OH.  Total length: 3,918′, Height 136 feet (41 m), Construction cost $293 million, Opened: November 9, 2013.  [Wikipedia]

Those are a few that I can think of at the moment.  All very expensive projects. 
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on October 28, 2017, 02:02:14 PM
I-90 and I-190 in Buffalo are NYSTA. No federal funding outside of very major projects. I-190 is NYSTA south of Exit 22. ALL of I-90 in NY is NYSTA save the free section through Albany. Region 5 maintains a relatively small amount of the regional expressway network.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on October 28, 2017, 09:36:08 PM
It's not my job to figure it out.  NYSDOT has had the last 10 to 20 years to plan for how to fund and execute this project.
In other words, you have no answer, and you're just speculating that it's possible. It's really not. There are enough other demands on funding that they don't necessarily have the resources for something like this. They're planning it now, but a cheap boulevard will win over an expensive viaduct in this era without a Federal windfall... or tolls.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 28, 2017, 10:24:22 PM
It's not my job to figure it out.  NYSDOT has had the last 10 to 20 years to plan for how to fund and execute this project.
In other words, you have no answer, and you're just speculating that it's possible. It's really not. There are enough other demands on funding that they don't necessarily have the resources for something like this. They're planning it now, but a cheap boulevard will win over an expensive viaduct in this era without a Federal windfall... or tolls.

Why is it my responsibility to figure out how an agency should fund and execute a major maintenance replacement highway project?  We are not talking about building a new highway, we are talking about maintaining an Interstate highway that has been in place for over 50 years.  The bridge isn't even quite a mile long, DOT people should not be wringing their hands and having anxiety attacks over how to design and fund this project.

I have already posted details about the I-95 James River Bridge rebuild project here.  Thank goodness that the highway agencies didn't just say, "Hey, this is too hard, we can't figure out what to do, I don't know where we are going to find the money, we got I-295 now, that means that we can just close the I-95 JRB and route I-95 over I-295!"
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 29, 2017, 08:10:11 AM
It's not my job to figure it out.  NYSDOT has had the last 10 to 20 years to plan for how to fund and execute this project.
In other words, you have no answer, and you're just speculating that it's possible. It's really not. There are enough other demands on funding that they don't necessarily have the resources for something like this. They're planning it now, but a cheap boulevard will win over an expensive viaduct in this era without a Federal windfall... or tolls.

Why is it my responsibility to figure out how an agency should fund and execute a major maintenance replacement highway project?  We are not talking about building a new highway, we are talking about maintaining an Interstate highway that has been in place for over 50 years.  The bridge isn't even quite a mile long, DOT people should not be wringing their hands and having anxiety attacks over how to design and fund this project.

I have already posted details about the I-95 James River Bridge rebuild project here.  Thank goodness that the highway agencies didn't just say, "Hey, this is too hard, we can't figure out what to do, I don't know where we are going to find the money, we got I-295 now, that means that we can just close the I-95 JRB and route I-95 over I-295!"

Problem is that what they should do - or even better what they must do  - does not always align with what they can do.
As it stands right now, people who know situation better than you (and better than me, if that matters) keep telling that capabilities of NYDOT and expected funding - as well as public pressure from the city residents -  don't really line up with shoulds musts the way you see it.
Sometimes "no" is the only answer you can get.... 
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 29, 2017, 08:39:15 AM
Problem is that what they should do - or even better what they must do  - does not always align with what they can do.
As it stands right now, people who know situation better than you (and better than me, if that matters) keep telling that capabilities of NYDOT and expected funding - as well as public pressure from the city residents -  don't really line up with shoulds musts the way you see it.
Sometimes "no" is the only answer you can get.... 

Rebuilding 0.9 mile of 50+ year old elevated Interstate highway should be well within the capabilities of a DOT.

Illinois DOT has been rebuilding the old Chicago expressways one at a time for over 30 years.  They were built as Interstate highways back in the 1950s and 1960s.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on October 29, 2017, 08:54:35 AM
Problem is that what they should do - or even better what they must do  - does not always align with what they can do.
As it stands right now, people who know situation better than you (and better than me, if that matters) keep telling that capabilities of NYDOT and expected funding - as well as public pressure from the city residents -  don't really line up with shoulds musts the way you see it.
Sometimes "no" is the only answer you can get.... 

Rebuilding 0.9 mile of 50+ year old elevated Interstate highway should be well within the capabilities of a DOT.

Illinois DOT has been rebuilding the old Chicago expressways one at a time for over 30 years.  They were built as Interstate highways back in the 1950s and 1960s.

When you said that MPOs can't be the sole arbiters of federal funding, that told me you are not totally educated on the financing of transportation projects and the STIP development process.  So, let us dig ino this post of yours...

The comparison between IDOT's and NYSDOT's experiences is pretty silly as you laid it out.  Yes, IDOT can replace expressways in Chicagoland...just like NYSDOT and NYCDOT have done in NYC over the same time period!  Comparing work feasible to be done in the 1st and 3rd largest urban areas in the country and saying that work should be just as feasible in rotting Syracuse is ridiculous.  State DOTs allocate their funds regionally, and of course huge cities like NYC and Chicago will receive the bulk of those funds.  NYC gets half or even more than half of the funding for NY in each fiscal year.  That leaves only so much for the rest of the state, which typically does not have a nearly $2 billion project to fund (projected I-81 cost).  Heck, even NYC would be crying for help for something that large.

Within the capability of DOT?  Absolutely...but only when extraordinary funding is secured by the powers that be.  If there is no political will for a tunnel or other gigantic "solution," then that option is simply politically and fiscally infeasible.

(personal opinion expressed).
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on October 29, 2017, 12:07:51 PM
Problem is that what they should do - or even better what they must do  - does not always align with what they can do.
As it stands right now, people who know situation better than you (and better than me, if that matters) keep telling that capabilities of NYDOT and expected funding - as well as public pressure from the city residents -  don't really line up with shoulds musts the way you see it.
Sometimes "no" is the only answer you can get.... 

Rebuilding 0.9 mile of 50+ year old elevated Interstate highway should be well within the capabilities of a DOT.

Illinois DOT has been rebuilding the old Chicago expressways one at a time for over 30 years.  They were built as Interstate highways back in the 1950s and 1960s.
For someone who says that you don't need to know how they can do something, you seem so damn certain that they can. Stop trolling.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 29, 2017, 02:26:20 PM
Problem is that what they should do - or even better what they must do  - does not always align with what they can do.
As it stands right now, people who know situation better than you (and better than me, if that matters) keep telling that capabilities of NYDOT and expected funding - as well as public pressure from the city residents -  don't really line up with shoulds musts the way you see it.
Sometimes "no" is the only answer you can get.... 
Rebuilding 0.9 mile of 50+ year old elevated Interstate highway should be well within the capabilities of a DOT.
Illinois DOT has been rebuilding the old Chicago expressways one at a time for over 30 years.  They were built as Interstate highways back in the 1950s and 1960s.
For someone who says that you don't need to know how they can do something, you seem so damn certain that they can. Stop trolling.

So there is always another "reason" why my comparisons aren't "relevant", for some reason or another.

I'm hearing a bunch of excuses.  If they want to say that for urban planning issues and local goals they want to deconstruct a freeway segment, then I can respect that.  If they want to try to cloak that decision in asserting that they can't find the money to fix this particular problem, then I have a problem with that notion.

"nearly $2 billion project to fund (projected I-81 cost)" -- where is the official estimate that it would cost that to rebuild or replace that viaduct on its current alignment.  Sounds exaggerated by an order of magnitude.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 29, 2017, 02:36:51 PM
Problem is that what they should do - or even better what they must do  - does not always align with what they can do.
As it stands right now, people who know situation better than you (and better than me, if that matters) keep telling that capabilities of NYDOT and expected funding - as well as public pressure from the city residents -  don't really line up with shoulds musts the way you see it.
Sometimes "no" is the only answer you can get.... 
Rebuilding 0.9 mile of 50+ year old elevated Interstate highway should be well within the capabilities of a DOT.
Illinois DOT has been rebuilding the old Chicago expressways one at a time for over 30 years.  They were built as Interstate highways back in the 1950s and 1960s.
For someone who says that you don't need to know how they can do something, you seem so damn certain that they can. Stop trolling.

So there is always another "reason" why my comparisons aren't "relevant", for some reason or another.

I'm hearing a bunch of excuses.  If they want to say that for urban planning issues and local goals they want to deconstruct a freeway segment, then I can respect that.  If they want to try to cloak that decision in asserting that they can't find the money to fix this particular problem, then I have a problem with that notion.

"nearly $2 billion project to fund (projected I-81 cost)" -- where is the official estimate that it would cost that to rebuild or replace that viaduct on its current alignment.

I'm afraid you missed it - and information is somewhere way upstream by now:
https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/repository/2016_OpenHouse_DRAFT_oct5_Rev.pdf
There are cost estimates, reasoning why certain things are not considered etc.

Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 29, 2017, 02:43:45 PM
"nearly $2 billion project to fund (projected I-81 cost)" -- where is the official estimate that it would cost that to rebuild or replace that viaduct on its current alignment.
I'm afraid you missed it - and information is somewhere way upstream by now:
https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/repository/2016_OpenHouse_DRAFT_oct5_Rev.pdf
There are cost estimates, reasoning why certain things are not considered etc.

Those are major freeway realignment alternatives, with large scale urban right-of-way acquisitions, where such costs are quite conceivable.

If I lived there, I would most likely oppose such a project, for both cost issues and environmental impact issues.

Again -- rebuild or replace that 0.9 mile viaduct on its current alignment.  No new right-of-way acquisition.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 29, 2017, 02:57:48 PM
"nearly $2 billion project to fund (projected I-81 cost)" -- where is the official estimate that it would cost that to rebuild or replace that viaduct on its current alignment.
I'm afraid you missed it - and information is somewhere way upstream by now:
https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/repository/2016_OpenHouse_DRAFT_oct5_Rev.pdf
There are cost estimates, reasoning why certain things are not considered etc.

Those are major freeway realignment alternatives, with large scale urban right-of-way acquisitions, where such costs are quite conceivable.

If I lived there, I would most likely oppose such a project, for both cost issues and environmental impact issues.

Again -- rebuild or replace that 0.9 mile viaduct on its current alignment.  No new right-of-way acquisition.
Existing road is not up to standards with sharp curves and 45 MPH speed limit. I believe there was something else...  As far as I understand, FHWA will not allow NYSDOT to grandfather in  that type of road for new project. That makes federal funding unavailable for the project, and rebuild as-is option becomes more expensive than most alternatives.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 29, 2017, 03:05:32 PM
Those are major freeway realignment alternatives, with large scale urban right-of-way acquisitions, where such costs are quite conceivable.
If I lived there, I would most likely oppose such a project, for both cost issues and environmental impact issues.
Again -- rebuild or replace that 0.9 mile viaduct on its current alignment.  No new right-of-way acquisition.
Existing road is not up to standards with sharp curves and 45 MPH speed limit. I believe there was something else...  As far as I understand, FHWA will not allow NYSDOT to grandfather in  that type of road for new project. That makes federal funding unavailable for the project, and rebuild as-is option becomes more expensive than most alternatives.

That would be a first, for FHWA to refuse to help fund a bridge rebuild project on a toll-free Interstate highway built after the 1956 FAHA, when the alternative is to either close the bridge, or to realign the highway and incur massive urban right-of-way impacts.


Edit:  I just got promoted from Expressway to Turnpike!
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 29, 2017, 03:06:44 PM
adding a bit more
https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/repository/I-81Corridor-Study.pdf
Quote
highways in the primary study area have a relatively high rate of accidents when compared to statewide averages.
....
The northbound viaduct section of I-81 has an accident rate more than three times the statewide average.
I-81 through the I-690 interchange has sections where the accident rates reach five times the statewide average
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 29, 2017, 03:14:48 PM
adding a bit more
https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/repository/I-81Corridor-Study.pdf
Quote
highways in the primary study area have a relatively high rate of accidents when compared to statewide averages.
....
The northbound viaduct section of I-81 has an accident rate more than three times the statewide average.
I-81 through the I-690 interchange has sections where the accident rates reach five times the statewide average

What sort of remedial treatments have been proposed to address the accident problems?

(Aside from closing the highway or realigning the highway and incurring massive urban right-of-way impacts).
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on October 29, 2017, 03:17:31 PM
The state can't let MPOs be the sole arbiter of how to maintain Interstate highways.
Considering that the MPO process is mandated by federal law for metro areas with more than 50,000 people, I don't see how the state could affect that.  Especially since there isn't an individual pot of money just for interstate any more; it's now one eligible expenditure part of a larger program, for which many local projects are eligible.

That would be a first, for FHWA to refuse to help fund a bridge rebuild project on a toll-free Interstate highway built after the 1956 FAHA, when the alternative is to either close the bridge, or to realign the highway and incur massive urban right-of-way impacts.
The issue is that, as a replacement, it counts as "new infrastructure".  Never mind that there is a bridge there now.  And new infrastructure is required to meet current standards.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 29, 2017, 04:38:50 PM
adding a bit more
https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/repository/I-81Corridor-Study.pdf
Quote
highways in the primary study area have a relatively high rate of accidents when compared to statewide averages.
....
The northbound viaduct section of I-81 has an accident rate more than three times the statewide average.
I-81 through the I-690 interchange has sections where the accident rates reach five times the statewide average

What sort of remedial treatments have been proposed to address the accident problems?

(Aside from closing the highway or realigning the highway and incurring massive urban right-of-way impacts).
Feel free to review documents linked above. DOT considered about 8 options total.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 29, 2017, 08:31:36 PM
The state can't let MPOs be the sole arbiter of how to maintain Interstate highways.
Considering that the MPO process is mandated by federal law for metro areas with more than 50,000 people, I don't see how the state could affect that.  Especially since there isn't an individual pot of money just for interstate any more; it's now one eligible expenditure part of a larger program, for which many local projects are eligible.

If an Interstate highway needs critical maintenance then an MPO should not be allowed to stand in the way of that.  Of course their concurrence should be obtained, but I would hope that they would take a reasonable approach.  Mainline Interstate highways impact motorists and commercial operators far beyond the area of their MPO region.

FWIW, in an extreme case a state could disband an irresponsible MPO and then reconstitute it.  I don't know if this has yet happened, but there are limits on their power.

That would be a first, for FHWA to refuse to help fund a bridge rebuild project on a toll-free Interstate highway built after the 1956 FAHA, when the alternative is to either close the bridge, or to realign the highway and incur massive urban right-of-way impacts.
The issue is that, as a replacement, it counts as "new infrastructure".  Never mind that there is a bridge there now.  And new infrastructure is required to meet current standards.

Not in my 43 years of working for state DOTs did I ever hear that a maintenance replacement project counts with FHWA as "new infrastructure".  There are also design exceptions provided on some projects, and FHWA does provide them.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 29, 2017, 08:36:29 PM
adding a bit more
https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/repository/I-81Corridor-Study.pdf
Quote
highways in the primary study area have a relatively high rate of accidents when compared to statewide averages.
....
The northbound viaduct section of I-81 has an accident rate more than three times the statewide average.
I-81 through the I-690 interchange has sections where the accident rates reach five times the statewide average
What sort of remedial treatments have been proposed to address the accident problems?
(Aside from closing the highway or realigning the highway and incurring massive urban right-of-way impacts).
Feel free to review documents linked above. DOT considered about 8 options total.

I don't see any option for safety improvements to the existing I-81 alignment.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on October 29, 2017, 09:04:00 PM
Your ideas of what should happen conflict with reality and how the federal aid process actually works in urban areas.  It doesn't matter what you think the role of the MPOs should be.  They have their actual role and you seem to not even understand that NYSDOT holds a seat in the MPO and how that seat works (differs greatly by MPO in NY).

Your ideas are therefore moot in regards to how the I-81 viaduct will actually progress and be addressed.  This thread is for what is actually happening.  You should post your own thread in some other place about how you think things should function, but never will.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on October 29, 2017, 09:47:23 PM
Quote from: Beltway
I don't see any option for safety improvements to the existing I-81 alignment.

What do you think the Viaduct replacement option is?  It's been determined that it has to go....I know from personal experience that the substructure and piers are in poor shape and rehab isn't an option.  Adding shoulders is an obvious safety improvement but would expand the width of the viaduct.  Taking out the nasty weaves between Harrison and 690 is an obvious safety improvement but can't be done without additional right-of-way.  Likewise with the 45 MPH curves and the lane drop along southbound 81 (SB 81 has only a single through lane).

Please point out which safety improvements you think could/should happen that won't break the bank or require additional width.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 29, 2017, 10:10:47 PM
Your ideas of what should happen conflict with reality and how the federal aid process actually works in urban areas.  It doesn't matter what you think the role of the MPOs should be.  They have their actual role and you seem to not even understand that NYSDOT holds a seat in the MPO and how that seat works (differs greatly by MPO in NY).
Your ideas are therefore moot in regards to how the I-81 viaduct will actually progress and be addressed.  This thread is for what is actually happening.  You should post your own thread in some other place about how you think things should function, but never will.

I have friends in the Buffalo area that I have been visiting several times a year since 2008.  Some have been trying to persuade me to move there post-retirement.

The overall handling of this project and its implications on how the state handles things, is yet another reason why I don't want to live there.

The possible removal of a segment of mainline Interstate highway, has national implications as well, and that is the reason why I care about it.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on October 29, 2017, 10:17:26 PM
Quote from: Beltway
I don't see any option for safety improvements to the existing I-81 alignment.

What do you think the Viaduct replacement option is?  It's been determined that it has to go....I know from personal experience that the substructure and piers are in poor shape and rehab isn't an option.  Adding shoulders is an obvious safety improvement but would expand the width of the viaduct.  Taking out the nasty weaves between Harrison and 690 is an obvious safety improvement but can't be done without additional right-of-way.  Likewise with the 45 MPH curves and the lane drop along southbound 81 (SB 81 has only a single through lane).

Please point out which safety improvements you think could/should happen that won't break the bank or require additional width.

This wins the thread.

I-81 in Syracuse is probably the most substandard section of expressway Upstate. Inspection reports have shown that the structure is in miserable shape and it is behind salvage. And then you have the SB death merge where the two heaviest movements (I-81 mainline and 690 EB - 81 SB) get reduced from 3 lanes to 1. Something needs to be done and nothing can be done in the same spot without additional width and/or removing local access.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on October 29, 2017, 10:27:05 PM
Your ideas of what should happen conflict with reality and how the federal aid process actually works in urban areas.  It doesn't matter what you think the role of the MPOs should be.  They have their actual role and you seem to not even understand that NYSDOT holds a seat in the MPO and how that seat works (differs greatly by MPO in NY).
Your ideas are therefore moot in regards to how the I-81 viaduct will actually progress and be addressed.  This thread is for what is actually happening.  You should post your own thread in some other place about how you think things should function, but never will.

I have friends in the Buffalo area that I have been visiting several times a year since 2008.  Some have been trying to persuade me to move there post-retirement.

The overall handling of this project and its implications on how the state handles things, is yet another reason why I don't want to live there.

The possible removal of a segment of mainline Interstate highway, has national implications as well, and that is the reason why I care about it.

You're not comprehending what I'm saying, or are just being deliberately non-responsive.  You're just filling this thread with what you think should happen, when there is what is already going to happen and how it is
Quote from: Beltway
I don't see any option for safety improvements to the existing I-81 alignment.

What do you think the Viaduct replacement option is?  It's been determined that it has to go....I know from personal experience that the substructure and piers are in poor shape and rehab isn't an option.  Adding shoulders is an obvious safety improvement but would expand the width of the viaduct.  Taking out the nasty weaves between Harrison and 690 is an obvious safety improvement but can't be done without additional right-of-way.  Likewise with the 45 MPH curves and the lane drop along southbound 81 (SB 81 has only a single through lane).

Please point out which safety improvements you think could/should happen that won't break the bank or require additional width.

This wins the thread.

I-81 in Syracuse is probably the most substandard section of expressway Upstate. Inspection reports have shown that the structure is in miserable shape and it is behind salvage. And then you have the SB death merge where the two heaviest movements (I-81 mainline and 690 EB - 81 SB) get reduced from 3 lanes to 1. Something needs to be done and nothing can be done in the same spot without additional width and/or removing local access.

All the recent discussion has centered on correcting Beltway's warped views of the scope of the project, the funding of it and the management of it.  I don't think we're getting through to him.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 29, 2017, 11:05:42 PM
The possible removal of a segment of mainline Interstate highway, has national implications as well, and that is the reason why I care about it.
You're not comprehending what I'm saying, or are just being deliberately non-responsive.  You're just filling this thread with what you think should happen, when there is what is already going to happen and how it is

I just now read thru the whole thread, and there is a lot of discussion back and forth about various options, the boulevard, the viaduct replacement or realignment, or a tunnel.  I don't see any definite conclusion about how to proceed.  I don't see any posted official announcements about what option has been selected or is even preferred at this time.  You can fill me in if you don't think I read it correctly.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 30, 2017, 03:49:40 AM
The possible removal of a segment of mainline Interstate highway, has national implications as well, and that is the reason why I care about it.
You're not comprehending what I'm saying, or are just being deliberately non-responsive.  You're just filling this thread with what you think should happen, when there is what is already going to happen and how it is

I just now read thru the whole thread, and there is a lot of discussion back and forth about various options, the boulevard, the viaduct replacement or realignment, or a tunnel.  I don't see any definite conclusion about how to proceed.  I don't see any posted official announcements about what option has been selected or is even preferred at this time.  You can fill me in if you don't think I read it correctly.
And that is the key question.
My bet it will end up with governor flipping the coin. Heads - a new study will be ordered. Tails - an additional review of old studies will be held. Landing on a rim means community grid.  Floating away in thin air - viaduct. Alliens stealing coin in flight - tunnel.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on October 30, 2017, 07:42:40 AM
That's fine that the thread discussed all the options that were being considered.  However, as was just pointed out, the only options still on the table are the community grid alternative or replacing the viaduct for the costs mentioned in the NYSDOT .pdf.  All other ideas are no longer officially considered.

My personal bet:  The thing will be replaced.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 30, 2017, 08:26:36 AM
That's fine that the thread discussed all the options that were being considered.  However, as was just pointed out, the only options still on the table are the community grid alternative or replacing the viaduct for the costs mentioned in the NYSDOT .pdf.  All other ideas are no longer officially considered.

My personal bet:  The thing will be replaced.
With Cuomo II committing to numerous transportation projects - Tappan Zee, La Guardia, Penn station, NYC bus terminal - the big question is if anything would happen before old viaduct collapses, or all funds are already spent...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on October 30, 2017, 11:20:14 AM


That's fine that the thread discussed all the options that were being considered.  However, as was just pointed out, the only options still on the table are the community grid alternative or replacing the viaduct for the costs mentioned in the NYSDOT .pdf.  All other ideas are no longer officially considered.

My personal bet:  The thing will be replaced.
With Cuomo II committing to numerous transportation projects - Tappan Zee, La Guardia, Penn station, NYC bus terminal - the big question is if anything would happen before old viaduct collapses, or all funds are already spent...

I don't think that is the big question.  The big question is what are the consequences of the funding mechanisms chosen for the projects.  They will all get done, but what is NY doing to the amount of its state debt and flexibility to use federal funds, when it may be pushing closer to its AC limit or limiting the remaining state funds after debt service that could be used to first instance federal funding.

(personal opinion emphasized)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 30, 2017, 11:29:59 AM


That's fine that the thread discussed all the options that were being considered.  However, as was just pointed out, the only options still on the table are the community grid alternative or replacing the viaduct for the costs mentioned in the NYSDOT .pdf.  All other ideas are no longer officially considered.

My personal bet:  The thing will be replaced.
With Cuomo II committing to numerous transportation projects - Tappan Zee, La Guardia, Penn station, NYC bus terminal - the big question is if anything would happen before old viaduct collapses, or all funds are already spent...

I don't think that is the big question.  The big question is what are the consequences of the funding mechanisms chosen for the projects.  They will all get done, but what is NY doing to the amount of its state debt and flexibility to use federal funds, when it may be pushing closer to its AC limit or limiting the remaining state funds after debt service that could be used to first instance federal funding.

(personal opinion emphasized)
AC limit -?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 30, 2017, 11:35:26 AM
That's fine that the thread discussed all the options that were being considered.  However, as was just pointed out, the only options still on the table are the community grid alternative or replacing the viaduct for the costs mentioned in the NYSDOT .pdf.  All other ideas are no longer officially considered.
My personal bet:  The thing will be replaced.

Depends on which official body.  Per that document, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement has not yet been completed.  That means that FHWA has not yet approved the document that has a set of alternatives under consideration, which means that the FHWA has not yet agreed.  The NEPA process on this project still has a long ways to go.  Normally a set of public hearings follow the approval of a DEIS.  Then a Final EIS which contains the selected alternative is prepared by the project team, and a Record of Decision, and these need to be approved by the FHWA.  Only after the NEPA process is complete can the project be built.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on October 30, 2017, 11:54:26 AM
That's fine that the thread discussed all the options that were being considered.  However, as was just pointed out, the only options still on the table are the community grid alternative or replacing the viaduct for the costs mentioned in the NYSDOT .pdf.  All other ideas are no longer officially considered.
My personal bet:  The thing will be replaced.

Depends on which official body.  Per that document, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement has not yet been completed.  That means that FHWA has not yet approved the document that has a set of alternatives under consideration, which means that the FHWA has not yet agreed.  The NEPA process on this project still has a long ways to go.  Normally a set of public hearings follow the approval of a DEIS.  Then a Final EIS which contains the selected alternative is prepared by the project team, and a Record of Decision, and these need to be approved by the FHWA.  Only after the NEPA process is complete can the project be built.

You don't understand. NYSDOT and the MPO have already given the thumbs-down to all but replace and community grid due to cost. Tunnel will be insanely expensive, especially with the region's geography. FHWA doesn't have a huge say in the alternative process outside of the MPO. I know that because I worked at an MPO during undergrad. A couple of the other people in this thread are at the NYSDOT head office. We're down to 2 alternatives and that is final.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 30, 2017, 12:00:01 PM
That's fine that the thread discussed all the options that were being considered.  However, as was just pointed out, the only options still on the table are the community grid alternative or replacing the viaduct for the costs mentioned in the NYSDOT .pdf.  All other ideas are no longer officially considered.
My personal bet:  The thing will be replaced.
Depends on which official body.  Per that document, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement has not yet been completed.  That means that FHWA has not yet approved the document that has a set of alternatives under consideration, which means that the FHWA has not yet agreed.  The NEPA process on this project still has a long ways to go.  Normally a set of public hearings follow the approval of a DEIS.  Then a Final EIS which contains the selected alternative is prepared by the project team, and a Record of Decision, and these need to be approved by the FHWA.  Only after the NEPA process is complete can the project be built.
You don't understand. NYSDOT and the MPO have already given the thumbs-down to all but replace and community grid due to cost. Tunnel will be insanely expensive, especially with the region's geography. FHWA doesn't have a huge say in the alternative process outside of the MPO. I know that because I worked at an MPO during undergrad. A couple of the other people in this thread are at the NYSDOT head office. We're down to 2 alternatives and that is final.

You don't understand.  The FHWA could refuse to approve the DEIS. The FHWA could refuse to provide federal funding for anything on this project.  Not saying that they will or that they should, but it is possible if they don't agree with the process.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on October 30, 2017, 12:19:20 PM


That's fine that the thread discussed all the options that were being considered.  However, as was just pointed out, the only options still on the table are the community grid alternative or replacing the viaduct for the costs mentioned in the NYSDOT .pdf.  All other ideas are no longer officially considered.
My personal bet:  The thing will be replaced.
Depends on which official body.  Per that document, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement has not yet been completed.  That means that FHWA has not yet approved the document that has a set of alternatives under consideration, which means that the FHWA has not yet agreed.  The NEPA process on this project still has a long ways to go.  Normally a set of public hearings follow the approval of a DEIS.  Then a Final EIS which contains the selected alternative is prepared by the project team, and a Record of Decision, and these need to be approved by the FHWA.  Only after the NEPA process is complete can the project be built.
You don't understand. NYSDOT and the MPO have already given the thumbs-down to all but replace and community grid due to cost. Tunnel will be insanely expensive, especially with the region's geography. FHWA doesn't have a huge say in the alternative process outside of the MPO. I know that because I worked at an MPO during undergrad. A couple of the other people in this thread are at the NYSDOT head office. We're down to 2 alternatives and that is final.

You don't understand.  The FHWA could refuse to approve the DEIS. The FHWA could refuse to provide federal funding for anything on this project.  Not saying that they will or that they should, but it is possible if they don't agree with the process.

No, you really don't understand, despite your constant claim to the contrary.  Whatever options will go to FHWA, they will be the grid or the viaduct.  Even if FHWA rejects the DEIS or any other design document (highly unlikely for a wholesale rejection), NYSDOT and SMTC will come back with a revised document for the option they want in the end.

The process will just be tweaked as required and run through.  There is no question of federal funding eligibility in this situation, so FHWA cannot deny funding on that regard.  This thing just won't go in as a viaduct replacement and come out a tunnel or some other totally different project, as you imply.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 30, 2017, 12:26:11 PM
You don't understand. NYSDOT and the MPO have already given the thumbs-down to all but replace and community grid due to cost. Tunnel will be insanely expensive, especially with the region's geography. FHWA doesn't have a huge say in the alternative process outside of the MPO. I know that because I worked at an MPO during undergrad. A couple of the other people in this thread are at the NYSDOT head office. We're down to 2 alternatives and that is final.
You don't understand.  The FHWA could refuse to approve the DEIS. The FHWA could refuse to provide federal funding for anything on this project.  Not saying that they will or that they should, but it is possible if they don't agree with the process.
No, you really don't understand, despite your constant claim to the contrary.  Whatever options will go to FHWA, they will be the grid or the viaduct.  Even if FHWA rejects the DEIS or any other design document (highly unlikely for a wholesale rejection), NYSDOT and SMTC will come back with a revised document for the option they want in the end.
The process will just be tweaked as required and run through.  There is no question of federal funding eligibility in this situation, so FHWA cannot deny funding on that regard.  This thing just won't go in as a viaduct replacement and come out a tunnel or some other totally different project, as you imply.

I imply nothing of the sort.  My point is that FHWA and USDOT has ways to affect the outcome of a federally-aided project.  What I object to is your attempts to shut down or limit discussion about the project.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on October 30, 2017, 12:45:33 PM


You don't understand. NYSDOT and the MPO have already given the thumbs-down to all but replace and community grid due to cost. Tunnel will be insanely expensive, especially with the region's geography. FHWA doesn't have a huge say in the alternative process outside of the MPO. I know that because I worked at an MPO during undergrad. A couple of the other people in this thread are at the NYSDOT head office. We're down to 2 alternatives and that is final.
You don't understand.  The FHWA could refuse to approve the DEIS. The FHWA could refuse to provide federal funding for anything on this project.  Not saying that they will or that they should, but it is possible if they don't agree with the process.
No, you really don't understand, despite your constant claim to the contrary.  Whatever options will go to FHWA, they will be the grid or the viaduct.  Even if FHWA rejects the DEIS or any other design document (highly unlikely for a wholesale rejection), NYSDOT and SMTC will come back with a revised document for the option they want in the end.
The process will just be tweaked as required and run through.  There is no question of federal funding eligibility in this situation, so FHWA cannot deny funding on that regard.  This thing just won't go in as a viaduct replacement and come out a tunnel or some other totally different project, as you imply.

I imply nothing of the sort.  My point is that FHWA and USDOT has ways to affect the outcome of a federally-aided project.  What I object to is your attempts to shut down or limit discussion about the project.

I only wish to limit the discussion by limiting inappropriate speculation, especially when it is based upon a misunderstanding of how transportation projects are funded.

Your response to my post -- in which I confirmed the fact that the only options still viable are the grid and replacement -- made the dubious argument that FHWA could reject everything until an alternative that they prefer comes their way.  That is just a warped and inaccurate view of FHWA's role.  They ensure NEPA and design processes are compliant with regulation and that projects are eligible for funding, but they don't get into picking the actual alternative and vetoing the state in that regard.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on October 30, 2017, 12:47:22 PM


That's fine that the thread discussed all the options that were being considered.  However, as was just pointed out, the only options still on the table are the community grid alternative or replacing the viaduct for the costs mentioned in the NYSDOT .pdf.  All other ideas are no longer officially considered.

My personal bet:  The thing will be replaced.
With Cuomo II committing to numerous transportation projects - Tappan Zee, La Guardia, Penn station, NYC bus terminal - the big question is if anything would happen before old viaduct collapses, or all funds are already spent...

I don't think that is the big question.  The big question is what are the consequences of the funding mechanisms chosen for the projects.  They will all get done, but what is NY doing to the amount of its state debt and flexibility to use federal funds, when it may be pushing closer to its AC limit or limiting the remaining state funds after debt service that could be used to first instance federal funding.

(personal opinion emphasized)
AC limit -?

Advance construction.  Come to think of it, the annual obligation limitation would be an issue as well that would need to be worked out with FHWA.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on October 30, 2017, 12:48:35 PM
Any discussion about alternatives that aren't replacement or community grid belongs over in fictional highways, as they aren't happening. End of story.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 30, 2017, 01:10:10 PM
Any discussion about alternatives that aren't replacement or community grid belongs over in fictional highways, as they aren't happening. End of story.
And what are those alternatives? Tunnel and allowing things to fall apart - or anything else?
Second one is definitely not a fictional probability, unfortunately.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on October 30, 2017, 01:29:57 PM
Any discussion about alternatives that aren't replacement or community grid belongs over in fictional highways, as they aren't happening. End of story.
And what are those alternatives? Tunnel and allowing things to fall apart - or anything else?
Second one is definitely not a fictional probability, unfortunately.

"No build" is implied as a possible alternative.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on October 30, 2017, 07:33:34 PM
Any discussion about alternatives that aren't replacement or community grid belongs over in fictional highways, as they aren't happening. End of story.
And what are those alternatives? Tunnel and allowing things to fall apart - or anything else?
Second one is definitely not a fictional probability, unfortunately.

"No build" is implied as a possible alternative.
No build would entail maintenance of the existing structure to provide it with additional design life. Depending on how bad the substructure is, that could end up being close in cost to a new viaduct just to try to support various pieces of the existing one while reconstructing others.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on October 30, 2017, 07:41:50 PM
Any discussion about alternatives that aren't replacement or community grid belongs over in fictional highways, as they aren't happening. End of story.
And what are those alternatives? Tunnel and allowing things to fall apart - or anything else?
Second one is definitely not a fictional probability, unfortunately.

"No build" is implied as a possible alternative.
No build would entail maintenance of the existing structure to provide it with additional design life. Depending on how bad the substructure is, that could end up being close in cost to a new viaduct just to try to support various pieces of the existing one while reconstructing others.

Of course, but it still needs to be included as an alternative until the end even if it is infeasible.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 31, 2017, 08:20:32 AM
No build would entail maintenance of the existing structure to provide it with additional design life. Depending on how bad the substructure is, that could end up being close in cost to a new viaduct just to try to support various pieces of the existing one while reconstructing others.
Of course, but it still needs to be included as an alternative until the end even if it is infeasible.

I believe they are required to weigh all the other options against a no build option. It's not really an "option" so much as a "base" from which to recommend another option (IMO).

I also find it somewhat surprising that funding is such a big issue, but I dare not bring it up, lest we start going in circles here  :spin:

Without going into funding mechanisms and who "must" or "should" do something:
1. cost of the project ($1.5-2B) is very comparable with the cost of Tappan Zee ($4B) - with later being, from my perspective, much more important project. Tappan Zee funding is still a problem, as far as I understand
2. Traffic count on the section of I-81 is 82k/day. Assuming 50 year lifespan, that is $1.36 per drive - assuming no maintenance cost. If every commuter drives 10 miles per trip, total gas tax they pay (a bit less than 1 cent per mile federal, about 1.5 cent per mile local) will cover about quarter of the cost - assuming other roads need no maintenance.
You may twist that math in different ways, but cost is still very non-negligible. You can say that costs like that are shared across wider areas, federal funding is nationwide and so on - but many areas have (or will have over next 50 years I use for project lifetime) some large projects requiring lots of money, so effectively local projects still paid by local money. And road is not the only thing paid by taxes..
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on October 31, 2017, 08:24:26 AM
I would hope funding for the Tappan Zee is no longer a problem since they're already building the thing. :D

Not fully aware of the Thruway's requirements, which I would think to be idiosyncratic, but at least NYSDOT has to have all construction funding lined up before letting a project (based upon their own estimates based upon PS&E, at least).   Awards can be within a certain threshold (i.e., if they come in higher than expected); becomes nigh impossible to award something beyond that threshold (nigh impossible, not impossible).

Hm.  Now I am wondering if the Comptroller has less authority over the Thruway's practices...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on October 31, 2017, 08:56:02 AM
Quote from: webny99
I believe they are required to weigh all the other options against a no build option. It's not really an "option" so much as a "base" from which to recommend another option (IMO).

This is correct.  "No build" is an environmental assessment requirement, though it is always an option in any project including this one.  That said, given the condition of the viaduct it would be foolish to do so, and as Alps noted the "cost" of "no build" could (and probably would) easily become a significant figure as NYSDOT would have to significantly shore up the viaduct supports....they've already had to over the past 10-15 years.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on October 31, 2017, 09:03:13 AM
Hm.  Now I am wondering if the Comptroller has less authority over the Thruway's practices...

I'm pretty sure the Comptroller has less authority. Now I'm curious. I'll have to try and ask my source on the board next time I see him.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 31, 2017, 10:14:45 PM
Any discussion about alternatives that aren't replacement or community grid belongs over in fictional highways, as they aren't happening. End of story.
And what are those alternatives? Tunnel and allowing things to fall apart - or anything else?
Second one is definitely not a fictional probability, unfortunately.
"No build" is implied as a possible alternative.
No build would entail maintenance of the existing structure to provide it with additional design life. Depending on how bad the substructure is, that could end up being close in cost to a new viaduct just to try to support various pieces of the existing one while reconstructing others.

In this case the No Build Alternative would logically contain a script/schedule of what would happen to the viaduct if that was selected, or occurred by default if for some reason the NEPA process did not proceed to the next stage.  This schedule could estimate when various weight restrictions would occur and the respective weight, and when large trucks would have to be excluded, and when it would have to be closed to all traffic, and what measures might be undertaken to extend the design life of the structure. 

"During the draft EIS stage all reasonable alternatives, or the reasonable range of alternatives, should be considered and discussed at a comparable level of detail to avoid any indication of a bias towards a particular alternative(s)."

"Although the "no-build alternative" (which might include short-term minor activities) might not seem reasonable, it must always be included in the analysis.  In some cases, the no-build alternative may be a reasonable alternative, especially when the impacts are great and the need is relatively minor, but generally it serves as a baseline against which the other alternatives can be compared."

https://www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/projdev/tdmalts.asp
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: amroad17 on November 10, 2017, 10:18:16 PM
Maybe NYSDOT wants the viaduct to collapse. Then they can go to the federal government saying "Our viaduct has collapsed, we need emergency money to have it replaced!"
Who knows?  This project has been stalled for so long that by the time a decision is made, a decision may have already been made for them.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on November 10, 2017, 11:31:58 PM
Maybe NYSDOT wants the viaduct to collapse. Then they can go to the federal government saying "Our viaduct has collapsed, we need emergency money to have it replaced!"
Who knows?  This project has been stalled for so long that by the time a decision is made, a decision may have already been made for them.

Undoubtedly the viaduct is receiving regular structural inspections, so nothing should catch them by surprise.  They would impose weight restrictions if the viaduct could not handle normal loads, and at some point might ban all large trucks.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Michael on December 05, 2017, 06:21:25 PM
I thought the tunnel was dead, but I guess not:
Syracuse.com: A detailed look at 4 different ways to build a $4 billion I-81 tunnel in Syracuse (http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2017/12/i-81_tunnel_study_slideshow.html)

Also, I find it interesting that this (http://www.syracuse.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/09/interstate_81_once_was_a_sign_of_progress_so_can_its_replacement_commentary.html) article from a former Syracuse DPW commissioner states that when I-81 was first built, the landscaped area under it actually actually won an award.

Another option for I-81 I never thought of until a week or two ago is a business route.  I've looked at Business I-40 in Winston-Salem, NC before, and it looks horribly substandard compared to modern interstates.  I wonder if the viaduct could be replaced without improvements and be redesignated as Business I-81.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on December 05, 2017, 07:42:43 PM
Doubtful...that'd still likely run 10 digits.  While it wouldn't need to be up to Interstate standards, it would still need to be brought up to more modern standards.  And all the bypass requirements of the "Community Grid" alternative (i.e. rerouting mainline I-81 to I-481) would still need to be built for I-81 through traffic.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on December 06, 2017, 06:06:12 PM
Or maybe we could do what is most likely to happen IMHO, wait for the Interstate 81 viaduct to collapse like New York City's West Side Highway did in 1973, and then do something about it.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on December 06, 2017, 09:30:05 PM
Or maybe we could do what is most likely to happen IMHO, wait for the Interstate 81 viaduct to collapse like New York City's West Side Highway did in 1973, and then do something about it.

The first step would be to impose weight restrictions, which could periodically increase to where large trucks are prohibited.  That would increase the lifespan of the bridges.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on December 07, 2017, 08:28:54 AM
Or maybe we could do what is most likely to happen IMHO, wait for the Interstate 81 viaduct to collapse like New York City's West Side Highway did in 1973, and then do something about it.
Yes, that is not an unlikely scenario. But what's next? I suspect after a few months businesses would adapt (aka move to other states), through traffic would choose other routes, and debate would continue for another decade, now with less sense of urgency.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: DJStephens on December 10, 2017, 04:30:58 PM
I thought the tunnel was dead, but I guess not:
Syracuse.com: A detailed look at 4 different ways to build a $4 billion I-81 tunnel in Syracuse (http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2017/12/i-81_tunnel_study_slideshow.html)

Also, I find it interesting that this (http://www.syracuse.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/09/interstate_81_once_was_a_sign_of_progress_so_can_its_replacement_commentary.html) article from a former Syracuse DPW commissioner states that when I-81 was first built, the landscaped area under it actually actually won an award.

Another option for I-81 I never thought of until a week or two ago is a business route.  I've looked at Business I-40 in Winston-Salem, NC before, and it looks horribly substandard compared to modern interstates.  I wonder if the viaduct could be replaced without improvements and be redesignated as Business I-81.

The syracuse.com link shows the four "tunnel" options, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each.  It appears that certain groups are so desirous of the mile long "community spine" that these proposals have emerged.   All the tunnels seem to be deep bored and only offer two lanes in each direction.  Isn't that a bit narrow, considering the expense?  Six lanes really ought to be a minimum, in an urban setting.  What about cut and cover?  Wouldn't that be far cheaper, even considering ROW acquisition that would need to be done?   Of course, ROW acquisition for an urban arterial these days is pretty much a non-starter, so hence the deep bored tunnel proposals.   
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on December 10, 2017, 06:00:08 PM
Given that the only access to the portals is at the terminals, 4 lanes would be adequate for what is considered "through center Syracuse" traffic.  Traffic to/from I-690 or going downtown would use the at-grade corridor.

Cut and cover may be cheaper, but would require severing (or severely curtailing) several critical east-west arterial streets on the east side of downtown in order to provide I-690 access and would have the same right-of-way issues as replacing the viaduct does.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Duke87 on December 10, 2017, 06:09:48 PM
All the tunnels seem to be deep bored and only offer two lanes in each direction.  Isn't that a bit narrow, considering the expense?  Six lanes really ought to be a minimum, in an urban setting.

The existing viaduct is only two lanes each way. And that's all that the existing amount of through traffic really requires.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on December 10, 2017, 07:18:20 PM
Traffic to/from I-690 or going downtown would use the at-grade corridor.
Only one of the four options has no interchange with I-690.  Orange and Green both have some form of interchange around the existing one (albeit incomplete, at least with Green, and possibly Orange too), and Blue uses the West Street interchange.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Plutonic Panda on December 15, 2017, 01:28:50 AM
Ten years to build!? That seems longer than it should take but what do I know. They get started on it soon!
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Buffaboy on December 15, 2017, 04:50:47 AM
What? Why would they spend $4 BILLION building a tunnel in a city with a population comparable to Savannah, Georgia?

That money could be put to better use.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on December 15, 2017, 10:31:58 AM
^ Tell that to state Sen. John DeFrancisco, who is adamant that tunnel options remain on the table.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on December 15, 2017, 11:09:58 AM
^ Tell that to state Sen. John DeFrancisco, who is adamant that tunnel options remain on the table.
And I do see his point. Other than being somewhat pricey, tunnel option is the best one. Bang for the buck is quite low for all of the options, though, so tunnel doesn’t quite stand out on that aspect as well.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on December 15, 2017, 03:16:49 PM
I doubt even an Interstate 81 tunnel will ever be built. In fact, I'd be very surprised if any more road tunnels are built in the United States, after the SR-99 Alaskan Way Viaduct Tunnel is completed, although I believe that mentality should change.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on December 15, 2017, 05:42:50 PM
^ Tell that to state Sen. John DeFrancisco, who is adamant that tunnel options remain on the table.
And I do see his point. Other than being somewhat pricey, tunnel option is the best one. Bang for the buck is quite low for all of the options, though, so tunnel doesn’t quite stand out on that aspect as well.
Ideally every urban freeway would be in a tunnel, except for the cost.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Hurricane Rex on December 16, 2017, 03:25:23 AM
I doubt even an Interstate 81 tunnel will ever be built. In fact, I'd be very surprised if any more road tunnels are built in the United States, after the SR-99 Alaskan Way Viaduct Tunnel is completed, although I believe that mentality should change.

Does freeways going under newly constructed parks over it count? I'm talking 500-1000 feet long.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on December 16, 2017, 04:11:46 PM
I doubt even an Interstate 81 tunnel will ever be built. In fact, I'd be very surprised if any more road tunnels are built in the United States, after the SR-99 Alaskan Way Viaduct Tunnel is completed, although I believe that mentality should change.

Does freeways going under newly constructed parks over it count? I'm talking 500-1000 feet long.
not if they build the park over it. he's talking bored tunnels
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Buffaboy on December 16, 2017, 04:39:43 PM
I doubt even an Interstate 81 tunnel will ever be built. In fact, I'd be very surprised if any more road tunnels are built in the United States, after the SR-99 Alaskan Way Viaduct Tunnel is completed, although I believe that mentality should change.

I think Elon Musk's Boring Company will make this easier (and cheaper).
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on December 16, 2017, 05:31:58 PM
I doubt even an Interstate 81 tunnel will ever be built. In fact, I'd be very surprised if any more road tunnels are built in the United States, after the SR-99 Alaskan Way Viaduct Tunnel is completed, although I believe that mentality should change.

I think Elon Musk's Boring Company will make this easier (and cheaper).
once their antimatter borer is operational...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on December 16, 2017, 09:11:05 PM
Quote from: Buffaboy
I think Elon Musk's Boring Company will make this easier (and cheaper).

Don't hold your breath...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Plutonic Panda on December 16, 2017, 11:00:51 PM
Has Musk released any details as to what makes his boring machines better? What is different about them? Will he use different techniques or just completely design a new type of boring machine that works better than current ones?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on December 17, 2017, 12:18:07 PM
Has Musk released any details as to what makes his boring machines better? What is different about them? Will he use different techniques or just completely design a new type of boring machine that works better than current ones?
They'll be electric!
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on December 17, 2017, 12:52:21 PM
Has Musk released any details as to what makes his boring machines better? What is different about them? Will he use different techniques or just completely design a new type of boring machine that works better than current ones?
They'll be electric!
Like this electric AC unit on gasoline powered car?
(https://i.pinimg.com/736x/c3/c2/f3/c3c2f3371febc50cbbd6f8ec78718a38--gas-generator-window-air-conditioner.jpg)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sparker on December 17, 2017, 05:11:58 PM
Has Musk released any details as to what makes his boring machines better? What is different about them? Will he use different techniques or just completely design a new type of boring machine that works better than current ones?
They'll be electric!
Like this electric AC unit on gasoline powered car?
(https://i.pinimg.com/736x/c3/c2/f3/c3c2f3371febc50cbbd6f8ec78718a38--gas-generator-window-air-conditioner.jpg)

No -- just a shitload of lithium-ion batteries in well-vented containers.  I'm pretty certain one of Musk & Co.'s principal tasks in the next few years will be to find a safe place to put those suckers in a vehicle that, at the same time, looks like it's worth the $$ that'll be charged for it (at least according to one of my audio clients who works for Tesla). 
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on December 17, 2017, 05:40:33 PM
Has Musk released any details as to what makes his boring machines better? What is different about them? Will he use different techniques or just completely design a new type of boring machine that works better than current ones?
They'll be electric!
Like this electric AC unit on gasoline powered car?
(https://i.pinimg.com/736x/c3/c2/f3/c3c2f3371febc50cbbd6f8ec78718a38--gas-generator-window-air-conditioner.jpg)

No -- just a shitload of lithium-ion batteries in well-vented containers.  I'm pretty certain one of Musk & Co.'s principal tasks in the next few years will be to find a safe place to put those suckers in a vehicle that, at the same time, looks like it's worth the $$ that'll be charged for it (at least according to one of my audio clients who works for Tesla).
Yes, tunnel borer really has to look sexy and worth the price tag.
Imagine you're boring those tunnels with $1B worth machine - but looking at machine you cannot say it worth more than mere $900M. Of course, no state DOT can afford that!
Thinking about it, another really sexy piece of American - and state of NY - industrial superiority is this baby:
(http://minutes.machine.market/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/I-Lift-Ny-Floating-Crane-678x381.jpg)
This "I Lift NY" crane truly justifies it price tag. Previously known as "left coast lifter" this beauty was built in chi... ok, never mind.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: PHLBOS on May 18, 2018, 05:11:32 PM
*Thread bump*

I saw this commentary today on FB opposing the removal of I-81 in the Syracuse area & thought I'd share it here.

DeWitt supervisor: Keep I-81 through downtown Syracuse (Commentary) (http://www.syracuse.com/opinion/index.ssf/2018/05/dewitt_supervisor_keep_i-81_through_downtown_syracuse_commentary.html)

Quote from: Opening Paragraph from Syracuse.com commentary
Regarding DeWitt Town Councilor Kerin Rigney's commentary "The suburban case for the community grid" (Jan. 29, 2018), my view -- and that of majority of the DeWitt Town Board -- is that we oppose any plan that eliminates the north-south connection of Interstate 81 through the city of Syracuse. It is our considered opinion that converting Interstate 481 into I-81 will be detrimental to DeWitt neighborhoods, and our community as a whole, due to significantly increased air and noise pollution, as well as increased traffic on I-481 and also on our secondary town roads.

Nested in the article is the August 22, 2016
DeWitt Town Board Resolution
Motion by Councilor Young, seconded by Councilor Frank.
MEMORIALIZING THE INTENT OF THE TOWN BOARD OF THE TOWN OF DeWITT, COUNTY OF
ONONDAGA, REGARDING THE NEED TO MAINTAIN THE EXISTING ALIGNMENT OF INTERSTATE
81 THROUGH SYRACUSE (http://www.townofdewitt.com/documents/1279.pdf)

IMHO, it's a welcome change to hear from those (outside of the engineering and/or roadgeek community) who support keeping I-81 in Syracuse.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on May 21, 2018, 11:35:01 AM
^ DeWitt is along I-481, so one could argue that they're slightly biased on the issue and that it's no surprise they're opposed to anything that would add traffic to I-481.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: PHLBOS on May 21, 2018, 01:30:50 PM
^^Conversely, one could say that those advocating I-81's removal are also biased too.  The bottom line here is that any highway project, be it construction or removal (in this case), has a much wider impact than just the immediate corridor location.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Duke87 on May 23, 2018, 12:06:28 AM
This does generally jive with the understanding I've gotten from talking to coworkers from the area though. Folks downtown tend to want I-81 removed. Folks in the suburbs... mostly do not.

Naturally, the proponents of removal are the people who experience most of the viaduct's negative impacts while finding it minimally beneficial, and the opponents of removal are the people who experience the viaduct's benefits without particularly seeing any negative impacts.

So, self-interest all around, as you'd expect.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on May 24, 2018, 03:24:30 PM
How many years before this is resolved? 5? 10? 50? When the sun becomes a red giant? This is dragging on way too long.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on May 24, 2018, 04:19:01 PM
How many years before this is resolved? 5? 10? 50? When the sun becomes a red giant? This is dragging on way too long.
No, much sooner. 18 months after the old structure collapses.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on May 24, 2018, 08:31:22 PM
How many years before this is resolved? 5? 10? 50? When the sun becomes a red giant? This is dragging on way too long.
Probably the heat death of the universe.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on May 24, 2018, 09:02:51 PM
How many years before this is resolved? 5? 10? 50? When the sun becomes a red giant? This is dragging on way too long.
Probably the heat death of the universe.

Well after the red giant phase ... when the Sun becomes a white dwarf.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on May 24, 2018, 09:45:41 PM
I maintain my position: there are not a lot of drawbacks to a new viaduct... except cost, which is to be expected.

Had I been around, I could have forecasted a new structure was needed decades ago. It's always been inevitable, so to blame lack of action on lack of funding is the highest degree of folly. IMO.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Michael on February 06, 2019, 04:39:47 PM
I just saw an article (https://www.syracuse.com/news/2019/02/architect-resurrects-i-81-central-park-proposal-adds-sailboat-bridge.html) on Syracuse.com, and it has a good picture of what I've imagined for a viaduct replacement:
(https://i.syracuse.com/resizer/JwRnucOFT6Ry9pY4dFyN5IQq2Dg=/960x0/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-advancelocal/public/ZXZ46EQ6M5DSFOVQLW7KOOICMI.JPG)

Something interesting about the picture is the curved ramps right next to the tower.  I've been having trouble imagining how the end of a cable-stayed bridge would tie into the I-81/I-690 interchange, and this is an interesting solution.  I've imagined just a single level bridge, and I don't know how hard it would be to adapt the design to a single deck.

There's also a picture of the Zakim Bridge in Boston at the beginning of the article, which is what I've thought of all along as a bridge that could be used as a base design for a bridge in Syracuse.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Bobby5280 on February 08, 2019, 05:19:26 PM
A cable-stay bridge as a replacement for an ordinary elevated 4-lane freeway just a mile long? That seems like costly overkill.

Elevated urban freeways are not popular. I think part of the problem is the design of the bridges. Elevated urban freeways are often very clunky, ugly and industrial looking. If project engineers were able to use state of the art bridge building techniques they might be able to design something that isn't an eye sore. A cast-segmental method could be used to create a more elegant, modern looking freeway with longer and more fluid-looking spans. There would be far fewer bridge pylons yielding a more open look to it. Incorporate artful touches to the bridge structures. Add landscaping and other green touches where possible. The aging I-81/I-690 interchange could be re-built using the same methods.

None of this would be cheap. But it would be a hell of a lot less expensive than building deep bore tunnels. It might even be cheaper than building a below grade cut and cover freeway with a deck park on top.

I think it would be bad idea to sever I-81 in downtown Syracuse. The downtown area has certain things going for it, but if they make it harder for people out in suburbs like Liverpool or Cicero to visit downtown those people will just stay out in the suburbs.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on February 08, 2019, 05:45:40 PM
A cable-stay bridge as a replacement for an ordinary elevated 4-lane freeway just a mile long? That seems like costly overkill.

Elevated urban freeways are not popular. I think part of the problem is the design of the bridges. Elevated urban freeways are often very clunky, ugly and industrial looking. If project engineers were able to use state of the art bridge building techniques they might be able to design something that isn't an eye sore. A cast-segmental method could be used to create a more elegant, modern looking freeway with longer and more fluid-looking spans. There would be far fewer bridge pylons yielding a more open look to it. Incorporate artful touches to the bridge structures. Add landscaping and other green touches where possible. The aging I-81/I-690 interchange could be re-built using the same methods.

None of this would be cheap. But it would be a hell of a lot less expensive than building deep bore tunnels. It might even be cheaper than building a below grade cut and cover freeway with a deck park on top.

I think it would be bad idea to sever I-81 in downtown Syracuse. The downtown area has certain things going for it, but if they make it harder for people out in suburbs like Liverpool or Cicero to visit downtown those people will just stay out in the suburbs.

Great. But few things to consider.
1. NY has no money for this. In fact, there was a huge problem putting together $4B for Tappan Zee replacement - a bridge on toll road with a lot of traffic, with much more visibility. There should be some federal funding for a free 2DI, though, but not for something extravagant. 
This is a much lower profile than Tappan Zee, but cost is close.
2.  Right of way, and groups hell bent on protecting existing slums. Existing road has no ROW even to rebuild as-is to new standards.
3. Downtown folks are sure that the road is the only thing standing between them and wealth. You know, separating communities, encouraging  everything bad and discouraging everything good. SO nothing remotely similar to above ground highway will be acceptable.

It is a hot potato nobody wants to own. Can will be kicked for a few more miles down the road, and then some. Old structure will be there until it collapses. Hopefully during 10784th community meeting on replacement, and hopefully directly on the crowd attending that meeting. 
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: NoGoodNamesAvailable on February 08, 2019, 07:02:31 PM
Great. But few things to consider.

. . .

2.  Right of way, and groups hell bent on protecting existing slums. Existing road has no ROW even to rebuild as-is to new standards.

3. Downtown folks are sure that the road is the only thing standing between them and wealth. You know, separating communities, encouraging  everything bad and discouraging everything good. SO nothing remotely similar to above ground highway will be acceptable.

It is a hot potato nobody wants to own. Can will be kicked for a few more miles down the road, and then some. Old structure will be there until it collapses. Hopefully during 10784th community meeting on replacement, and hopefully directly on the crowd attending that meeting.

Check out downtown Syracuse around the I-81 corridor in 1956, then in 1976 (https://www.historicaerials.com/viewer), and tell me with a straight face that the highway had nothing to do with the creation of the "slums" you're talking about. Or have a chat with some of the thousands of people in upstate NY whose neighborhoods benefited from "slum clearance" and highway building back in the mid-20th century and see how much they appreciated it.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on February 08, 2019, 08:08:55 PM
Great. But few things to consider.

. . .

2.  Right of way, and groups hell bent on protecting existing slums. Existing road has no ROW even to rebuild as-is to new standards.

3. Downtown folks are sure that the road is the only thing standing between them and wealth. You know, separating communities, encouraging  everything bad and discouraging everything good. SO nothing remotely similar to above ground highway will be acceptable.

It is a hot potato nobody wants to own. Can will be kicked for a few more miles down the road, and then some. Old structure will be there until it collapses. Hopefully during 10784th community meeting on replacement, and hopefully directly on the crowd attending that meeting.

Check out downtown Syracuse around the I-81 corridor in 1956, then in 1976 (https://www.historicaerials.com/viewer), and tell me with a straight face that the highway had nothing to do with the creation of the "slums" you're talking about. Or have a chat with some of the thousands of people in upstate NY whose neighborhoods benefited from "slum clearance" and highway building back in the mid-20th century and see how much they appreciated it.
I am not sure what I am supposed to see.. Would the city be better off without a highway? Maybe yes-  or maybe not. But it is not relevant to what is going on in 2019. Whatever city's problems are, removing highway is not going to solve them. Creating new problems by whatever new approach is choosen? Good question.
We have a certain situation at hand, and there is a need for a single major decision. I am not sure saving old buildings is a good objective for such projects - it may be cheaper to build anew. But - whatever comes out of this, 50 years from now,  same questions we are asking today are going to be asked again: why was it done in such a way? Which problems those decision created? WHo is to blame?
Unfortunately my crystal ball is out of comission, so I have no answers. But I do see faults in ongoing process, no crystal ball required.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on February 08, 2019, 08:32:33 PM
Great. But few things to consider.

. . .

2.  Right of way, and groups hell bent on protecting existing slums. Existing road has no ROW even to rebuild as-is to new standards.

3. Downtown folks are sure that the road is the only thing standing between them and wealth. You know, separating communities, encouraging  everything bad and discouraging everything good. SO nothing remotely similar to above ground highway will be acceptable.

It is a hot potato nobody wants to own. Can will be kicked for a few more miles down the road, and then some. Old structure will be there until it collapses. Hopefully during 10784th community meeting on replacement, and hopefully directly on the crowd attending that meeting.

Check out downtown Syracuse around the I-81 corridor in 1956, then in 1976 (https://www.historicaerials.com/viewer), and tell me with a straight face that the highway had nothing to do with the creation of the "slums" you're talking about. Or have a chat with some of the thousands of people in upstate NY whose neighborhoods benefited from "slum clearance" and highway building back in the mid-20th century and see how much they appreciated it.
Racist dog whistles abound.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on February 09, 2019, 08:52:59 PM
Racist dog whistles abound.
It is easy to pull rasist card - especially when there is no substance behind that. My pet peeve is "historic preservation" - when there is money for bronze plaque, but no money for upkeep, and no takers for all the limitations imposed.
Lets take a close look at what is to be the pain here.
Exhibit 1:
(https://image.syracuse.com/home/syr-media/width960/img/post-standard/photo/2016/05/31/nysyr-20141121-155456-smithjpg-8a59a18dc0268faf.jpg)
160+ years eyesore. Definitely worth saving, right? This seems to be the #1 in lists of affected places. Owner is a white man, BTW.
There are a few more. Like really gorgeous building used for sex offenders housing (OK, I guess nobody else wants to live facing active interstate) - and I wonder what the building condition is.
Running through the city may or may not be a good idea, but there is a lot of flawed reasoning on all sides. Like calling race card when no race is in the game.

Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on February 10, 2019, 01:29:02 AM
Running through the city may or may not be a good idea, but there is a lot of flawed reasoning on all sides. Like calling race card when no race is in the game.


The words "slum clearance" imply "get 'those people' away from 'my people'". I will always react to that.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on February 10, 2019, 07:27:21 AM
Running through the city may or may not be a good idea, but there is a lot of flawed reasoning on all sides. Like calling race card when no race is in the game.


The words "slum clearance" imply "get 'those people' away from 'my people'". I will always react to that.
Well, looks like its a good idea to expand the answer even further.
I think that whatever comes out of this project will be a strong statement about the future of the region, and possibly define that future. A very big statement for 2 miles of a highway, huh?
Basically, Syracuse area is not doing well to say the least. Rust belt, enough said. There are some interesting companies - Crucible, Inficon (just looked up - they now list Switzerland as their headquarters locations.. yikes...), but manufacturing companies are not a powerhouse it used to be.
City population is shrinking, the metropolitan statistical area is shrinking (fastest shrink among top 100 MSAs), the state is shrinking.
Two prominent leaders on opposite ends of political spectrum tell people to leave the area (although in a slightly different narrative: Trump says "my people should leave for greener pastures", gov. Cuomo II says "your people should leave somewhere")
So that is a grim context of the project which costs about $5k per MSA resident.
My impression is that all the crap about "reconnecting the city" and "preserving the history" doesn't even touch the key problem: area needs jobs, badly. Some vision of future - other than "last person to leave please turn lights off". And there is no understanding of where to go.
There is a significant healthcare sector in the city, is it enough? I don't know. Large centers - Boston, NYC, Toronto - are far away. Canal and lake shipping, which were a big booster, are not there. No big company in their right mind would go to Syracuse. Local agriculture can do only that much. Finger lakes tourism (including wine trails) is only that big, as well as Cornell outreach. Salt mining and NYC landfill don't sound as a solution.
Cutting transportation capacity to whatever is in the center, IMHO, seals city decay as a done fact for today and into the future. Cutting the road through the city center doesn't do anything to help while spending shitloads of money. So I am totally glad my opinion doesn't count here as all choices are depressing. If there is any hope highway would help, 30-40 properties in the city center may be a tiny price to pay... and that is a big "if"
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Duke87 on February 11, 2019, 12:20:36 AM
Running through the city may or may not be a good idea, but there is a lot of flawed reasoning on all sides. Like calling race card when no race is in the game.


The words "slum clearance" imply "get 'those people' away from 'my people'". I will always react to that.

I could be reading this wrong but the reference to "slum clearance" by NoGoodNamesAvailable seemed to be sarcastic, i.e. berating that line of thinking.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on April 01, 2019, 01:03:16 PM
Today I found out what will be done to replace I-81 in Syracuse.  As you know, the state has been deciding between a rebuilt viaduct, a tunnel, or a "community grid".  After consulting with some physicists, it has been decided to do BOTH a rebuilt viaduct and the community grid!  The corridor will be held in a state of quantum superposition, allowing for both alternatives to exist simultaneously.  It will be known as the Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger Corridor.

I believe this will become the first time quantum mechanics has been applied to road design in the United States.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 01, 2019, 01:29:28 PM
Today I found out what will be done to replace I-81 in Syracuse.  As you know, the state has been deciding between a rebuilt viaduct, a tunnel, or a "community grid".  After consulting with some physicists, it has been decided to do BOTH a rebuilt viaduct and the community grid!  The corridor will be held in a state of quantum superposition, allowing for both alternatives to exist simultaneously.  It will be known as the Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger Corridor.

I believe this will become the first time quantum mechanics has been applied to road design in the United States.
THat is pretty much what was in the plan for couple of years -  superposition of both options (e.g. no real one ) with equal probability for a observer (from distant future) to observe one.
However, since MUTCD has no proper way to designate such quantum objects, no vehicles will be allowed on I-81 until  said observer is located .
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sparker on April 01, 2019, 05:53:44 PM
Today I found out what will be done to replace I-81 in Syracuse.  As you know, the state has been deciding between a rebuilt viaduct, a tunnel, or a "community grid".  After consulting with some physicists, it has been decided to do BOTH a rebuilt viaduct and the community grid!  The corridor will be held in a state of quantum superposition, allowing for both alternatives to exist simultaneously.  It will be known as the Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger Corridor.

I believe this will become the first time quantum mechanics has been applied to road design in the United States.
THat is pretty much what was in the plan for couple of years -  superposition of both options (e.g. no real one ) with equal probability for a observer (from distant future) to observe one.
However, since MUTCD has no proper way to designate such quantum objects, no vehicles will be allowed on I-81 until  said observer is located .

Gee whiz -- I wonder what today is?  4/1?  I'm stumped!  :spin:
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: qguy on April 02, 2019, 06:04:32 AM
Today I found out what will be done to replace I-81 in Syracuse.  As you know, the state has been deciding between a rebuilt viaduct, a tunnel, or a "community grid".  After consulting with some physicists, it has been decided to do BOTH a rebuilt viaduct and the community grid!  The corridor will be held in a state of quantum superposition, allowing for both alternatives to exist simultaneously.  It will be known as the Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger Corridor.

I believe this will become the first time quantum mechanics has been applied to road design in the United States.
THat is pretty much what was in the plan for couple of years -  superposition of both options (e.g. no real one ) with equal probability for a observer (from distant future) to observe one.
However, since MUTCD has no proper way to designate such quantum objects, no vehicles will be allowed on I-81 until  said observer is located .

Having your cat and eating it too.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Verlanka on April 02, 2019, 08:16:17 AM
Today I found out what will be done to replace I-81 in Syracuse.  As you know, the state has been deciding between a rebuilt viaduct, a tunnel, or a "community grid".  After consulting with some physicists, it has been decided to do BOTH a rebuilt viaduct and the community grid!  The corridor will be held in a state of quantum superposition, allowing for both alternatives to exist simultaneously.  It will be known as the Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger Corridor.

I believe this will become the first time quantum mechanics has been applied to road design in the United States.
THat is pretty much what was in the plan for couple of years -  superposition of both options (e.g. no real one ) with equal probability for a observer (from distant future) to observe one.
However, since MUTCD has no proper way to designate such quantum objects, no vehicles will be allowed on I-81 until  said observer is located .

Pretty sure that's just an April Fool's joke.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 02, 2019, 10:23:56 AM
Today I found out what will be done to replace I-81 in Syracuse.  As you know, the state has been deciding between a rebuilt viaduct, a tunnel, or a "community grid".  After consulting with some physicists, it has been decided to do BOTH a rebuilt viaduct and the community grid!  The corridor will be held in a state of quantum superposition, allowing for both alternatives to exist simultaneously.  It will be known as the Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger Corridor.

I believe this will become the first time quantum mechanics has been applied to road design in the United States.
THat is pretty much what was in the plan for couple of years -  superposition of both options (e.g. no real one ) with equal probability for a observer (from distant future) to observe one.
However, since MUTCD has no proper way to designate such quantum objects, no vehicles will be allowed on I-81 until  said observer is located .

Pretty sure that's just an April Fool's joke.
Too bad that there is a grain of truth in it: there is no clear future for the project, and my bet is on the old one collapsing before new construction starts.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on April 02, 2019, 12:43:50 PM
Today I found out what will be done to replace I-81 in Syracuse.  As you know, the state has been deciding between a rebuilt viaduct, a tunnel, or a "community grid".  After consulting with some physicists, it has been decided to do BOTH a rebuilt viaduct and the community grid!  The corridor will be held in a state of quantum superposition, allowing for both alternatives to exist simultaneously.  It will be known as the Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger Corridor.

I believe this will become the first time quantum mechanics has been applied to road design in the United States.
THat is pretty much what was in the plan for couple of years -  superposition of both options (e.g. no real one ) with equal probability for a observer (from distant future) to observe one.
However, since MUTCD has no proper way to designate such quantum objects, no vehicles will be allowed on I-81 until  said observer is located .

Pretty sure that's just an April Fool's joke.
Yeah, as far as I know, nobody has actually figured out how to put such a large object into a state of superposition, much less how to let people walk/drive through it without collapsing the wave function.

Had I decided to do a more elaborate version (which would have included writing a fake news article or press release), there would have been mention of it complicating NY's annual data submittal to FHWA due to the inability to take measurements.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on April 02, 2019, 03:14:12 PM
A rebuilt viaduct and a community grid? That might work. How long until such is constructed? 10 years? 20? 30? Sometime in the 22nd century? By then, it will probably have crumbled to dust.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on April 02, 2019, 09:38:38 PM
A rebuilt viaduct and a community grid? That might work. How long until such is constructed? 10 years? 20? 30? Sometime in the 22nd century? By then, it will probably have crumbled to dust.
The joke was based on the fact that it is impossible for the two to co-exist in reality.  Note that "community grid" is a euphemism for "boulevard".

(personal opinion)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: qguy on April 03, 2019, 06:03:47 AM
Today I found out what will be done to replace I-81 in Syracuse.  As you know, the state has been deciding between a rebuilt viaduct, a tunnel, or a "community grid".  After consulting with some physicists, it has been decided to do BOTH a rebuilt viaduct and the community grid!  The corridor will be held in a state of quantum superposition, allowing for both alternatives to exist simultaneously.  It will be known as the Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger Corridor.

I believe this will become the first time quantum mechanics has been applied to road design in the United States.
THat is pretty much what was in the plan for couple of years -  superposition of both options (e.g. no real one ) with equal probability for a observer (from distant future) to observe one.
However, since MUTCD has no proper way to designate such quantum objects, no vehicles will be allowed on I-81 until  said observer is located .

Pretty sure that's just an April Fool's joke.

Thanks for spelling that out. Otherwise none of us would've known.  ;-)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Mergingtraffic on April 22, 2019, 06:44:44 PM
"Community Grid" option chosen as preferred alternative. The bike/ped movements are gathering in strength.  I-81 going away in downtown and expect to see other cities use Syracuse as an example of "hey if they can do it so can we."

https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/library

Read the reader comments on any story on Syracuse.com and most people are against it.
https://www.syracuse.com/news/2019/04/i-81-replacement-community-grid-would-displace-parking-lots-three-businesses-but-no-homes.html
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kevinb1994 on April 22, 2019, 06:45:10 PM
https://www.syracuse.com/news/2019/04/exclusive-new-york-selects-community-grid-alternative-for-i-81.html?outputType=amp

Here’s a news-worthy update from the Syracuse.com website. Obviously the comments are all over the place on this, to no one’s surprise.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Michael on April 22, 2019, 06:49:29 PM
Mergingtraffic, you beat me!  I was proofreading my post.

NewsChannel9: NYS DOT report favors 'Community Grid' for I-81 replacement (https://www.localsyr.com/news/local-news/nys-dot-to-release-report-today-favoring-community-grid-for-i-81-replacement/1945013731)

I had a feeling this would be the preferred alternative.  I've mentioned before that I think it's stupid to send traffic over to I-481.  The streets in downtown can get pretty busy at times, so I think that even with improvements, it will end up being congested.

As for the historic buildings, I wonder if it's possible to move them to this area (https://www.google.com/maps/@43.049784,-76.1366983,343m/data=!3m1!1e3) since it's pretty close and there's nothing there.  Once the old bridge is taken down, it would be relatively easy to move them a few blocks.

On a side note, I wonder how many people realize that this project involves most of I-81 through Syracuse, and parts of I-690 and West Street.  People keep focusing on the viaduct, but on I-81, the project starts at the southern city line, and ends just before the bridge by Destiny USA.  The northern city line is at the end of that bridge, so with the exception of the bridge, it's literally the entire length of I-81 in Syracuse.  On I-690, the project will be between West Street and the eastern end of the I-81 interchange.  Technically, the recent Beach/Teall viaduct project was considered part of the I-81 project.  On West Street, the project involves the interchange with Genesee St/NY 5.  This is basically the original downtown construction from the late 1950s all over again.  That's a whole lot more than a single viaduct!

EDIT: I wonder what would happen if the viaduct was closed for a week as an experiment.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 22, 2019, 07:46:23 PM
OK, wake me up when last legal process ends  - or when another review is ordered
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on April 22, 2019, 07:47:10 PM
A lot of blabber, but I tend to think common sense will win out and a new viaduct will be built -- not right away, but eventually.

This is a major 2di used by a lot of long distance traffic and with significant regional importance. There is just no way to justify tearing it down to please a few communities at the expense of the millions of others that pass through. And it is not acceptable to compare this to any other highway removal project in history.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on April 22, 2019, 08:30:10 PM
By the time shovels hit the ground, the Syracuse metro will be 10% smaller than it is right now, which is quite a bit smaller than it was at the 2010 census. Combine this with the lack of jobs downtown and the long court fight we're looking at and a removal may result in minimal traffic increases once the thing actually closes (IF it closes).
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on April 22, 2019, 08:32:41 PM
EDIT: I wonder what would happen if the viaduct was closed for a week as an experiment.
Keep in mind the future includes a surface grid. Closing the viaduct without that would be much more chaotic and jammed.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Duke87 on April 22, 2019, 08:33:31 PM
A lot of blabber, but I tend to think common sense will win out and a new viaduct will be built -- not right away, but eventually.

This is a major 2di used by a lot of long distance traffic and with significant regional importance. There is just no way to justify tearing it down to please a few communities at the expense of the millions of others that pass through. And it is not acceptable to compare this to any other highway removal project in history.

It's not a question of pleasing a few communities. This is what the powers that be at the state level want because it fits their grand visions of urban renewal. Note how Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, and NYC all have at least one freeway or expressway downgrade or removal project completed or in progress - it was inevitable that Syracuse was going to join the club.

Realize as well that with the way government works in New York, this decision was made behind closed doors years ago. They've just waited until now when there isn't an upcoming election and the idea has had a chance to gain some traction to publicly acknowledge it.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: KEVIN_224 on April 22, 2019, 08:43:26 PM
New York City is the downgrade of I-895/Sheridan Expressway in the Bronx. Which project are you referring to for Albany?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on April 22, 2019, 08:56:26 PM
"Community Grid" option chosen as preferred alternative. The bike/ped movements are gathering in strength.  I-81 going away in downtown and expect to see other cities use Syracuse as an example of "hey if they can do it so can we."

This makes me feel like puking. 

I better keep the trash can handy...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on April 22, 2019, 09:22:09 PM
As expected, though (personally) not my preferred alternative.  Syracuse already didn't have a great freeway system, and this will only make that worse.  The western suburbs will have no good all-freeway route to get to the south.  If only the western bypass had been built.

A lot of blabber, but I tend to think common sense will win out and a new viaduct will be built -- not right away, but eventually.

This is a major 2di used by a lot of long distance traffic and with significant regional importance. There is just no way to justify tearing it down to please a few communities at the expense of the millions of others that pass through. And it is not acceptable to compare this to any other highway removal project in history.
Cuomo's been pretty anti-freeway as of late.  Have you seen how he's been with the Scajaquada and the Buffalo Skyway?  It's also the cheapest alternative, and it's not like NYSDOT is rolling in cash right now.  I wouldn't be surprised if the constant tunnel re-evaluations were just to push the decision to a more politically convenient time.

New York City is the downgrade of I-895/Sheridan Expressway in the Bronx. Which project are you referring to for Albany?
Probably the Albany Skyway (removing the US 9 north ramp at I-787 and turning it into a park similar to NYC's high line), though there is desire among some advocates for a complete removal of I-787.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Plutonic Panda on April 22, 2019, 09:31:08 PM
I really hope this is reconsidered.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 22, 2019, 09:48:16 PM
As expected, though (personally) not my preferred alternative. 
Which one you prefer? I see only very bad and even worse options

Probably the Albany Skyway (removing the US 9 north ramp at I-787 and turning it into a park similar to NYC's high line), though there is desire among some advocates for a complete removal of I-787.
Maybe NY787 in Cohoes? It is in full swing...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Revive 755 on April 22, 2019, 10:45:27 PM
It looks like the boulevard replacing the viaduct would lack dedicated left turn lanes at a lot of intersections and instead used shared thru-left turn lanes - good way to get rear end crashes and increase congestion.  Where there are left turn lanes, they appear to have a very negative offset - good way to get the left turning vehicle hit by an opposing through vehicle.  Yet this is called "safe and efficient"?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: machias on April 22, 2019, 10:52:36 PM
Today's announcement was one of the stupidest things I've read about in New York in years. Glad I moved out. Now, if I could just figure out how to change my username here on this board doohickey.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: machias on April 22, 2019, 10:52:58 PM
On the bright side, Interstate 81 is going to get all new mileage based exits!
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Anthony_JK on April 23, 2019, 03:07:29 AM
John Norquist gets his dream of an Interstate removal finally. And Syracuse will be much the worst for it.

Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on April 23, 2019, 08:24:30 AM
It's not a question of pleasing a few communities. This is what the powers that be at the state level want because it fits their grand visions of urban renewal. Note how Buffalo, Rochester, Albany, and NYC all have at least one freeway or expressway downgrade or removal project completed or in progress - it was inevitable that Syracuse was going to join the club.

My whole point is that I-81 is not even remotely comparable to the Inner Loop or anything else that has been torn down. You can't say with a straight face that anyone in Syracuse or Buffalo - or even the Rochester suburbs! - actually cared about the removal of the Inner Loop. I-81, on the other hand, serves a significant statewide purpose and carries a lot of long distance traffic, and people from Rochester, Binghamton, Watertown, actually do care about the inconvenience and increased travel times they would face if the viaduct was torn down.

In short, when a project affects the general motoring public, including a high number people from outside the area, the number of interested parties multiplies, and my guess is that in this case none of those additional parties are in favor of removal. So to ignore the interests of the rest of the state as if the project only affects a few neighborhoods, i.e. treating it like the Inner Loop project, is incredibly foolish and short sighted, and I hope that will be reflected in the feedback received by the state.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on April 23, 2019, 09:09:07 AM
To be fair...given that there's only in the neighborhood of 6,000 through vehicles coming from the south, and only 2,000 going between the south and the west, the concerns about "through traffic" and "west suburbs to south suburbs" on this form are a little overblown.

That said, I do think there are some changes that need to be made to the "community grid" alternative to make it more feasible.  Revive mentioned the lack of left turn lanes on the envisioned Arnold St and I agree.  I also agree with val on some sort of southwestern bypass arterial although I don't think it necessarily needs to be controlled-access.  And there should be a consistent 6 lanes from 690 to the Thruway along 481 instead of the proposed auxiliary lanes that don't go through the Kirkville Rd interchange.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 23, 2019, 10:46:09 AM
To be fair...given that there's only in the neighborhood of 6,000 through vehicles coming from the south, and only 2,000 going between the south and the west, the concerns about "through traffic" and "west suburbs to south suburbs" on this form are a little overblown.
I still wonder where these numbers came from. I can see 20k traffic south of Elmira, well south of Syracuse to filter out Ithaca/Cornell to Syracuse (I guess mostly mall and airport, north of proposed change); and 15k south of Watertown, going down to 6k at the border.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: TheHighwayMan394 on April 23, 2019, 12:49:41 PM
I’ve read through the thread and seen a mixed response to this regard, but like the I-375 removal in Detroit, again I’ll ask:

Is this really going to be that consequential a change, or just roadgeeks upset about Interstates being removed and/or feeling like the evil urbanists are winning?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: 1 on April 23, 2019, 01:00:25 PM
I’ve read through the thread and seen a mixed response to this regard, but like the I-375 removal in Detroit, again I’ll ask:

Is this really going to be that consequential a change, or just roadgeeks upset about Interstates being removed and/or feeling like the evil urbanists are winning?

I know that roadgeeks often complain about minor things like numbering issues. However, this is the actual removal of a through route.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 23, 2019, 01:04:58 PM
I’ve read through the thread and seen a mixed response to this regard, but like the I-375 removal in Detroit, again I’ll ask:

Is this really going to be that consequential a change, or just roadgeeks upset about Interstates being removed and/or feeling like the evil urbanists are winning?
As far as I understand, this is indeed a very significant change. This is a highway with 100k/day traffic feeding city center from southern suburbs. Dissipating that traffic will be difficult, bypass road which is proposed to be used as new 81 is already very buzy
With that, there is really no good option here which avoids pissing off large group of people.
Not very modest of me, but look at my reply #280 on page 12 of this thread. I think I am realistically pessimistic.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on April 23, 2019, 01:12:48 PM
Is this really going to be that consequential a change, or just roadgeeks upset about Interstates being removed and/or feeling like the evil urbanists are winning?

I don't think it's going to be as crazy as roadgeeks think if a couple of minor changes are made to the proposal. Specifically, a continuous 6 lanes along current I-481 from the south end to the Thruway and removal of tolls along the Thruway within the Syracuse metro to encourage traffic between the south and west to avoid 690. Neither of these would be particularly hard to accomplish, especially with the impending AET conversion. Like it or not, Syracuse is hemorrhaging population like a natural disaster happened. In fact, the only medium-large city that has lost population faster since the 2000 census is New Orleans (for obvious reasons). Frankly, it does not NEED a freeway system designed for almost a million people as was originally proposed for the region.

Regardless, we're looking at several years before shovels even hit the ground and it's very possible that state leadership will change before that point. This is only a draft EIS and there are going to be years of court battles over this. The rich people in the suburbs and the rich developer who owns the mall formerly known as Carousel Center are vehemently opposed to removal/rerouting. The trucking lobby won't like this, either. I honestly wouldn't be shocked if it's another 10+ years before I-81 is formally rerouted, IF it ever happens. If I were a betting man, I'd put money on the viaduct falling down before they have a chance to complete the reroute/reconstruction.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 23, 2019, 01:17:17 PM
If I were a betting man, I'd put money on the viaduct falling down before they have a chance to complete the reroute/reconstruction.
Too bad I cannot take your bet as I also think so.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on April 23, 2019, 01:59:07 PM
Is this really going to be that consequential a change, or just roadgeeks upset about Interstates being removed and/or feeling like the evil urbanists are winning?

I don't think it's going to be as crazy as roadgeeks think if a couple of minor changes are made to the proposal. Specifically, a continuous 6 lanes along current I-481 from the south end to the Thruway and removal of tolls along the Thruway within the Syracuse metro to encourage traffic between the south and west to avoid 690. Neither of these would be particularly hard to accomplish, especially with the impending AET conversion. Like it or not, Syracuse is hemorrhaging population like a natural disaster happened. In fact, the only medium-large city that has lost population faster since the 2000 census is New Orleans (for obvious reasons). Frankly, it does not NEED a freeway system designed for almost a million people as was originally proposed for the region.
That would help a LOT, though unfortunately the only proposal I've seen is for limited aux lanes around exit 5.  Possibly also widen the Thruway in the area too.

Honestly, if the western bypass had been built, I wouldn't care as much.  I am, however, used to being able to get around, and out, of a metro area on an efficient all-freeway route.  Syracuse isn't very good with that as it is - Liverpool requires taking the Thruway for at least some trips, the areas to the north aren't really freeway accessible, and with I-81 gone, Camillus, Fairmount, and Baldwinsville will be unable to head to Binghamton and points south without either taking a surface boulevard or going way out of their way to current I-481.

There's also the precedent.  As far as I know, this would be the first instance of a through freeway being removed in the country.  Everything else has been a spur.  It will only embolden the activists further, and I don't seem them stopping until every city is like Winnipeg (which has no freeways of any kind).
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: seicer on April 23, 2019, 02:56:39 PM
And Winnipeg makes do just fine with a great metro system, freeways and expressways that serve the metro quite well, and a central city that's far more impressive than what most US cities can dream about.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: oscar on April 23, 2019, 03:11:20 PM
And Winnipeg makes do just fine with a great metro system, freeways and expressways that serve the metro quite well, and a central city that's far more impressive than what most US cities can dream about.

Plus a thoroughly painful west-east route (TCH 1) into and through the central city, though there is a good freeway bypass to the south of the city (TCH 100) and an expressway bypass to the north (MB 101) for through travelers. (Which would not include people from elsewhere in the province, or outside the province, who need to do in-person business with government offices in downtown Winnipeg.) Under the proposal as it now stands, Syracuse would have just one bypass to replace the removed segment of I-81.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on April 23, 2019, 03:16:47 PM
To be fair...given that there's only in the neighborhood of 6,000 through vehicles coming from the south, and only 2,000 going between the south and the west, the concerns about "through traffic" and "west suburbs to south suburbs" on this form are a little overblown.

Maybe, but through and long distance traffic on other major freeway removals to date has been, for the most part, zero. So 6,000 per day is a big deal in that context. That's almost 2.2 million vehicles per year, and I'd guess at least 220,000 individual vehicles, i.e. people on non-recurring trips as opposed to the same cars every day.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on April 23, 2019, 03:35:56 PM
I am, however, used to being able to get around, and out, of a metro area on an efficient all-freeway route.

Thanks to growing up in Rochester, no doubt.  :thumbsup:

There's also the precedent.  As far as I know, this would be the first instance of a through freeway being removed in the country.  Everything else has been a spur.  It will only embolden the activists further, and I don't seem them stopping until every city is like Winnipeg (which has no freeways of any kind).

Parts of the TCH 100 / Perimeter Hwy are now full freeway, but said segments are far removed from the city center, which is a nightmare. And yeah, if every city was like Winnipeg, the world would be a terrible place, for a multitude of reasons which I won't go into at this time.   ;-)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on April 23, 2019, 03:49:08 PM
And Winnipeg makes do just fine with a great metro system, freeways and expressways that serve the metro quite well, and a central city that's far more impressive than what most US cities can dream about.

Please tell me this is sarcasm. Of any large city I've been to, Winnipeg is among the worst to navigate, especially at rush hour. Every single through route is crowded, laden with stoplights and massive inefficient intersections, and basically just a slow-motion nauseating nightmare (to put it bluntly!!  :-D)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on April 23, 2019, 04:37:59 PM
Does anyone think the people of Syracuse might unite to prevent the Community Grid from being constructed? Or, as I suspect, city residents will deliver a collective "meh" to this project, and the Community Grid will be constructed as proposed? I know this wasn't a final decision, but it seems set in stone to me.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 23, 2019, 07:40:50 PM
Does anyone think the people of Syracuse might unite to prevent the Community Grid from being constructed? Or, as I suspect, city residents will deliver a collective "meh" to this project, and the Community Grid will be constructed as proposed? I know this wasn't a final decision, but it seems set in stone to me.
Guess what? like many older areas, Syracuse had a period of suburb flee, so city itself is on a poor side of spectrum, while wealth is in the suburbia.
And the highway is used a lot to drive between suburban home and city job. So the city doesn't benefit from highway that much (or at least people think so).
Accordingly, there is a lot of "it's our city, we got to decide! Move in or get lost!" - "but it is everyone's (read: mostly out of the city) money, we have something to say!"
Which, of course, doesn't make the situation any easier to resolve.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on April 23, 2019, 09:02:53 PM
Found an article that includes actual details about what will be built: https://expo.syracuse.com/news/g66l-2019/04/8c50a10c522772/how-would-community-grid-work-check-out-maps-from-interstate-81-report.html

Looks like the upgrades to I-481 got SLIGHTLY more extensive, with aux lanes in both directions between I-690 and exit 5.  Still no widened lanes through exit 5 or SB between 6 and 5, unfortunately (I'd also add in aux lanes between 6 and 7, both directions).

Very disappointed to see that the full interchange between I-690 and the remainder of I-81 was removed.  The lack of access between Camillus/Fairmount and the north is a major flaw in Syracuse's freeway system, which is now not being fixed.

(personal opinion)

I am, however, used to being able to get around, and out, of a metro area on an efficient all-freeway route.

Thanks to growing up in Rochester, no doubt.  :thumbsup:
And in an inner suburb just a mile from I-590, too.  The most major cancelled corridor is one I never need to use (but would be a glaring flaw for anyone trying to get between Greece and Webster).  Where I live in the Capital District is also well situated for using freeways to get around, although we do have more freeway inaccessible areas than Rochester.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Duke87 on April 23, 2019, 09:38:46 PM
Probably the Albany Skyway (removing the US 9 north ramp at I-787 and turning it into a park similar to NYC's high line), though there is desire among some advocates for a complete removal of I-787.
Maybe NY787 in Cohoes? It is in full swing...

I was referring to 787 in Cohoes, though the "Skyway" is also a valid example.

Does anyone think the people of Syracuse might unite to prevent the Community Grid from being constructed? Or, as I suspect, city residents will deliver a collective "meh" to this project, and the Community Grid will be constructed as proposed?

Not even a collective "meh". A majority of residents of the city proper support the "Community Grid" alternative. The opposition within the area generally comes from the suburbs.

Naturally, the people who use the viaduct want it to stay, while the people who live near it but don't derive much personal benefit from its presence want it gone.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cu2010 on April 23, 2019, 09:43:10 PM
Of note is that the current I-81 will be redesignated as BL 81. Would be the first green Interstate shield in NY.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on April 23, 2019, 10:26:30 PM
Naturally, the people who use the viaduct want it to stay, while the people who live near it but don't derive much personal benefit from its presence want it gone.

Syracuse seems to be contemplating suicide, or sooee-cide, or stupid-kari.  Planning for a massive decline in population and employment.

Just the costs for demolition, building tie-ins to the existing highway truncations, and direct connections between I-81 and I-481, will be a substantial percentage of the costs for replacing the superstructure on the 0.9 mile bridge.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Michael on April 23, 2019, 10:38:12 PM
I saw an interesting comment on NewsChannel 9's Facebook post (https://www.facebook.com/NewsChannel9/posts/10157129819435351?comment_id=10157129858250351&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R%22%7D) of their "before and after rendering" article:

Quote
Anyone been to Big Flats lately? It was a "community grid." Then I86 was elevated though. Why was that a good idea?????

I hadn't thought of comparing the two before!

I still think that it's silly to think of the bridge as a barrier that will magically dramatically improve the quality of life for Syracuse if it's removed.  I'm willing to consider that it may have some affect, but some comments I've read are from people that seem to think a huge miracle will happen if the bridge is removed.  As I've thought for years, and I think I mentioned before in this thread: Why can't a new bridge look something like the Zakim Bridge in Boston?  A cable-stayed design would only need two towers for the length of the current viaduct, the towers could straddle Almond Street, the deck could be a bit higher, and the bridge towers could be lit up in different colors for different events, seasons, etc.

Another "community grid" I hadn't thought of until today is the one-way couplet of NY 13/34/96 in Ithaca.  It can get pretty busy, but I can't recall ever being stuck in traffic there for too long.  Each side of the couplet has three lanes, and the TDV shows an AADT of 40,275 (the total of both directions) for the busiest section.  The difference is that I-81 has over twice that amount of cars.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on April 24, 2019, 08:53:25 AM
The most major cancelled corridor is one I never need to use (but would be a glaring flaw for anyone trying to get between Greece and Webster).

I do have to travel between Greece and Webster every so often. 104 through Greece isn't great, but it is bearable; the lights are usually timed reasonably well, and at least the first 2/3 of the trip (or last, depending on your direction) is freeway.

I find Webster to Fairport much more annoying, because it's very slow moving and there's not even any four-lane through roads, much less a divided highway or a freeway. In fact, anything at all involving NY 250 tends to be frustrating, and the entire Pittsford - Fairport - East Rochester area is very clumsy to navigate. For Webster to Victor, I wouldn't even consider backroads; just hit the Bay Bridge > NY 590 > I-490 and deal with the extra mileage knowing how much time and exasperation will be saved.


Of course, I agree with the larger point that Rochester has it easy compared to many cities, Syracuse already being one of those, and all the more so if the viaduct really does go.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on April 24, 2019, 08:59:59 AM
Come to think of it, the New York State Fair alone may be justification for rebuilding the viaduct. Fair traffic is bad enough as it is; I can't even imagine what it would be like with no viaduct, even with an optimal community grid.

Not to mention how much less accessible Destiny USA and SYR would become from points south; that's two entities I would imagine are very much against removal.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 24, 2019, 09:13:30 AM
Come to think of it, the New York State Fair alone may be justification for rebuilding the viaduct. Fair traffic is bad enough as it is; I can't even imagine what it would be like with no viaduct, even with an optimal community grid.

Not to mention how much less accessible Destiny USA and SYR would become from points south; that's two entities I would imagine are very much against removal.
State fair will be only moderately affected by viaduct removal. It only affects southern approach; and adds maybe 3 miles detour. Not critical for once a year long haul trip. Some ould reroute to Thruway. Spending billions on infrastructure for once a year event is also less than wise.
As for Destiny USA - yes, they will be affected, they are complaining, and yes, Onondaga county will be missing a lot of sales tax, Syracuse will loose lower level some jobs. I don't have too much sympathy here, Tompkins county for one should be winning as NYC now collects sales tax from online sales anyway.  Young people moving out of upstate also reduce traffic through the community grid.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on April 24, 2019, 09:20:14 AM
Why can't Syracuse do what Birmingham is doing --

ALDOT says I-59/20 construction is ahead of schedule and we’ve got the photos to prove it (photo gallery)
https://bhamnow.com/2019/04/05/aldot-i-59-20-construction/
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 24, 2019, 10:52:01 AM
Why can't Syracuse do what Birmingham is doing --

ALDOT says I-59/20 construction is ahead of schedule and we’ve got the photos to prove it (photo gallery)
https://bhamnow.com/2019/04/05/aldot-i-59-20-construction/
Because the issue at hand is not a construction itself, it is about what exactly has to be built. That discussion is going on for at least a decade, and there no consensus about how to proceed, not even a hint of opinion convergence.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on April 24, 2019, 12:44:35 PM
Come to think of it, the New York State Fair alone may be justification for rebuilding the viaduct. Fair traffic is bad enough as it is; I can't even imagine what it would be like with no viaduct, even with an optimal community grid.
State fair will be only moderately affected by viaduct removal. It only affects southern approach; and adds maybe 3 miles detour. Not critical for once a year long haul trip. Some ould reroute to Thruway. Spending billions on infrastructure for once a year event is also less than wise.

To be clear, I don't think the fair is the biggest reason to rebuild the viaduct, or even close to it, but it is certainly a major point in favor. I know if I was coming in to the fair from the south, I would plan on using the much shorter route via the community grid as opposed to using I-481. It doesn't take a very high percentage of fair traffic to make that decision to cause some pretty significant traffic issues.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 24, 2019, 12:47:50 PM
Come to think of it, the New York State Fair alone may be justification for rebuilding the viaduct. Fair traffic is bad enough as it is; I can't even imagine what it would be like with no viaduct, even with an optimal community grid.
State fair will be only moderately affected by viaduct removal. It only affects southern approach; and adds maybe 3 miles detour. Not critical for once a year long haul trip. Some ould reroute to Thruway. Spending billions on infrastructure for once a year event is also less than wise.

To be clear, I don't think the fair is the biggest reason to rebuild the viaduct, or even close to it, but it is certainly a major point in favor. I know if I was coming in to the fair from the south, I would plan on using the much shorter route via the community grid as opposed to using I-481. It doesn't take a very high percentage of fair traffic to make that decision to cause some pretty significant traffic issues.
And as they told you in other threads: you do not design for traffic which exists few days a year. 95% is a reasonable target; that means that 2 weeks a year a road can easily be inadequate for the volume - but you don't want to overbuild just for those events.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on April 24, 2019, 12:58:22 PM
To be clear, I don't think the fair is the biggest reason to rebuild the viaduct, or even close to it, but it is certainly a major point in favor. I know if I was coming in to the fair from the south, I would plan on using the much shorter route via the community grid as opposed to using I-481. It doesn't take a very high percentage of fair traffic to make that decision to cause some pretty significant traffic issues.
And as they told you in other threads: you do not design for traffic which exists few days a year. 95% is a reasonable target; that means that 2 weeks a year a road can easily be inadequate for the volume - but you don't want to overbuild just for those events.

I never said the project should be designed a certain way just for the fair. It shouldn't be, of course; it should be designed to best fill the needs of normal traffic passing through the area. But nevertheless the fair is a point in favor of rebuilding the viaduct instead of creating a community grid, and that's obvious to me, so I would think it should be obvious to the state, as well.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on April 24, 2019, 12:59:52 PM
Come to think of it, the New York State Fair alone may be justification for rebuilding the viaduct. Fair traffic is bad enough as it is; I can't even imagine what it would be like with no viaduct, even with an optimal community grid.

Not to mention how much less accessible Destiny USA and SYR would become from points south; that's two entities I would imagine are very much against removal.
State fair will be only moderately affected by viaduct removal. It only affects southern approach; and adds maybe 3 miles detour. Not critical for once a year long haul trip. Some ould reroute to Thruway. Spending billions on infrastructure for once a year event is also less than wise.
As for Destiny USA - yes, they will be affected, they are complaining, and yes, Onondaga county will be missing a lot of sales tax, Syracuse will loose lower level some jobs. I don't have too much sympathy here, Tompkins county for one should be winning as NYC now collects sales tax from online sales anyway.  Young people moving out of upstate also reduce traffic through the community grid.
It's three miles on I-81 from exit 16A to I-690.  Taking I-481 and I-690 for that trip is 11 miles.  As such, there won't be any good all-freeway route from Binghamton to the Fair any more.

Why someone would take the Thruway to get to the Fair from any direction but east or west, I don't know.  It's a bit of a diversion.  This may be a side effect of growing up in Rochester, but I view the Thruway as being for long-distance traffic, not local traffic.

Of course, this point isn't just regarding the fair, but from anywhere south of Syracuse to/from the west.

Come to think of it, the New York State Fair alone may be justification for rebuilding the viaduct. Fair traffic is bad enough as it is; I can't even imagine what it would be like with no viaduct, even with an optimal community grid.
State fair will be only moderately affected by viaduct removal. It only affects southern approach; and adds maybe 3 miles detour. Not critical for once a year long haul trip. Some ould reroute to Thruway. Spending billions on infrastructure for once a year event is also less than wise.

To be clear, I don't think the fair is the biggest reason to rebuild the viaduct, or even close to it, but it is certainly a major point in favor. I know if I was coming in to the fair from the south, I would plan on using the much shorter route via the community grid as opposed to using I-481. It doesn't take a very high percentage of fair traffic to make that decision to cause some pretty significant traffic issues.
I for one am very glad I don't have to make that choice - privilege of living east of Syracuse, I guess.  On the one hand, I prefer to keep my routing "within the system" unless I'm clinching things (I tend to think of the interstate system on a separate and systemic level, but this happens for non-interstates too - I don't like swapping in and out of the state route system either, preferring to follow a local-county-state/US-interstate/freeway-state/US-county-local travel pattern).  On the other, making a significant diversion that triples the mileage between two points because some urbanists have become very influential doesn't sit well with me either.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on April 24, 2019, 01:31:11 PM
Quote from: vdeane
This may be a side effect of growing up in Rochester, but I view the Thruway as being for long-distance traffic, not local traffic.

Keep in mind that the Thruway has 6 interchanges between I-690 and I-481 inclusive.  That's about one every 2-2.5 miles and far more frequent than what you have in the Rochester area.  There also isn't a whole lot of Rochester suburbia/exurbia south of the Thruway, but Syracuse has a lot of such north of the Thruway.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on April 24, 2019, 02:15:01 PM
Quote from: vdeane
This may be a side effect of growing up in Rochester, but I view the Thruway as being for long-distance traffic, not local traffic.
Keep in mind that the Thruway has 6 interchanges between I-690 and I-481 inclusive.  That's about one every 2-2.5 miles and far more frequent than what you have in the Rochester area.  There also isn't a whole lot of Rochester suburbia/exurbia south of the Thruway, but Syracuse has a lot of such north of the Thruway.

I think it's a given that the Thruway has more local traffic (though still not a lot per se) near Syracuse than Rochester.
However, the point therein is that someone going from Binghamton to the state fair isn't going to use the Thruway, regardless of what happens with the I-81 viaduct.



A much broader question is what the overall impact of viaduct removal would be on traffic volumes on the Thruway. As someone who travels to the East Coast via Syracuse with some frequency, I see three basic options for if/when the viaduct is removed (not including I-390 > I-86, which avoids the Syracuse region altogether):

(1) Take the same route as current, using the new surface street where necessary. Shortest mileage and probably not a terrible option, especially at night, but nevertheless an annoying incongruity on a long-distance trip.
(2) Take I-690 to its current eastern terminus at I-481. Adds 8 miles and about as many minutes as compared to taking the existing viaduct. Probably the worst option, because you're basically taking three sides of a square instead of one, and you almost certainly lose more time than you would by slogging through the new grid.
(3) Take the Thruway all the way to I-481. Avoids downtown, avoids I-690, and doesn't feel quite as circular - or at least forms a larger circle - as compared to (2). Current time/distance from Thruway Exit 39 to the southern terminus of I-481 via the viaduct is 15 min/14 mi. Via the Thruway > I-481, time/distance is 24 min/25 mi. Also adds about 10 minutes, but with better opportunities for making up time and on (in general) less congested roadways.

Adding a Thruway exit at NY 173 would provide a fourth option; roughly this (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/43.0028121,-76.1326081/2250-2342+NY-173,+Warners,+NY+13164/@43.045508,-76.315652,12z/data=!4m10!4m9!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x89d9fb719eee8dd1:0x48265f84bcf33d50!2m2!1d-76.3474846!2d43.093078!3e0!5i1!5m1!1e1). I am not sure how much potential this corridor has to be a major south/west connector or how intense it would be to widen it to four lanes throughout.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on April 24, 2019, 08:10:52 PM
It's too bad it's no longer possible to build the western bypass as originally envisioned, since it require taking a small bite out of a Wegmans to build the EB on ramp.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: amroad17 on April 25, 2019, 01:08:09 AM
And moving a power substation.

Before the Camillus bypass was finished, we would, after visiting relatives in the Camillus area (Memphis, Elbridge, Jordan), have our route from there to the Hampton Roads area of Virginia involve taking NY 5 East (West Genesee Street) to NY 173 East to US 11 South to I-81 South at Exit 16.  Sure, we were driving on undivided four lane and two lane roads, however, we never had to deal with the downtown Syracuse traffic.  Now that NY 695 and the Camillus bypass is finished, one could leave the fairgrounds, head south on NY 695 to NY 5 East, make a right onto West Genesee, then a left onto NY 173 East to get to I-81 South to avoid whatever may be attempted in Syracuse.

This section of I-81 in Syracuse is most likely the worst section to have to decide something like this.  Many commuters rely on this section to go just about anywhere north and west of the Syracuse area from the south side of the city.  I believe that the section of I-81 north of I-690, if it had a viaduct, would not be as much of a problem as it is currently.  There would be ways to "go around" it.  There really isn't a good way to "go around" the Community Grid option or any reconstruction of the viaduct if that happens.

I would like to believe what ALDOT is building in Birmingham would work in Syracuse.  Unfortunately, I don 't believe it would,  The existing footprint is too small.  Besides, many citizens, especially those that live in and around the I-81 corridor in downtown Syracuse, would love to see the viaduct be torn down and not have another one built in its place.

This is one case where it is a fight between the city and the suburbs.  If I still lived in the area, I guess I would have more of a say in what is decided.  As it is, I can only voice my opinions from 600 miles away.

Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Flyer78 on April 25, 2019, 10:42:48 AM
Adding a Thruway exit at NY 173 would provide a fourth option; roughly this (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/43.0028121,-76.1326081/2250-2342+NY-173,+Warners,+NY+13164/@43.045508,-76.315652,12z/data=!4m10!4m9!1m0!1m5!1m1!1s0x89d9fb719eee8dd1:0x48265f84bcf33d50!2m2!1d-76.3474846!2d43.093078!3e0!5i1!5m1!1e1). I am not sure how much potential this corridor has to be a major south/west connector or how intense it would be to widen it to four lanes throughout.

As someone who grew up with a Warners address, widening 173 would be an issue. Through the hamlet of Warners, properties are close to the road; and would have to cross the main east-west corridor on a widened bridge in "downtown Warners (aka The Bridge)" - This is an active corridor, with trains often every five minutes of both passenger and freight variety. The next several miles of 173 are signed for 35 MPH but that is laughable by most standards. Past Reed Webster Park in Amboy heading towards Fairmount, the speed drops to 30 MPH, and again housing stock aligns close-in to the right-of-way. Proceeding through the Westover tracts, a realigned 173 heads towards Fairmount Corners (the realignment was necessary to build the NY5 bypass) and crosses old 5, again, in constrained corners. As 173 heads towards Onondaga Hill/"The Valley" it again is fairly constrained along its route.

Tl;dr: Widening would cause a high amount of property acquisition. I'm not sure it would be required for widening in all areas, however - commercial locations along NY173 are limited to the Fairmount areas until hitting the valley section.

From Camillus and points west , there are (winding) ways to meet I-81 further south at Tully. It is easily 30 minutes longer to take that route with slower-speed country roads

How is the rest of the old routing look for the Western bypass? Other than a major substation and Wegmans employee parking I think the area has filled-in, can't imagine reviving the plan (funding aside) would be well received...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on April 25, 2019, 11:58:59 AM
Quote
How is the rest of the old routing look for the Western bypass?

- There are houses along Granger Rd (about 1,000ft south of the Wegmans) where the bypass corridor would have crossed it.
- There are blocks of suburban residential development about 3/4mi south of the Wegmans.
- There's at least one house along Fay Rd (about 1.5mi south of Wegmans) that would be impacted.

Beyond that location, what's "in the way" is questionable because there was never a fully defined corridor over to 81.  It never got past the planning stage.  On the early '70s Syracuse metro transportation plan that I found, there were 3 different options for bringing the Southwest bypass to 81.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on April 25, 2019, 07:49:13 PM
Today's announcement was one of the stupidest things I've read about in New York in years. Glad I moved out. Now, if I could just figure out how to change my username here on this board doohickey.
I think you need to PM an admin about that.  Alps changed mine a few years ago.

Meant to reply earlier, but I guess it slipped through the cracks.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Michael on April 25, 2019, 08:42:35 PM
I just had yet another thought for I-81: Are business route standards as high as regular Interstate standards?  I remember seeing a post somewhere on the forum about how substandard a business interstate was, and if I remember right, it was I-85 Business in Greensboro, NC.  That used to be regular I-85, then I-85 was realigned on a bypass.  Could the I-81 viaduct be rebuilt in the same footprint and be designated I-81 Business, while still realigning I-81 onto I-481?  Not having to acquire property would reduce the cost of a viaduct, possibly to a similar cost to building a community grid.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on April 25, 2019, 08:47:10 PM
I just had yet another thought for I-81: Are business route standards as high as regular Interstate standards?
A business route can be a surface road. There's really not much standards in that regard for them. I-95 Business is a surface street through Fayetteville, NC.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: oscar on April 25, 2019, 09:03:05 PM
I just had yet another thought for I-81: Are business route standards as high as regular Interstate standards?
A business route can be a surface road. There's really not much standards in that regard for them. I-95 Business is a surface street through Fayetteville, NC.

Even two-lane surface streets, of lesser quality than the Fayetteville BR (largely four-lane divided), are Interstate business routes. Business routes often are parts of former U.S. routes bypassed by an Interstate, which especially out west will often be surface streets.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on April 26, 2019, 12:57:13 PM
I'd go so far as to say that surface streets are the norm for business routes.  They're everywhere out west.  Here's a typical example (https://www.google.com/maps/@40.9721958,-117.7364997,3a,24.9y,44.38h,91.86t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sFpwT_PybUcBRsBUrF0lcxg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656).
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: NoGoodNamesAvailable on April 26, 2019, 04:36:50 PM
I just had yet another thought for I-81: Are business route standards as high as regular Interstate standards?  I remember seeing a post somewhere on the forum about how substandard a business interstate was, and if I remember right, it was I-85 Business in Greensboro, NC.  That used to be regular I-85, then I-85 was realigned on a bypass.  Could the I-81 viaduct be rebuilt in the same footprint and be designated I-81 Business, while still realigning I-81 onto I-481?  Not having to acquire property would reduce the cost of a viaduct, possibly to a similar cost to building a community grid.

A new viaduct with a business interstate designation would have to meet design criteria for either freeways (NYSDOT uses the same criteria for interstates and non-interstate freeways) or NHS urban arterials, which are still strict enough that significant realignment and land takings would be necessary.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on April 26, 2019, 05:04:34 PM
No one can see the future, but my crystal ball prediction (and gut feeling) is NYDOT is going to go forward with the Community Grid, and tear down the viaduct. And when the locals complain about the traffic problems the boulevard will inevitably cause, the DOT will blame everyone but themselves for it.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 26, 2019, 05:49:19 PM
No one can see the future, but my crystal ball prediction (and gut feeling) is NYDOT is going to go forward with the Community Grid, and tear down the viaduct. And when the locals complain about the traffic problems the boulevard will inevitably cause, the DOT will blame everyone but themselves for it.
They don't really have much choice.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sparker on April 26, 2019, 08:23:12 PM
^^^^^^^^^^
Syracuse is an archetypal "rust belt" city, with business declining and those folks with opportunities elsewhere leaving in droves (and SUV's and trucks and whatever else they can commandeer!).  The earlier posted speculation that the I-81 viaduct teardown and "boulevardization" was a done deal several electoral cycles ago is probably correct; with upstate NY politics the way they are, there's probably no one entity in the state legislature who could or would "roadblock" this project.  My guess is that, besides the state fair, the one institution that will remain intact in Syracuse regardless of population loss is the university of the same name -- ostensibly containing an urban planning and/or public affairs department; I could count on the fingers of one hand those particular entities not being dominated by the latest trends in urbanism (how it morphed from methodology to ideology would be an interesting side-study!).  It's also highly probable that the one source of local information maintaining a high level of consistency would be those same academically-based folks; maintaining a moderated stream of information to NYDOT emphasizing their POV (including students afraid to walk through underpasses) in all likelihood turned the tide.  Without a consistent barrage -- or, again, even a stream -- of contrarian information, likely due to a dearth of local industry with a "dog in the race" -- the side making the most noise prevailed. 

Possibly another backhanded rationalization for the I-81 teardown/relocation would be that a city effectively on its last socioeconomic legs under the existing set of circumstances might serve as a "test bench" for elevating urbanist theory into actual practice.  After all, who's going to be left to complain?  Surely not NYDOT, which will, after spending some bucks on revamping 481 to handle more through traffic than it's getting now, have one less crumbling structure to maintain.  And surely not the other Syracuse U. students, most of whom will be getting the hell out of Dodge after graduation, so area issues won't be a primary concern to them.  About the only likely complainants would be the folks commuting into town from the north or south who'd find the boulevard slog less than pleasurable -- particularly in a city or region that can ill afford massive expenses to implement much in the way of new transit.   And without an effective political voice that carries east to Albany, the decision to manipulate Syracuse traffic patterns to determine if indeed the theories currently in vogue hold water will likely stand barring some unforeseen cohesive opposition. 

Prior thread speculation puts the timeframe for all this at about a decade; if anyone with official knowledge (you know who you are!) has different info, please chime in!     
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on April 26, 2019, 09:15:55 PM
Who the heck is "NYDOT"? :D
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on April 26, 2019, 10:22:14 PM
Who the heck is "NYDOT"? :D
NYSDOT... But nice catch  :-D
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sparker on April 27, 2019, 01:37:57 AM
Who the heck is "NYDOT"? :D
NYSDOT... But nice catch  :-D

Aaaaarrrrrghhh........typical New York modus operandi; making things more complicated than they need to be!!!!! :rolleyes:  Glad all we have out here is good old apathetic Caltrans!
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: steviep24 on April 27, 2019, 09:24:43 AM
Who the heck is "NYDOT"? :D
NYSDOT... But nice catch  :-D

Aaaaarrrrrghhh........typical New York modus operandi; making things more complicated than they need to be!!!!! :rolleyes:  Glad all we have out here is good old apathetic Caltrans!
There's also NYCDOT. Need a way to tell them apart.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on April 27, 2019, 11:35:06 AM
Who the heck is "NYDOT"? :D
NYSDOT... But nice catch  :-D
Aaaaarrrrrghhh........typical New York modus operandi; making things more complicated than they need to be!!!!! :rolleyes:  Glad all we have out here is good old apathetic Caltrans!
There's also NYCDOT. Need a way to tell them apart.

That is what happens when the state and its largest city have the same name.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kevinb1994 on April 27, 2019, 01:37:43 PM
Who the heck is "NYDOT"? :D
NYSDOT... But nice catch  :-D
Aaaaarrrrrghhh........typical New York modus operandi; making things more complicated than they need to be!!!!! :rolleyes:  Glad all we have out here is good old apathetic Caltrans!
There's also NYCDOT. Need a way to tell them apart.

That is what happens when the state and its largest city have the same name.

Of course, not the only example in America.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Mergingtraffic on April 27, 2019, 01:49:32 PM
https://www.syracuse.com/news/2019/04/i-81-690-were-supposed-to-finally-connect-on-syracuses-north-side-what-happened.html


So they took out the I-81/I-690 ramp connection to please a few regardless of safety. They contradict themselves
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: hbelkins on April 27, 2019, 01:57:55 PM
Is the viaduct really "crumbling?" Are there not less-involved repairs that can be done to extend its useful life? Concrete flaking off the piers or potholes on the bridge deck are a normal fact of life.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 27, 2019, 03:56:39 PM
Is the viaduct really "crumbling?" Are there not less-involved repairs that can be done to extend its useful life? Concrete flaking off the piers or potholes on the bridge deck are a normal fact of life.
my understanding is that yes, these are structures approaching the end of life.
Next door, in Albany, NYSDOT did quite a bit of work on I-787 and I-90 bridge (I believe it was basically rebuilt in place).  Those are similar elevated structures, but those are built so that there is much less controversy with modern standards. That mean 1:1 replacement is possible from funding point of view. Syracuse's problem that structure is quite a bit substandard.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on April 27, 2019, 05:42:31 PM
Pfft.  The costs in Syracuse make the I-787 and even the Patroon Island Bridge work look like a pittance.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on April 27, 2019, 07:02:08 PM
Is the viaduct really "crumbling?" Are there not less-involved repairs that can be done to extend its useful life? Concrete flaking off the piers or potholes on the bridge deck are a normal fact of life.

The viaduct was already on "life support" when Meaghan lived in Syracuse 15 years ago.  Age, winter, and traffic certainly have not helped in those years.  It's to the point where it would cost NYSDOT more in the long run to do "less involved repairs" (which at this point would happen with considerable frequency) than it would cost to remove or replace it.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on April 27, 2019, 10:31:32 PM
https://www.syracuse.com/news/2019/04/i-81-690-were-supposed-to-finally-connect-on-syracuses-north-side-what-happened.html


So they took out the I-81/I-690 ramp connection to please a few regardless of safety. They contradict themselves
Part of me wonders if that has anything to do with designating a business loop rather than making the freeway portion a new I-481 and the rest a state highway like was originally planned.  I know FHWA hates partial interchanges these days - especially for interstate/interstate junctions.

(personal opinion)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Duke87 on April 28, 2019, 03:30:54 PM
So they took out the I-81/I-690 ramp connection to please a few regardless of safety. They contradict themselves

Well, and to cut costs. Given the current state of NYSDOT's finances, it won't take much local complaint to convince them to spend less money on something.

This is also a contributing factor to the "community grid" alternative itself - the state has to tear down the existing viaduct regardless, and the proposed improvements to 481, while unrobust and leading to a reduction in overall capacity and network quality, cost less than building a new viaduct would.

They won't of course come out and say "sorry, we can't afford to build a new viaduct, we're broke", they'll only present it as "revitalizing the community" and all sorts of other buzzphrases, but that is part of what is going on here.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on April 28, 2019, 03:37:06 PM
So they took out the I-81/I-690 ramp connection to please a few regardless of safety. They contradict themselves
Well, and to cut costs. Given the current state of NYSDOT's finances, it won't take much local complaint to convince them to spend less money on something.
This is also a contributing factor to the "community grid" alternative itself - the state has to tear down the existing viaduct regardless, and the proposed improvements to 481, while unrobust and leading to a reduction in overall capacity and network quality, cost less than building a new viaduct would.

Good grief, it is only a 0.9-mile-long bridge.  You would think it was 30 miles long the way some of officialdom is wringing their hands over this.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 28, 2019, 04:49:18 PM
So they took out the I-81/I-690 ramp connection to please a few regardless of safety. They contradict themselves

Well, and to cut costs. Given the current state of NYSDOT's finances, it won't take much local complaint to convince them to spend less money on something.
Cost of ramps is quoted $90M out of $2B project, less than 5%. Not negligible, but it may raise questions from FHWA, as mentioned. That is for the project which is mostly federal money.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on April 28, 2019, 05:40:09 PM
This whole thing is going to be a mistake if actually put forth and constructed (or more like destruction).

The current "bypass" is going to see massive traffic issues as it's already overloaded, and traffic who already relies on the existing I-81 that's not long-distance is going to be forced to surface streets.

Keep it going NYSDOT!
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 28, 2019, 06:20:35 PM
This whole thing is going to be a mistake if actually put forth and constructed (or more like destruction).

The current "bypass" is going to see massive traffic issues as it's already overloaded, and traffic who already relies on the existing I-81 that's not long-distance is going to be forced to surface streets.

Keep it going NYSDOT!
There is no really good option here. At this point I feel the worse it grows, the better: there will be an example to show as a failure to counter urbanism approach.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on April 28, 2019, 08:06:47 PM
This whole thing is going to be a mistake if actually put forth and constructed (or more like destruction).

The current "bypass" is going to see massive traffic issues as it's already overloaded, and traffic who already relies on the existing I-81 that's not long-distance is going to be forced to surface streets.

Keep it going NYSDOT!
There is no really good option here. At this point I feel the worse it grows, the better: there will be an example to show as a failure to counter urbanism approach.
I don't see that happening.  Any congestion will be touted as a "feature" rather than a bug, and if development or revitalization fails to happen, it will probably be explained away as Syracuse being on decline rather than any flaw in the urbanist approach.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on April 28, 2019, 08:08:11 PM
There is no really good option here. At this point I feel the worse it grows, the better: there will be an example to show as a failure to counter urbanism approach.
Or worse... it'll be the first of many...

I'm just glad it's nowhere around where I'm at... for now anyways...

Next, they'll want to demolish I-95 through Downtown Richmond, construct a community grid, and route I-95 on I-295 (ironically, that was the original plan when I-295 was built in the 80s). I-95 divides our neighborhoods, tear it down! (even though most of it isn't elevated)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 28, 2019, 08:26:51 PM
This whole thing is going to be a mistake if actually put forth and constructed (or more like destruction).

The current "bypass" is going to see massive traffic issues as it's already overloaded, and traffic who already relies on the existing I-81 that's not long-distance is going to be forced to surface streets.

Keep it going NYSDOT!
There is no really good option here. At this point I feel the worse it grows, the better: there will be an example to show as a failure to counter urbanism approach.
I don't see that happening.  Any congestion will be touted as a "feature" rather than a bug, and if development or revitalization fails to happen, it will probably be explained away as Syracuse being on decline rather than any flaw in the urbanist approach.
It would still be a pretty strong argument that city population, and probably are population, would go down. Of course, anything can be denied - including 2+2=4 - but there will be a good example of "and no, it didn't help"
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sparker on April 28, 2019, 08:50:16 PM
^^^^^^^^
If indeed the Syracuse population continues to decrease, urbanists may be inclined to preside (or attempt to do so) over a city "transfiguration" into a format built around the university and geared toward the regional service sector, since manufacturing has essentially left the area.  If so, there's a distinct possibililty that attention may be turned toward I-690 as the singular feature of the "old way of doing things" remaining in the city core; placing that facility on the chopping block (wholly or partially) might be on the agenda within a decade or two. 

An ancillary question:  Have the independent suburbs surrounding Syracuse (e.g. Fairmount, Liverpool, Bayberry et. al.) also featured correponding population losses -- or have they actually served as relocation destinations from the central city?  That in itself would serve either as further incentive to continue down the selected path of urban revamping or, alternately, indicate that the regional population, rather than abandoning the region in a wholesale fashion, has simply rearranged itself around the periphery as with so many other urban areas. 
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 28, 2019, 09:14:48 PM
^^^^^^^^
If indeed the Syracuse population continues to decrease, urbanists may be inclined to preside (or attempt to do so) over a city "transfiguration" into a format built around the university and geared toward the regional service sector, since manufacturing has essentially left the area.  If so, there's a distinct possibililty that attention may be turned toward I-690 as the singular feature of the "old way of doing things" remaining in the city core; placing that facility on the chopping block (wholly or partially) might be on the agenda within a decade or two. 

An ancillary question:  Have the independent suburbs surrounding Syracuse (e.g. Fairmount, Liverpool, Bayberry et. al.) also featured correponding population losses -- or have they actually served as relocation destinations from the central city?  That in itself would serve either as further incentive to continue down the selected path of urban revamping or, alternately, indicate that the regional population, rather than abandoning the region in a wholesale fashion, has simply rearranged itself around the periphery as with so many other urban areas.
Census estimates: city of Syracuse NY: 146k(2010)->144k(2017), -2k; Syracuse MSA 662.5k(2010) ->651k(2017), -11.5k
Traditional disclaimer: every urbanist knows these estimates are too low
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on April 28, 2019, 09:19:40 PM
An ancillary question:  Have the independent suburbs surrounding Syracuse (e.g. Fairmount, Liverpool, Bayberry et. al.) also featured correponding population losses -- or have they actually served as relocation destinations from the central city?  That in itself would serve either as further incentive to continue down the selected path of urban revamping or, alternately, indicate that the regional population, rather than abandoning the region in a wholesale fashion, has simply rearranged itself around the periphery as with so many other urban areas.

The metro as a whole has had massive population losses. The city itself has been losing population for 60 years, but the largest losses by percentage are in the suburbs. Baby Boomers are retiring and moving south/dying out and younger people are not staying in the region to replace them. There are some projections that the region will lose 1/4 of its population within the next 20 years.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on April 28, 2019, 09:46:18 PM
An ancillary question:  Have the independent suburbs surrounding Syracuse (e.g. Fairmount, Liverpool, Bayberry et. al.) also featured correponding population losses -- or have they actually served as relocation destinations from the central city?
The metro as a whole has had massive population losses. The city itself has been losing population for 60 years, but the largest losses by percentage are in the suburbs. Baby Boomers are retiring and moving south/dying out and younger people are not staying in the region to replace them. There are some projections that the region will lose 1/4 of its population within the next 20 years.

Massive? I really have a tough time believing that the Syracuse region is losing population at any significant rate, much less the rate of Detroit in the 1970s. I know at least some of the suburbs are still growing, albeit slowly. I hope to get time tomorrow to compile some actual data for both the city and the metro area.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on April 28, 2019, 09:47:07 PM
Meh.  Syracuse is a hurting city.  It's been losing people over the decades.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 28, 2019, 10:07:56 PM
An ancillary question:  Have the independent suburbs surrounding Syracuse (e.g. Fairmount, Liverpool, Bayberry et. al.) also featured correponding population losses -- or have they actually served as relocation destinations from the central city?
The metro as a whole has had massive population losses. The city itself has been losing population for 60 years, but the largest losses by percentage are in the suburbs. Baby Boomers are retiring and moving south/dying out and younger people are not staying in the region to replace them. There are some projections that the region will lose 1/4 of its population within the next 20 years.

Massive? I really have a tough time believing that the Syracuse region is losing population at any significant rate, much less the rate of Detroit in the 1970s. I know at least some of the suburbs are still growing, albeit slowly. I hope to get time tomorrow to compile some actual data for both the city and the metro area.
To make your life a bit easier:
https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/popest.html
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: seicer on April 29, 2019, 10:03:24 AM
Down but not out: https://www.syracuse.com/news/2019/04/unemployment-hits-18-year-low-in-syracuse-area.html

Syracuse is like many rust belt cities (Cleveland, Rochester, Toledo, Detroit, etc.) and hasn't been immune to the rapid changes in the manufacturing sector. The university and hospital system are the biggest drivers for the economy today - and that's nothing to sneeze at. High paying, gainful employment.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on April 29, 2019, 10:40:03 AM
Heh.  They'll take any positive spin they can get.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: RobbieL2415 on April 29, 2019, 11:13:59 AM
If I-490 is all below-grade through Rochester, why wasn't I-81 designed in the same manner
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 29, 2019, 11:18:21 AM
If I-490 is all below-grade through Rochester, why wasn't I-81 designed in the same manner
not sure, but tunnel is specifically said to be difficult due to ground water being close to surface. Since most of upstate cities are in river valleys, and Syracuse being specifically on a lakeshore, I wouldn't be surprised if that complicates any construction below the ground level
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: RobbieL2415 on April 29, 2019, 11:27:00 AM
If I-490 is all below-grade through Rochester, why wasn't I-81 designed in the same manner
not sure, but tunnel is specifically said to be difficult due to ground water being close to surface. Since most of upstate cities are in river valleys, and Syracuse being specifically on a lakeshore, I wouldn't be surprised if that complicates any construction below the ground level
Rochester's water table isn't too good either.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on April 29, 2019, 11:47:38 AM
Syracuse is like many rust belt cities (Cleveland, Rochester, Toledo, Detroit, etc.) and hasn't been immune to the rapid changes in the manufacturing sector.

I don't believe Syracuse and Rochester are Rust Belt cities; neither had the manufacturing base of places such as Buffalo, Pittsburgh, or Cleveland. I started a thread for this discussion: https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=24907.0
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on April 29, 2019, 11:53:01 AM
If I-490 is all below-grade through Rochester, why wasn't I-81 designed in the same manner

I-190 is above grade for many miles through Buffalo, but I haven't heard urbanists there crying for removal. Probably because it is not yet in enough of a state of disrepair for the state to be discussing replacement options.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on April 29, 2019, 12:13:50 PM


Syracuse is like many rust belt cities (Cleveland, Rochester, Toledo, Detroit, etc.) and hasn't been immune to the rapid changes in the manufacturing sector.

I don't believe Syracuse and Rochester are Rust Belt cities; neither had the manufacturing base of places such as Buffalo, Pittsburgh, or Cleveland. I started a thread for this discussion: https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=24907.0

Pfft.  Your beliefs are quite unique.  Rochester had Kodak go kaput and Syracuse has just had a slow bleed over the decades.  Both economically hurting cities are in the Rust Belt with Buffalo.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: seicer on April 29, 2019, 12:25:56 PM
Syracuse is like many rust belt cities (Cleveland, Rochester, Toledo, Detroit, etc.) and hasn't been immune to the rapid changes in the manufacturing sector.

I don't believe Syracuse and Rochester are Rust Belt cities; neither had the manufacturing base of places such as Buffalo, Pittsburgh, or Cleveland. I started a thread for this discussion: https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=24907.0

Albany is essentially the start of the "rust belt" that extends westward into the Midwest, ending at Chicago. It's more helpful to look at a map of manufacturing job losses from the mid-1950s to today, which essentially pins the "rust belt" between Albany and Gary, Indiana, including Detroit and Eastern Michigan, southwest Pennsylvania, northeast Kentucky/southern Ohio/western West Virginia, and southwest Ohio.
https://www.syracuse.com/news/2017/10/study_rust_belt_cities_like_syracuse_need_state_help_to_avoid_insolvency.html
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 29, 2019, 12:38:56 PM
If I-490 is all below-grade through Rochester, why wasn't I-81 designed in the same manner
not sure, but tunnel is specifically said to be difficult due to ground water being close to surface. Since most of upstate cities are in river valleys, and Syracuse being specifically on a lakeshore, I wouldn't be surprised if that complicates any construction below the ground level
Rochester's water table isn't too good either.
Looking at topo maps, Rochester should be way better:
http://nyfalls.com/maps/ny-maps-topo-100000/#Rochester
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on April 29, 2019, 12:41:28 PM
If I-490 is all below-grade through Rochester, why wasn't I-81 designed in the same manner
not sure, but tunnel is specifically said to be difficult due to ground water being close to surface. Since most of upstate cities are in river valleys, and Syracuse being specifically on a lakeshore, I wouldn't be surprised if that complicates any construction below the ground level
Rochester's water table isn't too good either.
Looking at topo maps, Rochester should be way better:
http://nyfalls.com/maps/ny-maps-topo-100000/#Rochester


How do you figure that?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 29, 2019, 12:50:46 PM
If I-490 is all below-grade through Rochester, why wasn't I-81 designed in the same manner
not sure, but tunnel is specifically said to be difficult due to ground water being close to surface. Since most of upstate cities are in river valleys, and Syracuse being specifically on a lakeshore, I wouldn't be surprised if that complicates any construction below the ground level
Rochester's water table isn't too good either.
Looking at topo maps, Rochester should be way better:
http://nyfalls.com/maps/ny-maps-topo-100000/#Rochester


How do you figure that?
Lake surface in Rochester is marked 74.8 - I assume average number, since lake fluctuate; and 100 contour goes pretty much parallel to the lake shore. I am not really familiar with Rochester, but as a single point: 390/490  seems to be above 150 mark

Syracuse has Onondago lake at 111  mark according to the map, and 150 contour seems to the east of I-81, hard to say with city grid overlayed.

Those are in meters, as far as I can tell.
Water table should be at least not below the lake level..
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on April 29, 2019, 01:11:13 PM
^^^^^^^^
If indeed the Syracuse population continues to decrease, urbanists may be inclined to preside (or attempt to do so) over a city "transfiguration" into a format built around the university and geared toward the regional service sector, since manufacturing has essentially left the area.  If so, there's a distinct possibililty that attention may be turned toward I-690 as the singular feature of the "old way of doing things" remaining in the city core; placing that facility on the chopping block (wholly or partially) might be on the agenda within a decade or two.
I wouldn't be surprised.  I've already read at least one article where someone mentioned wanting to do that.  At least I-690 will be in much better shape.  Still, the current redecking project might not save the Buffalo Skyway, so we can't count anything out.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on April 29, 2019, 02:23:25 PM
Next, they'll want to demolish I-95 through Downtown Richmond, construct a community grid, and route I-95 on I-295 (ironically, that was the original plan when I-295 was built in the 80s). I-95 divides our neighborhoods, tear it down! (even though most of it isn't elevated)

That was the interim plan, when justifying the I-295 extension to south of Petersburg in the late 1970s, an I-95 Bypass.  The Richmond bypass was I-295 in the late 1950s and every segment opened as I-295.  There was never any plan to move the I-64 designation out of the downtown, and the Richmond-Petersburg Turnpike south of the downtown would have been renumbered in the late 1970s plan.

The I-95 James River Bridge was reconstructed 1999-2002 and all the I-95 RPT bridges north of there were reconstructed 2010-14.  It is no more going away than is I-264 in Portsmouth, Norfolk and VA Beach.
 
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on April 29, 2019, 04:12:16 PM
Pfft.  Your beliefs are quite unique.  Rochester had Kodak go kaput and Syracuse has just had a slow bleed over the decades.  Both economically hurting cities are in the Rust Belt with Buffalo.

For the most part, I know Rust Belt when I see it - such as on I-190 in Buffalo - and Rochester certainly isn't.

I wouldn't say Rochester is exactly hurting, either. It's a lot more white collar than Buffalo, was basically unaffected - relative to the rest of the US -  by the 2008 recession, and the way the whole region adapted to the loss of Kodak was nothing short of amazing.

Syracuse has its fair share of issues, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it Rust Belt either.

Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: 1 on April 29, 2019, 04:13:57 PM
A city doesn't have to be part of the Rust Belt to see decline in the last two decades — just look at Iowa.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on April 29, 2019, 05:10:40 PM
For the most part, I know Rust Belt when I see it - such as on I-190 in Buffalo - and Rochester certainly isn't.
I wouldn't say Rochester is exactly hurting, either. It's a lot more white collar than Buffalo, was basically unaffected - relative to the rest of the US -  by the 2008 recession, and the way the whole region adapted to the loss of Kodak was nothing short of amazing.
Syracuse has its fair share of issues, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it Rust Belt either.

Common definitions would put all those metro areas in the rust belt, in terms of percentage of job loss since the 1950s --
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rust_Belt
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on April 29, 2019, 06:24:44 PM
For the most part, I know Rust Belt when I see it - such as on I-190 in Buffalo - and Rochester certainly isn't.
I wouldn't say Rochester is exactly hurting, either. It's a lot more white collar than Buffalo, was basically unaffected - relative to the rest of the US -  by the 2008 recession, and the way the whole region adapted to the loss of Kodak was nothing short of amazing.
Syracuse has its fair share of issues, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it Rust Belt either.

Common definitions would put all those metro areas in the rust belt, in terms of percentage of job loss since the 1950s --
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rust_Belt
Like I said, his opinion is unique.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on April 29, 2019, 08:34:36 PM
was basically unaffected - relative to the rest of the US -  by the 2008 recession
Also basically unaffected by the 2000s housing boom.  The economy is flatter than the rest of the country, which is great for stability, but in our growth-oriented society, the lack of the boom phases is viewed like kryptonite.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sparker on April 30, 2019, 12:50:40 AM
Even though Eastman/Kodak is in precipitous decline, Rochester, thanks to R.I.T., has a burgeoning electronics industry -- particularly in regards to analog circuits.  Several high-end audio companies (Convergent Technologies, Power Modules/Belles, Marchand) have greater Rochester as their base of operations; Ashly, a maker of pro sound reinforcement equipment, is also located in the area (all of the companies' founders/designers came out of R.I.T., which is renowned for their analog engineering program).  And several component manufacturers are located in the region as well; while it's not Silicon Valley or even Seattle by any means, it does have a high concentration of high-tech manufacturing and distribution.  It's likely Rochester will hang on even though nearby metro areas (Syracuse, of course, Buffalo, Utica/Rome) find themselves constantly shedding employment opportunities and subsequently population.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: GenExpwy on April 30, 2019, 02:40:40 AM
If I-490 is all below-grade through Rochester, why wasn't I-81 designed in the same manner

I-490 (east from downtown) uses a ditch that had already existed. It was built as the original route of the Erie Canal. After the canal was re-routed from downtown in 1918, it was used for the Rochester Subway (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rochester_Subway). After the Subway went out of business in 1956, I-490 took over the grade-separated path.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on April 30, 2019, 07:46:54 AM
Even though Eastman/Kodak is in precipitous decline, Rochester, thanks to R.I.T., has a burgeoning electronics industry -- particularly in regards to analog circuits.  Several high-end audio companies (Convergent Technologies, Power Modules/Belles, Marchand) have greater Rochester as their base of operations; Ashly, a maker of pro sound reinforcement equipment, is also located in the area (all of the companies' founders/designers came out of R.I.T., which is renowned for their analog engineering program).  And several component manufacturers are located in the region as well; while it's not Silicon Valley or even Seattle by any means, it does have a high concentration of high-tech manufacturing and distribution.  It's likely Rochester will hang on even though nearby metro areas (Syracuse, of course, Buffalo, Utica/Rome) find themselves constantly shedding employment opportunities and subsequently population.
Can we all agree that Utica is as rusty as the Rust Belt gets? :D

Although Rochester has some glimmers of hope, the fact of the matter is the upstate cities as a whole have pitiful growth, if any.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 30, 2019, 08:12:03 AM
Even though Eastman/Kodak is in precipitous decline, Rochester, thanks to R.I.T., has a burgeoning electronics industry -- particularly in regards to analog circuits.  Several high-end audio companies (Convergent Technologies, Power Modules/Belles, Marchand) have greater Rochester as their base of operations; Ashly, a maker of pro sound reinforcement equipment, is also located in the area (all of the companies' founders/designers came out of R.I.T., which is renowned for their analog engineering program).  And several component manufacturers are located in the region as well; while it's not Silicon Valley or even Seattle by any means, it does have a high concentration of high-tech manufacturing and distribution.  It's likely Rochester will hang on even though nearby metro areas (Syracuse, of course, Buffalo, Utica/Rome) find themselves constantly shedding employment opportunities and subsequently population.
Can we all agree that Utica is as rusty as the Rust Belt gets? :D

Although Rochester has some glimmers of hope, the fact of the matter is the upstate cities as a whole have pitiful growth, if any.
big and heavy chart showing some trends among states:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f3/US_state_historical_population_FRED_SMIL.svg
population wise, last census estimate NYS is now in red - despite NYC attracting domestic and international migration. only a few upstate counties - notably Saratoga-  show population growth, the rest of upstate is depopulating.
this is not about growth for the sake of growth, this is about people actively moving out.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on April 30, 2019, 08:36:07 AM
Common definitions would put all those metro areas in the rust belt, in terms of percentage of job loss since the 1950s --
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rust_Belt
All about context: Losing half of 5,000 mfg jobs doesn't make a city part of the Rust Belt, while losing half of 200,000 mfg jobs probably does.


Can we all agree that Utica is as rusty as the Rust Belt gets? :D
Certainly, we can agree that it has all -- or at least most -- of the characteristics of a Rust Belt city, as does Binghamton. As far as location, however, it is east (and arguably north) of most definitions of the Rust Belt.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on April 30, 2019, 08:43:49 AM
big and heavy chart showing some trends among states:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f3/US_state_historical_population_FRED_SMIL.svg
population wise, last census estimate NYS is now in red - despite NYC attracting domestic and international migration. only a few upstate counties - notably Saratoga-  show population growth, the rest of upstate is depopulating.
this is not about growth for the sake of growth, this is about people actively moving out.

It is actually rural areas that have been losing people at the fastest rate, while urban areas as a whole tend to remain stagnant or post small losses. If I recall correctly, about 10 of 50 or so Upstate counties are growing; Tompkins (Ithaca), and Ontario (Rochester suburbs, Canandaigua) being the most notable ones besides Saratoga.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on April 30, 2019, 12:52:52 PM
It is actually rural areas that have been losing people at the fastest rate, while urban areas as a whole tend to remain stagnant or post small losses. If I recall correctly, about 10 of 50 or so Upstate counties are growing; Tompkins (Ithaca), and Ontario (Rochester suburbs, Canandaigua) being the most notable ones besides Saratoga.

Buffalo city has lost 1/2 of its population since 1950.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sparker on April 30, 2019, 04:43:24 PM
It is actually rural areas that have been losing people at the fastest rate, while urban areas as a whole tend to remain stagnant or post small losses. If I recall correctly, about 10 of 50 or so Upstate counties are growing; Tompkins (Ithaca), and Ontario (Rochester suburbs, Canandaigua) being the most notable ones besides Saratoga.

Buffalo city has lost 1/2 of its population since 1950.

Within NY state, Buffalo is the leading "poster child" for urban population decrease over the last 7 decades; but the same phenomenon has, of course, affected Pittsburgh (down about 58%), Cleveland (losing about 63%), and other major Northeast and Great Lakes cities.  Baltimore would be in that group as well, but the presence of its port facilities as an employment center has managed to trim its losses to under 50% of its peak of over 900K back in 1950.  Besides the basic loss of manufacturing jobs, much of what remains has been subject to considerable automation -- particularly within the automotive industry, as well as such things as CNC machining and fabrication, which obviates the need for large numbers of workers setting up jigs and operating lathes and routers.   Despite any efforts to rebalance overseas trade and curtail offshore subcontracting, most of these jobs are simply not coming back; they're just not there any more. 
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on April 30, 2019, 06:49:58 PM
It is actually rural areas that have been losing people at the fastest rate, while urban areas as a whole tend to remain stagnant or post small losses.
Buffalo city has lost 1/2 of its population since 1950.

I should have been more clear that I was referring to recent trends (2000 - present), not long-term ones.
Looking at the entire metro area instead of just the city limits also puts it in the proper perspective. Erie County has more residents now than it did in 1950. It actually peaked in 1970 before declining, bottoming out around 2010, and rebounding slightly between 2010 and present.

So, yeah, all that basically just confirms what I already said  :-D
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on April 30, 2019, 07:05:27 PM
It is actually rural areas that have been losing people at the fastest rate, while urban areas as a whole tend to remain stagnant or post small losses.
Buffalo city has lost 1/2 of its population since 1950.

I should have been more clear that I was referring to recent trends (2000 - present), not long-term ones.
Looking at the entire metro area instead of just the city limits also puts it in the proper perspective. Erie County has more residents now than it did in 1950. It actually peaked in 1970 before declining, bottoming out around 2010, and rebounding slightly between 2010 and present.

So, yeah, all that basically just confirms what I already said  :-D
Buffalo MSA, according to census estimates, shows some variation with a slight downward trend, and a loss of about 0.5% of population in 2010-2018 period. That is on top of -3.5% in 2000-2010 period and -1.6% in 1990-2000 period.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on May 01, 2019, 02:25:03 PM
It is actually rural areas that have been losing people at the fastest rate, while urban areas as a whole tend to remain stagnant or post small losses.
Buffalo city has lost 1/2 of its population since 1950.
I should have been more clear that I was referring to recent trends (2000 - present), not long-term ones.
Looking at the entire metro area instead of just the city limits also puts it in the proper perspective. Erie County has more residents now than it did in 1950. It actually peaked in 1970 before declining, bottoming out around 2010, and rebounding slightly between 2010 and present.
So, yeah, all that basically just confirms what I already said  :-D
Buffalo MSA, according to census estimates, shows some variation with a slight downward trend, and a loss of about 0.5% of population in 2010-2018 period. That is on top of -3.5% in 2000-2010 period and -1.6% in 1990-2000 period.

FWIW, here is my source: http://worldpopulationreview.com/us-counties/ny/erie-county-population/
The metro as a whole includes Niagara County, which probably skews the figures in a negative direction. The city of Niagara Falls is as bad off or even worse off than the city of Buffalo (IMO).
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: RobbieL2415 on May 02, 2019, 12:08:37 AM
It is actually rural areas that have been losing people at the fastest rate, while urban areas as a whole tend to remain stagnant or post small losses.
Buffalo city has lost 1/2 of its population since 1950.
I should have been more clear that I was referring to recent trends (2000 - present), not long-term ones.
Looking at the entire metro area instead of just the city limits also puts it in the proper perspective. Erie County has more residents now than it did in 1950. It actually peaked in 1970 before declining, bottoming out around 2010, and rebounding slightly between 2010 and present.
So, yeah, all that basically just confirms what I already said  :-D
Buffalo MSA, according to census estimates, shows some variation with a slight downward trend, and a loss of about 0.5% of population in 2010-2018 period. That is on top of -3.5% in 2000-2010 period and -1.6% in 1990-2000 period.

FWIW, here is my source: http://worldpopulationreview.com/us-counties/ny/erie-county-population/
The metro as a whole includes Niagara County, which probably skews the figures in a negative direction. The city of Niagara Falls is as bad off or even worse off than the city of Buffalo (IMO).
I second this.  Niagara Falls has a serious blight and drug problems.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kevinb1994 on May 02, 2019, 12:32:17 AM
It is actually rural areas that have been losing people at the fastest rate, while urban areas as a whole tend to remain stagnant or post small losses.
Buffalo city has lost 1/2 of its population since 1950.
I should have been more clear that I was referring to recent trends (2000 - present), not long-term ones.
Looking at the entire metro area instead of just the city limits also puts it in the proper perspective. Erie County has more residents now than it did in 1950. It actually peaked in 1970 before declining, bottoming out around 2010, and rebounding slightly between 2010 and present.
So, yeah, all that basically just confirms what I already said  :-D
Buffalo MSA, according to census estimates, shows some variation with a slight downward trend, and a loss of about 0.5% of population in 2010-2018 period. That is on top of -3.5% in 2000-2010 period and -1.6% in 1990-2000 period.

FWIW, here is my source: http://worldpopulationreview.com/us-counties/ny/erie-county-population/
The metro as a whole includes Niagara County, which probably skews the figures in a negative direction. The city of Niagara Falls is as bad off or even worse off than the city of Buffalo (IMO).
I second this.  Niagara Falls has a serious blight and drug problems.

Not to mention a serious hospitality problem. I once stayed at the Howard Johnson (HoJo) for one night only with family and the place was run-down and had a bunch of flying insects in the elevator. Gross. Never again. Thankfully we ended up crossing the border into the Canadian side of Niagara Falls where we stayed at the Hilton Fallsview location and got moved into another room there for some reason that I do not recall (as I was young at the time).
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on May 02, 2019, 06:02:25 AM
It is actually rural areas that have been losing people at the fastest rate, while urban areas as a whole tend to remain stagnant or post small losses.
Buffalo city has lost 1/2 of its population since 1950.
I should have been more clear that I was referring to recent trends (2000 - present), not long-term ones.
Looking at the entire metro area instead of just the city limits also puts it in the proper perspective. Erie County has more residents now than it did in 1950. It actually peaked in 1970 before declining, bottoming out around 2010, and rebounding slightly between 2010 and present.
So, yeah, all that basically just confirms what I already said  :-D
Buffalo MSA, according to census estimates, shows some variation with a slight downward trend, and a loss of about 0.5% of population in 2010-2018 period. That is on top of -3.5% in 2000-2010 period and -1.6% in 1990-2000 period.

FWIW, here is my source: http://worldpopulationreview.com/us-counties/ny/erie-county-population/
The metro as a whole includes Niagara County, which probably skews the figures in a negative direction. The city of Niagara Falls is as bad off or even worse off than the city of Buffalo (IMO).
I second this.  Niagara Falls has a serious blight and drug problems.

Not to mention a serious hospitality problem. I once stayed at the Howard Johnson (HoJo) for one night only with family and the place was run-down and had a bunch of flying insects in the elevator. Gross. Never again. Thankfully we ended up crossing the border into the Canadian side of Niagara Falls where we stayed at the Hilton Fallsview location and got moved into another room there for some reason that I do not recall (as I was young at the time).
There will be a whole new world of resurrection and community revival once Robert Moses parkway is gone! [ /sarcasm]
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: seicer on May 02, 2019, 07:16:10 AM
No, but it does remove a higher speed expressway (Moses never intended it to be a slow-speed parkway) that once ran through the -heart- of Niagara Falls State Park and through the heart of several other reservations. The parks, and all that they represent are much better off without Moses expressways.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on May 02, 2019, 07:43:40 AM
No, but it does remove a higher speed expressway (Moses never intended it to be a slow-speed parkway) that once ran through the -heart- of Niagara Falls State Park and through the heart of several other reservations. The parks, and all that they represent are much better off without Moses expressways.
Niagara Falls park will win big time if there is something resembling basic service. Reshaping park so that it serves 5000 locals better is a great idea, but don't cry out loud if it reduces revenue from millions of tourists while community looses jobs and people move out.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Jim on May 02, 2019, 07:57:02 AM
Sorry to continue this off-thread-topic diversion, but I have always been amazed that Niagara Falls has managed to be such a failure when it has the giant advantage of being home to a world-class tourist attraction.  I know the better views of the falls are on the other side and that's where the tourists want to be, but there's enough on the NY side worth seeing and doing that the city/region/state should have been able to leverage that into at least making the city a decent place.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on May 02, 2019, 08:37:58 AM
I know the better views of the falls are on the other side and that's where the tourists want to be, but there's enough on the NY side worth seeing and doing that the city/region/state should have been able to leverage that into at least making the city a decent place.

In some ways - views aside - the NY side is almost better than the Ontario side; the four highlights being Goat Island, Maid of the Mist, Cave of the Winds, and the Observation Tower. While the State Park is nice and has seen substantial investment, it isn't enough on its own to prevent the city at large from going the same direction as the rest of the Rust Belt in the last half of the 20th century. The city is also awkwardly positioned to benefit from the flow of tourists; the two best routes to Niagara Falls USA are the Rainbow Bridge and the former RMSP (now Niagara Scenic Parkway). Neither of those routes pass through the most depressed areas of the city, so neither the state nor local residents have any tourism-related incentive to improve said areas. (IMO)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on May 02, 2019, 08:40:22 AM
I know the better views of the falls are on the other side and that's where the tourists want to be, but there's enough on the NY side worth seeing and doing that the city/region/state should have been able to leverage that into at least making the city a decent place.

In some ways - views aside - the NY side is almost better than the Ontario side; the four highlights being Goat Island, Maid of the Mist, Cave of the Winds, and the Observation Tower. While the State Park is nice and has seen substantial investment, it isn't enough on its own to prevent the city at large from going the same direction as the rest of the Rust Belt in the last half of the 20th century. The city is also awkwardly positioned to benefit from the flow of tourists; the two best routes to Niagara Falls USA are the Rainbow Bridge and the former RMSP (now Niagara Scenic Parkway). Neither of those routes pass through the most depressed areas of the city, so neither the state nor local residents have any tourism-related incentive to improve said areas. (IMO)
You realize that maid of the mist flies a maple leaf flag?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on May 02, 2019, 08:49:12 AM
I know the better views of the falls are on the other side and that's where the tourists want to be, but there's enough on the NY side worth seeing and doing that the city/region/state should have been able to leverage that into at least making the city a decent place.

In some ways - views aside - the NY side is almost better than the Ontario side; the four highlights being Goat Island, Maid of the Mist, Cave of the Winds, and the Observation Tower. While the State Park is nice and has seen substantial investment, it isn't enough on its own to prevent the city at large from going the same direction as the rest of the Rust Belt in the last half of the 20th century. The city is also awkwardly positioned to benefit from the flow of tourists; the two best routes to Niagara Falls USA are the Rainbow Bridge and the former RMSP (now Niagara Scenic Parkway). Neither of those routes pass through the most depressed areas of the city, so neither the state nor local residents have any tourism-related incentive to improve said areas. (IMO)
You realize that maid of the mist flies a maple leaf flag?

Hm.  Makes me wonder if they have more boardings from the American or Canadian side.  Still, I don't see why their maple leaf flag matters in the context that was mentioned?

I'm probably missing a joke here somewhere. :D
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: seicer on May 02, 2019, 09:12:56 AM
No, but it does remove a higher speed expressway (Moses never intended it to be a slow-speed parkway) that once ran through the -heart- of Niagara Falls State Park and through the heart of several other reservations. The parks, and all that they represent are much better off without Moses expressways.
Niagara Falls park will win big time if there is something resembling basic service. Reshaping park so that it serves 5000 locals better is a great idea, but don't cry out loud if it reduces revenue from millions of tourists while community looses jobs and people move out.

Except your down-and-out posts are not backed by facts (http://lohud.nydatabases.com/database/new-york-state-park-attendance) (2017 versus 2016). It had basically flat attendance but comparing it year-to-year is comparing apples-to-oranges as there are many variables that can lead to attendance changes; it must be looked at over a lengthy time period. Fact is, 9.4 million visited Niagara Falls State Park (excluding the countless other parks in the area). And the state has been expending $70 million on upgrades to the park itself, part of a $1 billion park system upgrade.

I bet you complained when they removed that awful parking lot in the front of Watkins Glen State Park last year when they overhauled the entrance.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on May 02, 2019, 09:19:25 AM
You realize that maid of the mist flies a maple leaf flag?

I do; it operates on both sides of the border, but that doesn't prevent it from being a highlight of the US side.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on May 02, 2019, 09:22:58 AM
In some ways - views aside - the NY side is almost better than the Ontario side; the four highlights being Goat Island, Maid of the Mist, Cave of the Winds, and the Observation Tower. [..]
You realize that maid of the mist flies a maple leaf flag?

Hm.  Makes me wonder if they have more boardings from the American or Canadian side.  Still, I don't see why their maple leaf flag matters in the context that was mentioned?

I'm probably missing a joke here somewhere. :D
I just was pointing out that out of 4 highlights which supposinly make
Quote
NY side is almost better than the Ontario side
At least one is not only available on the other side, but is actually provided by the other side.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on May 02, 2019, 09:34:17 AM
Heh.  I still wonder if more people board it from the American side.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on May 02, 2019, 10:30:47 AM
Heh.  I still wonder if more people board it from the American side.
I just learned that Maid of the mist no longer runs from Ontario, only NY . Images I see are still with maple leaf flag, though.
Anyway, I see ridership of 2.2 million for Hornblower on Canada side and 1.7 million for MotM on US side. US ridership is quoted to be on the rise due to increased border security and lower fee NY parks charge (8% vs 22.5% in Canada)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on May 02, 2019, 10:36:59 AM
So, MotM is all NY. :D
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on May 02, 2019, 01:49:54 PM
^ If they're flying a Canadian flag, means they're registered in Canada.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on May 02, 2019, 01:56:16 PM
^ If they're flying a Canadian flag, means they're registered in Canada.

And operating in NY.  Can't even catch the boat in Canada. :D
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on May 02, 2019, 01:57:49 PM
In the maritime world, where a boat/ship is flagged from and where it operates are often two very different locations.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on May 02, 2019, 02:53:02 PM
In the maritime world, where a boat/ship is flagged from and where it operates are often two very different locations.
Actually it is even more interesting as US to US port trip is a cabotage, and non-US flagged ships are explicitly banned from that. Ever wonder why a week long Caribbean cruise is cheaper than 3-day Mississippi one?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on May 02, 2019, 09:28:14 PM
Sorry to continue this off-thread-topic diversion, but I have always been amazed that Niagara Falls has managed to be such a failure when it has the giant advantage of being home to a world-class tourist attraction.  I know the better views of the falls are on the other side and that's where the tourists want to be, but there's enough on the NY side worth seeing and doing that the city/region/state should have been able to leverage that into at least making the city a decent place.

True indeed.  For someone like me who does not have a passport and who does not live in a border state, the American Falls is where I would go and only there.  Can't go to Canada without a passport.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on May 02, 2019, 11:30:05 PM
Sorry to continue this off-thread-topic diversion, but I have always been amazed that Niagara Falls has managed to be such a failure when it has the giant advantage of being home to a world-class tourist attraction.  I know the better views of the falls are on the other side and that's where the tourists want to be, but there's enough on the NY side worth seeing and doing that the city/region/state should have been able to leverage that into at least making the city a decent place.

True indeed.  For someone like me who does not have a passport and who does not live in a border state, the American Falls is where I would go and only there.  Can't go to Canada without a passport.
Agreed. I remember visiting Niagara Falls in the early 2000s before a passport was required to cross the border. Simply proper ID and that was it.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on May 02, 2019, 11:53:53 PM
For someone like me who does not have a passport and who does not live in a border state, the American Falls is where I would go and only there.  Can't go to Canada without a passport.
Agreed. I remember visiting Niagara Falls in the early 2000s before a passport was required to cross the border. Simply proper ID and that was it.

My first trip to the Buffalo area was in 2008.  Needed a passport at that point.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on May 03, 2019, 12:26:12 AM
For someone like me who does not have a passport and who does not live in a border state, the American Falls is where I would go and only there.  Can't go to Canada without a passport.
Agreed. I remember visiting Niagara Falls in the early 2000s before a passport was required to cross the border. Simply proper ID and that was it.

My first trip to the Buffalo area was in 2008.  Needed a passport at that point.
The requirement for needing a passport came in 2009. In 2008, you needed either a passport or some proof of citizenship.

https://www.foxnews.com/story/passports-mandatory-at-mexico-canada-borders
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on May 03, 2019, 01:21:36 AM
For someone like me who does not have a passport and who does not live in a border state, the American Falls is where I would go and only there.  Can't go to Canada without a passport.
Agreed. I remember visiting Niagara Falls in the early 2000s before a passport was required to cross the border. Simply proper ID and that was it.
My first trip to the Buffalo area was in 2008.  Needed a passport at that point.
The requirement for needing a passport came in 2009. In 2008, you needed either a passport or some proof of citizenship.

It was probably 2009 before I made my first trip to the falls.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: amroad17 on May 03, 2019, 02:25:32 AM
First time I went to Niagara Falls was in 1969 (at age 7) and again in 1971.  My family visited both sides then.  The next time was in 2017 along with my wife, who enjoyed her first ever visit to the Falls.  We went to the American side only.

I did notice that both Buffalo and Niagara Falls seem a bit "run down" while driving back to Seneca Falls, where we were staying two years ago.  The area around the Falls wasn't bad as it had that "tourist attraction" feel.  However, the farther east we drove on NY 384, the "run down" was very noticeable.  We took the LaSalle Expy east, driving by Love Canal, then continued on NY 384/NY 265.  The further east/southeast we went, the appearance of the area did get better.

Anyway, let's turn our attention 160 miles east of Niagara Falls and opine as to what is going on with that viaduct.  :D
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: ixnay on May 03, 2019, 07:41:55 AM
First time I went to Niagara Falls was in 1969 (at age 7) and again in 1971.  My family visited both sides then.  The next time was in 2017 along with my wife, who enjoyed her first ever visit to the Falls.  We went to the American side only.

I did notice that both Buffalo and Niagara Falls seem a bit "run down" while driving back to Seneca Falls, where we were staying two years ago.  The area around the Falls wasn't bad as it had that "tourist attraction" feel.  However, the farther east we drove on NY 384, the "run down" was very noticeable.  We took the LaSalle Expy east, driving by Love Canal, then continued on NY 384/NY 265.  The further east/southeast we went, the appearance of the area did get better.

Anyway, let's turn our attention 160 miles east of Niagara Falls and opine as to what is going on with that viaduct.  :D

But first let me get in my two cents about the Falls.  My HS class (30 strong including me, plus two teacher-chaperons) went there on our senior trip in the spring of 1979.  Our (private) school was in the Philly area and we went up the PA Tpk. NE Ext. and I-81 to the Thruway, then west.  Which meant we traversed the Syracuse viaduct!

ixnay
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Jim on May 03, 2019, 07:56:41 AM
Maybe Syracuse should convert part of I-81 into a waterfall to bring in the tourists.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on May 03, 2019, 08:19:08 AM
Maybe Syracuse should convert part of I-81 into a waterfall to bring in the tourists.
There is a Taughannock Falls not far from Syracuse, at 215 feet it is said to be the tallest waterfall east of Rockies.
Maybe they can relocate that to downtown?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Verlanka on May 03, 2019, 08:58:18 AM
Maybe Syracuse should convert part of I-81 into a waterfall to bring in the tourists.
There is a Taughannock Falls not far from Syracuse, at 215 feet it is said to be the tallest waterfall east of Rockies.
Maybe they can relocate that to downtown?
Yeah right. :-D
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on May 03, 2019, 10:49:45 AM
Maybe Syracuse should convert part of I-81 into a waterfall to bring in the tourists.
There is a Taughannock Falls not far from Syracuse, at 215 feet it is said to be the tallest waterfall east of Rockies.
Maybe they can relocate that to downtown?
They would sooner make it an at-grade river.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on May 03, 2019, 12:32:26 PM
Maybe Syracuse should convert part of I-81 into a waterfall to bring in the tourists.
There is a Taughannock Falls not far from Syracuse, at 215 feet it is said to be the tallest waterfall east of Rockies.
Maybe they can relocate that to downtown?
They would sooner make it an at-grade river.
And will split the flow into community creeks. Once construction of Venice is complete, Syracuse will become tourist destination, eclipsing Niagara.
Sounds like a plan! 
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: amroad17 on May 04, 2019, 04:26:36 AM
Maybe Syracuse should convert part of I-81 into a waterfall to bring in the tourists.
There is a Taughannock Falls not far from Syracuse, at 215 feet it is said to be the tallest waterfall east of Rockies.
Maybe they can relocate that to downtown?
They would sooner make it an at-grade river.
There could be a river through downtown Syracuse if they dug deep enough.  The water table is not far below the streets there.  Probably one reason the tunnel option wasn't viable.

Speaking of Taughannock Falls, my wife and I visited there on our honeymoon in 1987.  I took one photo of her in which she was sitting, looking back at me with the falls in the background.  We visited again in 2015 and 2017, recreating the photo both times.  Nice little hike (3/4 of a mile each way) to get to the falls and back.  Yes, Taughannock Falls is 33 feet higher than Niagara Falls and is the tallest east of the Rockies.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Michael on May 04, 2019, 03:28:25 PM
This past week, The Simpsons' song about Upstate NY was all over the news.  When I watched the video of it, I thought that the railing on the bridge that Homer was driving on looked an awful lot like the railing on the viaduct and other bridges in downtown Syracuse.

Compare this picture to the actual viaduct (https://www.google.com/maps/@43.0465013,-76.1426197,3a,30.2y,266.19h,71.33t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s63WhgJrsf8a7abbJ9S5IGg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656):
(https://13wham.com/resources/media/1ed1e102-575a-4f7b-9326-0a29a2839e4a-medium16x9_Simpsons_bridge.jpg)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on May 04, 2019, 03:41:16 PM
This past week, The Simpsons' song about Upstate NY was all over the news.  When I watched the video of it, I thought that the railing on the bridge that Homer was driving on looked an awful lot like the railing on the viaduct and other bridges in downtown Syracuse.

Compare this picture to the actual viaduct (https://www.google.com/maps/@43.0465013,-76.1426197,3a,30.2y,266.19h,71.33t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s63WhgJrsf8a7abbJ9S5IGg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656):
(https://13wham.com/resources/media/1ed1e102-575a-4f7b-9326-0a29a2839e4a-medium16x9_Simpsons_bridge.jpg)
Can be about 787 in Albany as well:
https://www.google.com/maps/@42.6564639,-73.7431145,3a,75y,288.34h,73.89t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sSWEVvVFSF1Kp5SOQwCovMw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

And unlike viaduct, 787 did make an actual somewhat successful attempt to fall apart.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: DJStephens on May 13, 2019, 08:26:54 AM
This past week, The Simpsons' song about Upstate NY was all over the news.  When I watched the video of it, I thought that the railing on the bridge that Homer was driving on looked an awful lot like the railing on the viaduct and other bridges in downtown Syracuse.

Compare this picture to the actual viaduct (https://www.google.com/maps/@43.0465013,-76.1426197,3a,30.2y,266.19h,71.33t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s63WhgJrsf8a7abbJ9S5IGg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656):
(https://13wham.com/resources/media/1ed1e102-575a-4f7b-9326-0a29a2839e4a-medium16x9_Simpsons_bridge.jpg)

    Very likely non of the reinforcing steel (rebar) in that original viaduct structure was epoxy coated.  Perhaps in a later redeck, but originally, no.  Seems crazy today, but that was the way it was - late fifties and through sixties, while there was a big push to get the roads built.   
   The original founders of the roads also did not foresee the vast increase in traffic, and heavy trucking, in many areas that would significantly shorten the lives of many bridges. 
   Did see something on the "streetsblog" site recently - dated April 26th - that a decision had been made to dismantle the viaduct and route through traffic around the city on the west bypass or 481. Any confirmation on that, or is it just wishful thinking by those in the streetsblog site?     
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on May 13, 2019, 08:44:23 AM
This past week, The Simpsons' song about Upstate NY was all over the news.  When I watched the video of it, I thought that the railing on the bridge that Homer was driving on looked an awful lot like the railing on the viaduct and other bridges in downtown Syracuse.

Compare this picture to the actual viaduct (https://www.google.com/maps/@43.0465013,-76.1426197,3a,30.2y,266.19h,71.33t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s63WhgJrsf8a7abbJ9S5IGg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656):
(https://13wham.com/resources/media/1ed1e102-575a-4f7b-9326-0a29a2839e4a-medium16x9_Simpsons_bridge.jpg)

    Very likely non of the reinforcing steel (rebar) in that original viaduct structure was epoxy coated.  Perhaps in a later redeck, but originally, no.  Seems crazy today, but that was the way it was - late fifties and through sixties, while there was a big push to get the roads built.   
   The original founders of the roads also did not foresee the vast increase in traffic, and heavy trucking, in many areas that would significantly shorten the lives of many bridges. 
   Did see something on the "streetsblog" site recently - dated April 26th - that a decision had been made to dismantle the viaduct and route through traffic around the city on the west bypass or 481. Any confirmation on that, or is it just wishful thinking by those in the streetsblog site?   
Question is when the work will start. There are many people negatively affected by the change, expect a lot of lawsuits and complains before anything moves. Looks like viaduct has no chance of rebuild, though.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on May 13, 2019, 10:05:09 AM
    Very likely non of the reinforcing steel (rebar) in that original viaduct structure was epoxy coated.  Perhaps in a later redeck, but originally, no.  Seems crazy today, but that was the way it was - late fifties and through sixties, while there was a big push to get the roads built.   
   The original founders of the roads also did not foresee the vast increase in traffic, and heavy trucking, in many areas that would significantly shorten the lives of many bridges. 

Still, the agencies and the highway engineers then were focused on getting the Interstate highway system completed, and didn't really think much beyond a 20-year design life.  The original completion date was 1969, and of course that keep slipping backward.

This bridge has lasted what, over 50 years now?  Pretty good service.  Only 0.9 mile long -- time to replace it.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: 2021122 on May 13, 2019, 12:05:15 PM
It appears that the community grid has been selected.

https://www.syracuse.com/news/2019/04/i-81-timeline-community-grid-will-take-5-years-of-construction-ny-says.html

The current I-81 will take the place of I-481, bypassing the city. I-81 BL will go through the city. The only remnant of I-481 remaining will be NY-481, at the future junction of I-81, NY 481, and BL 81. They could upgrade the highway as interstate 481 instead. I-690 appears to cross the area, and other maps show it will have a speed limit of 55 instead of the current 45.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: TonyTrafficLight on May 13, 2019, 12:29:41 PM
Here's another link to more news about Rt 81 that you dont have to log in to view.

https://www.localsyr.com/news/future-of-81/the-week-that-was-for-the-future-of-81-newschannel-9-s-day-by-day-coverage/1957132924
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on May 13, 2019, 01:30:02 PM
NYSDOT must be imbibing on a particular powerful brand of Kool-Aid, that is laced with pot.

"The DEIS, which estimates the grid would cost between $1.9 billion and $2.2 billion"

Spending that much money for … what? 

What is the cost estimate for simply replacing the 0.9 mile bridge … maybe $300 million or so?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on May 13, 2019, 01:36:39 PM
NYSDOT must be imbibing on a particular powerful brand of Kool-Aid, that is laced with pot.

"The DEIS, which estimates the grid would cost between $1.9 billion and $2.2 billion"

Spending that much money for … what? 

What is the cost estimate for simply replacing the 0.9 mile bridge … maybe $300 million or so?
Is anyone talking about "simply replacing"?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on May 13, 2019, 02:17:33 PM
What is the cost estimate for simply replacing the 0.9 mile bridge … maybe $300 million or so?
Is anyone talking about "simply replacing"?

It should be one of the alternatives evaluated in a comprehensive DEIS.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on May 13, 2019, 02:31:12 PM
What is the cost estimate for simply replacing the 0.9 mile bridge … maybe $300 million or so?
Is anyone talking about "simply replacing"?

It should be one of the alternatives evaluated in a comprehensive DEIS.
But it is not. It's not an opinion, it is a medical fact. The closest analyzed option is "do nothing", and it is not a viable one.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on May 13, 2019, 04:24:37 PM
What do the locals say about the preferred alternative? Are they happy with it? Or do they strongly oppose it?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on May 13, 2019, 05:36:00 PM
What do the locals say about the preferred alternative? Are they happy with it? Or do they strongly oppose it?
mentioned more than once upthread. There is a strong division between inner city, where elevated highway has little use and gets little love; and suburbs, where that highway is a part of daily commute. Part of the reason it takes so long that there is no way to keep everyone - or at least most people - happy.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: TonyTrafficLight on May 13, 2019, 05:38:03 PM
NYSDOT must be imbibing on a particular powerful brand of Kool-Aid, that is laced with pot.

"The DEIS, which estimates the grid would cost between $1.9 billion and $2.2 billion"

Spending that much money for … what? 

What is the cost estimate for simply replacing the 0.9 mile bridge … maybe $300 million or so?

I think replacing the viaducts was around $1.4 billion. Not sure if this has been shared here

http://www.savei81.org/
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on May 13, 2019, 07:18:44 PM
What is the cost estimate for simply replacing the 0.9 mile bridge … maybe $300 million or so?
I think replacing the viaducts was around $1.4 billion. Not sure if this has been shared here

It's not gonna cost $1.4 billion to replace an 0.9-mile 6-lane bridge.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on May 13, 2019, 09:12:49 PM
We'll let the engineers that priced it out know your opinion on the matter. :D
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on May 13, 2019, 09:19:43 PM
We'll let the engineers that priced it out know your opinion on the matter. :D

I would like to see the detailed construction cost estimate.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on May 13, 2019, 09:48:33 PM
We'll let the engineers that priced it out know your opinion on the matter. :D

I would like to see the detailed construction cost estimate.
Prices have gone up significantly over the past 10 years. A lot of the estimates you've shared on the forums may be applicable 10 or 20 years ago, but things are different now.

Still wondering how this community grid is going to cost billions though.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on May 13, 2019, 09:53:02 PM
Because it involves much more than just tearing down the viaduct and building a few streets in its place:

- *Redoing both I-81/481 interchanges.
- *Improvements to I-481 between I-690 and the Thruway.
- Redoing the 690/West St interchange.
- *New interchange on 690 in the vicinity of Lodi St.
- Rebuilding and widening I-81 to 8 lanes from 690 north to NY 370.

The three starred items are unique to the Community Grid option.  The other two (West St and 81 north of 690) were common to both alternatives.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on May 13, 2019, 10:02:25 PM
Heck, the costs have gone up quite a bit during this process.  I remember when it was 1.8 billion for the viaduct and 1.3 billion for the community grid.  Now it's 1.9+ billion for the community grid and even more for the viaduct.  I think I remember one where the viaduct was around 1.4 billion - I think the boulevard would have cost a few hundred million in that one.

As for why it costs so much, not only does it demolish the viaduct/replace it with a boulevard and realign the I-481 interchanges, it widens a piece of I-481 (including these long bridges (https://www.google.com/maps/@43.0672879,-76.0525794,3a,75y,356.48h,71.34t/data=!3m5!1e1!3m3!1swn1HZhReocJS58cJ-qwqXQ!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo2.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3Dwn1HZhReocJS58cJ-qwqXQ%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D82.817406%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100)), does significant work on the freeway north of I-690 to Onondaga Lake Parkway (though I'm pretty sure a widening of the full section is unique to the viaduct), and does a total rebuild of I-690 in the area.

As for a new viaduct, replace in kind isn't an option, because it doesn't meet modern interstate/NHS standards.  That would also include significant work on I-690, including a revamp of the interchange between the two and a widening north of there.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on May 13, 2019, 10:16:40 PM
As for a new viaduct, replace in kind isn't an option, because it doesn't meet modern interstate/NHS standards.  That would also include significant work on I-690, including a revamp of the interchange between the two and a widening north of there.

But they don't -have- to do anything more than replace the 0.9 mile bridge.  It certainly won't meet Interstate standards if they close the bridge.  As for $1.3 billion for that, rather than $300 million or so, again I need to see a detailed estimate before I believe it.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on May 13, 2019, 10:19:34 PM
Not sure your last post makes sense.  They have to bring the facility up to standard or tear it down and build the grid.  Not sure why it matters that tearing it down won't meet interstate standards.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: 1 on May 13, 2019, 10:26:36 PM
Build it as an exact copy and call it Bypass 81 (which wouldn't need to be up to standards, like business routes). Mainline 81 moves to 481.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: RoadMaster09 on May 13, 2019, 10:31:39 PM
I'm a little skeptical that I-481 will need an enormous upgrade. Local traffic would still use the current I-81 route regardless of its standards since they would need to use it to get downtown. I-81 towards Watertown and towards Binghamton aren't particularly busy apart from local commuter traffic (AADT drops below 20,000 long before Watertown, and drops to about 20,000 at Cortland) so the through traffic isn't enormous.

Widening to 6 lanes (would likely be needed soon anyway - AADT about 40,000 on I-481 now) is probably the most that will be necessary and the median is plenty wide enough for the most part. Only a couple areas would require major work - the long rail overpasses would probably need the most work.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on May 13, 2019, 10:38:19 PM
Even if interstate standards are no longer in the picture, there's still NHS route standards and New York state standards for that type of facility.

Not sure your last post makes sense.  They have to bring the facility up to standard or tear it down and build the grid.  Not sure why it matters that tearing it down won't meet interstate standards.
I think what Belway's proposing is a project that would address only the viaduct, ie no improvements to the I-690 interchange or the freeway north of there.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on May 13, 2019, 11:10:52 PM
As for a new viaduct, replace in kind isn't an option, because it doesn't meet modern interstate/NHS standards.  That would also include significant work on I-690, including a revamp of the interchange between the two and a widening north of there.
It certainly won't meet Interstate standards if they close the bridge.
It wouldn't need to meet interstate standards. I-81 would be re-routed on I-481.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on May 13, 2019, 11:15:07 PM
@Beltway

Detailed cost estimate information - https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/repository/Appendix%20A-5_Alternative%20Cost%20Estimate%20Tables_04-19-2019.pdf

April 19, 2019

Viaduct is $2.2 billion. The actual 0.9 mile bridge replacement itself is only $539 million, but there's a lot more than just than. Take a look yourself.

Entire DEIS - https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/repository

Detailed engineering drawings of either the community grid or viaduct - https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/repository/872291C81E7D0134E0530A6C894A0134
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on May 13, 2019, 11:34:18 PM
@Beltway

Detailed cost estimate information - https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/repository/Appendix%20A-5_Alternative%20Cost%20Estimate%20Tables_04-19-2019.pdf

April 19, 2019

Viaduct is $2.2 billion. The actual 0.9 mile bridge replacement itself is only $539 million, but there's a lot more than just than. Take a look yourself.

Entire DEIS - https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/repository

Detailed engineering drawings of either the community grid or viaduct - https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/repository/872291C81E7D0134E0530A6C894A0134
I don't know why you continue to indulge our resident semi-troll.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on May 13, 2019, 11:36:24 PM
@Beltway
Detailed cost estimate information - https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/repository/Appendix%20A-5_Alternative%20Cost%20Estimate%20Tables_04-19-2019.pdf
April 19, 2019
Viaduct is $2.2 billion. The actual 0.9 mile bridge replacement itself is only $539 million, but there's a lot more than just than. Take a look yourself.

It says that Elevated Structures is $539 million, which is a lot more than just the 0.9-mile I-81 bridge which is the critical infrastructure that they are talking about removing.

What is the cost of replacing that bridge?  Alt. 1 - same width.  Alt. 2 - same number of lanes (6) will full right shoulders.  Alt.3 - if they don't want to build a wider bridge then build it with 4 lanes and full right shoulders.

While Alt. 3 would have capacity issues a 4-lane Interstate highway would be immensely better than losing that segment altogether, and it would meet current urban Interstate highway standards.

Alt. 3 would be very similar to the $240 million I-895 Canton Yards Viaduct replacement under construction in Baltimore which is also 0.9 miles and with 4 lanes and full right shoulders, plus in a northern unionized city where the construction costs should be fairly similar.
 
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on May 13, 2019, 11:38:47 PM
@Beltway
Detailed cost estimate information - https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/repository/Appendix%20A-5_Alternative%20Cost%20Estimate%20Tables_04-19-2019.pdf
April 19, 2019
Viaduct is $2.2 billion. The actual 0.9 mile bridge replacement itself is only $539 million, but there's a lot more than just than. Take a look yourself.

It says that Elevated Structures is $539 million, which is a lot more than just the 0.9-mile I-81 bridge which is the critical infrastructure that they are talking about removing.

What is the cost of replacing that bridge?  Alt. 1 - same width.  Alt. 2 - same number of lanes (6) will full right shoulders.  Alt.3 - if they don't want to build a wider bridge then build it with 4 lanes and full right shoulders.

While Alt. 3 would have capacity issues a 4-lane Interstate highway would be immensely better than losing that segment altogether.

Alt. 3 would be very similar to the $240 million I-895 Canton Yards Viaduct replacement under construction in Baltimore which is also 0.9 miles and with 4 lanes and full right shoulders, plus in a northern unionized city where the construction costs should be fairly similar.
Look, you asked for detailed estimates, there's what I found.

I don't really know what else to say. Maybe contact the engineers?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on May 14, 2019, 12:03:43 AM
Kozel: Fact is, things cost what they cost. Stop asking us.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sparker on May 14, 2019, 03:27:19 AM
Well, now that it seems the I-81/Syracuse teardown/"boulevardization" is a done deal, the promoters of this sort of thing have moved on to a new target: I-275 north of the I-4 interchange in Tampa.  The details were cited in last Friday's AASHTO DTU -- but the newspaper article used as reference has since been locked -- you'll have to fish out that DTU to get the synopsis.  Whether this one will fly absent a clearly aging and problematic structure is yet to be determined -- but these folks are pretty relentless, particularly when it comes to their "top dozen" list of urban freeways they would like to see removed -- and both Syracuse and this one were on that list.   

 
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on May 14, 2019, 07:55:39 AM
Kozel: Fact is, things cost what they cost. Stop asking us.
I don't think he's asking.  He's just stating his opinion and insisting he's right, despite not having been directly involved with the project -- like the people who developed the estimates were.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: 1 on May 14, 2019, 08:04:44 AM
I actually agree with Beltway. Since NYSDOT doesn't have enough money for all the improvements, fixing just the viaduct and nothing else works well, and it is even cheaper than the community grid plan that was accepted. I-81 will be able to stay where it is, and no capacity is lost compared to what it is now.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on May 14, 2019, 08:10:30 AM
Based on his recent post, Scott seems to think that costs in Upstate New York are comparable to those in Maryland.  That's simply not true.  Labor costs are considerably higher in New York, and that's reflected in the project estimate.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on May 14, 2019, 08:14:36 AM
I actually agree with Beltway. Since NYSDOT doesn't have enough money for all the improvements, fixing just the viaduct and nothing else works well, and it is even cheaper than the community grid plan that was accepted. I-81 will be able to stay where it is, and no capacity is lost compared to what it is now.
Fixing as-is is out of the question. Fixing to standards require a lot of extra footprint, eminent domain on city center property and quickly consumes a lot of money and goodwill.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on May 14, 2019, 08:27:21 AM
I actually agree with Beltway. Since NYSDOT doesn't have enough money for all the improvements, fixing just the viaduct and nothing else works well, and it is even cheaper than the community grid plan that was accepted. I-81 will be able to stay where it is, and no capacity is lost compared to what it is now.
Fixing as-is is out of the question. Fixing to standards require a lot of extra footprint, eminent domain on city center property and quickly consumes a lot of money and goodwill.
^This.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: hbelkins on May 14, 2019, 12:57:12 PM
Based on his recent post, Scott seems to think that costs in Upstate New York are comparable to those in Maryland.  That's simply not true.  Labor costs are considerably higher in New York, and that's reflected in the project estimate.

And THIS is one of the places where I think transportation agencies can get a handle on costs. I know that when federal funds are involved, federal prevailing wage laws apply, but maybe, just maybe, one of these days we can get those repealed. Most of the contractors who build highway projects went into business strictly to get government contracts to build roads. It's basically all they do. It's their sole source of revenue. If the government says, "we're paying X amount of dollars for this project, and not a dime more," the contractors will either reduce their bids or they will go without work.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on May 14, 2019, 02:03:51 PM
Based on his recent post, Scott seems to think that costs in Upstate New York are comparable to those in Maryland.  That's simply not true.  Labor costs are considerably higher in New York, and that's reflected in the project estimate.

And THIS is one of the places where I think transportation agencies can get a handle on costs. I know that when federal funds are involved, federal prevailing wage laws apply, but maybe, just maybe, one of these days we can get those repealed. Most of the contractors who build highway projects went into business strictly to get government contracts to build roads. It's basically all they do. It's their sole source of revenue. If the government says, "we're paying X amount of dollars for this project, and not a dime more," the contractors will either reduce their bids or they will go without work.
Which can be the case. But I still wonder how much non-labor items, such as machinery depreciation and raw materials - e.g. steel an concrete, actually contribute towards the grand total.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on May 14, 2019, 04:19:12 PM
If I understand HB's intriguing proposal correctly, I am not sure that paying some pittance for labor is the best route when we want bridges built to spec.  That said, I really am not that familiar with the prevailing wage legislation.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: hbelkins on May 14, 2019, 04:43:54 PM
If I understand HB's intriguing proposal correctly, I am not sure that paying some pittance for labor is the best route when we want bridges built to spec.  That said, I really am not that familiar with the prevailing wage legislation.

It's easy to tell a proposal in Kentucky when it's federally funded vs. state only. The federally funded proposal will have pages of labor requirements and wage listings. The state proposal will basically have one page stating the minimum wage.

As for building bridges to spec, this is why the transportation agencies employ inspectors.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on May 14, 2019, 05:03:16 PM
Kentucky pays everyone on a 100% state-funded job minimum wage?  No wonder the state is known for poverty.

Also makes me wonder about KY's split between federal and 100% funded state jobs and if their split is affected by that policy.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on May 14, 2019, 06:34:37 PM
Kozel: Fact is, things cost what they cost. Stop asking us.
I don't think he's asking.  He's just stating his opinion and insisting he's right, despite not having been directly involved with the project -- like the people who developed the estimates were.

I asked a couple questions, rendered some opinions, and put 3 alternatives out for perusal.

Not really questioning any engineers, I realize that the people who actually published the report were most likely not engineers per se.

I am aghast at this project, and the fact that the national "remove urban freeways" advocates will glom on to this and demand the removal of other urban freeways in the country.

So yeah this does affect me personally and many other people around the country.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on May 14, 2019, 06:36:55 PM
Based on his recent post, Scott seems to think that costs in Upstate New York are comparable to those in Maryland.  That's simply not true.  Labor costs are considerably higher in New York, and that's reflected in the project estimate.

Baltimore is a much bigger city than Syracuse, and it is quite plausible that Baltimore would be more expensive.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on May 14, 2019, 06:43:00 PM
Not really questioning any engineers, I realize that the people who actually published the report were most likely not engineers per se.
People who published the report were not engineers, of course. The people who came up with the engineering cost estimates on the other hand in the background were on the other hand.

I am aghast at this project, and the fact that the national "remove urban freeways" advocates will glom on to this and demand the removal of other urban freeways in the country.
Agreed. I will say some interstates, like urban spur routes that don't have much use, or elevated freeways that get little traffic, I'm fine with removing. But long-distance thru routes like these, I'm completely against. Same with important urban spur routes.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on May 14, 2019, 06:46:19 PM
Kozel: Fact is, things cost what they cost. Stop asking us.
I don't think he's asking.  He's just stating his opinion and insisting he's right, despite not having been directly involved with the project -- like the people who developed the estimates were.

I asked a couple questions, rendered some opinions, and put 3 alternatives out for perusal.

Not really questioning any engineers, I realize that the people who actually published the report were most likely not engineers per se.

I am aghast at this project, and the fact that the national "remove urban freeways" advocates will glom on to this and demand the removal of other urban freeways in the country.

So yeah this does affect me personally and many other people around the country.

The situation with I-81 Syracuse was discussed quite a bit in 20 pages of this thread.
There is no simple solution, and you're certainly not inventing one by your posts. I suggest you read what was posted before - yep, all 20 pages - before coming up with your valuable opionion. BTW, did you drive the highway in question? I did a few times, and I certainly don't think I can invent something really new here.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on May 14, 2019, 06:51:24 PM
Not really questioning any engineers, I realize that the people who actually published the report were most likely not engineers per se.
People who published the report were not engineers, of course. The people who came up with the engineering cost estimates on the other hand in the background were on the other hand.

The people who published the report were not necessarily using the work of engineers on their document ...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on May 14, 2019, 07:00:12 PM
Not really questioning any engineers, I realize that the people who actually published the report were most likely not engineers per se.
People who published the report were not engineers, of course. The people who came up with the engineering cost estimates on the other hand in the background were on the other hand.

The people who published the report were not necessarily using the work of engineers on their document ...
And 9/11 was an inside job, right?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on May 14, 2019, 07:02:18 PM
Not really questioning any engineers, I realize that the people who actually published the report were most likely not engineers per se.
People who published the report were not engineers, of course. The people who came up with the engineering cost estimates on the other hand in the background were on the other hand.
The people who published the report were not necessarily using the work of engineers on their document ...
And 9/11 was an inside job, right?

No, wrong conspiracy, you need to look at the real conspiracies.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on May 14, 2019, 08:59:17 PM
@Beltway
Detailed cost estimate information - https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/repository/Appendix%20A-5_Alternative%20Cost%20Estimate%20Tables_04-19-2019.pdf
April 19, 2019
Viaduct is $2.2 billion. The actual 0.9 mile bridge replacement itself is only $539 million, but there's a lot more than just than. Take a look yourself.

It says that Elevated Structures is $539 million, which is a lot more than just the 0.9-mile I-81 bridge which is the critical infrastructure that they are talking about removing.

What is the cost of replacing that bridge?  Alt. 1 - same width.  Alt. 2 - same number of lanes (6) will full right shoulders.  Alt.3 - if they don't want to build a wider bridge then build it with 4 lanes and full right shoulders.

While Alt. 3 would have capacity issues a 4-lane Interstate highway would be immensely better than losing that segment altogether, and it would meet current urban Interstate highway standards.

Alt. 3 would be very similar to the $240 million I-895 Canton Yards Viaduct replacement under construction in Baltimore which is also 0.9 miles and with 4 lanes and full right shoulders, plus in a northern unionized city where the construction costs should be fairly similar.
 
It doesn't have 6 lanes over the majority of it - it's 6 to exit 18, 4 within exit 18 (where the majority of the viaduct is), and then you're in the I-690 interchange.  I-81 south even goes down to one lane just past the ramp from I-690 east.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on May 14, 2019, 09:18:00 PM
"The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) require payment of prevailing wages to laborers and mechanics employed on federal and federally-assisted construction projects." - That sounds good. I would want to see that.
"The Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA) requires contractors and subcontractors on federal contracts to pay laborers and mechanics at least one and one-half times their basic rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. This Act also prohibits unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous working conditions in the construction industry on federal and federally financed and assisted projects." - That all sounds pretty good. The 1.5x pay is fairly typical in most states with strong unions and not at all unreasonable.
"The Copeland "Anti-Kickback" Act prohibits a contractor or subcontractor from inducing an employee to give up any part of his/her compensation to which he/she is entitled under his/her contract of employment." - Interesting. In theory an employee should be able to voluntarily give up pay, but in practice this could lead to coercion - "if you won't do it, we'll hire someone who will." So I guess it's necessary.

All in all, Federal prevailing wage laws seem pretty damn reasonable and I see no reason to repeal them. They're protecting workers in anti-labor states with weak unions.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: 1 on May 14, 2019, 09:49:42 PM
The 1.5x pay is fairly typical in most states with strong unions and not at all unreasonable.

From what I can tell, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 requires this nationwide, not just in "most states with strong unions".
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: hbelkins on May 15, 2019, 01:15:24 PM
Kentucky pays everyone on a 100% state-funded job minimum wage?  No wonder the state is known for poverty.

Also makes me wonder about KY's split between federal and 100% funded state jobs and if their split is affected by that policy.

Kentucky does not pay them. The contractor pays them. The documentation pretty much just lists the minimum wage requirements; I'm sure the guys driving the dozers or excavators make more than minimum wage.

"The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts (DBRA) require payment of prevailing wages to laborers and mechanics employed on federal and federally-assisted construction projects." - That sounds good. I would want to see that.

But what, exactly, establishes a prevailing wage? I have no idea whether the highway contractors here are unionized or not. My argument is that there are really only two places where project costs can be controlled, labor costs and corporate profits. Material costs are pretty much going to remain the same no matter which contractor gets the job. Even with labor costs set by law, it's sometimes amazing how much difference there can be in project bids.

Quote
"The Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (CWHSSA) requires contractors and subcontractors on federal contracts to pay laborers and mechanics at least one and one-half times their basic rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. This Act also prohibits unsanitary, hazardous, or dangerous working conditions in the construction industry on federal and federally financed and assisted projects." - That all sounds pretty good. The 1.5x pay is fairly typical in most states with strong unions and not at all unreasonable.

Time-and-a-half is standard for everyone, not just federal contractors, here.

Quote
All in all, Federal prevailing wage laws seem pretty damn reasonable and I see no reason to repeal them. They're protecting workers in anti-labor states with weak unions.

Except they drive up the cost to taxpayers.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: 1 on May 15, 2019, 01:24:17 PM
Quote
All in all, Federal prevailing wage laws seem pretty damn reasonable and I see no reason to repeal them. They're protecting workers in anti-labor states with weak unions.

Except they drive up the cost to taxpayers.

Not by that much. For example, in an area where the minimum wage is the minimum $7.25 per hour, a whatchamacallit would cost $725. In Massachusetts (where it is $12 per hour), it would cost $900, in addition to living in a state with better healthcare and education.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on May 15, 2019, 03:22:52 PM
I don't think anyone will be successful in overruling NYSDOT in this. I expect that, eventually, the "Community Grid" will replace the Interstate 81 viaduct in Syracuse.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on May 15, 2019, 04:26:53 PM
Quote
All in all, Federal prevailing wage laws seem pretty damn reasonable and I see no reason to repeal them. They're protecting workers in anti-labor states with weak unions.

Except they drive up the cost to taxpayers.

Not by that much. For example, in an area where the minimum wage is the minimum $7.25 per hour, a whatchamacallit would cost $725. In Massachusetts (where it is $12 per hour), it would cost $900, in addition to living in a state with better healthcare and education.
Well, to put things in perspective:

Eventually, the two unions worked out a deal in which the dockbuilders, who earn $92.47 an hour in wages and benefits, would be assigned the work.

https://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/tappan-zee-bridge/2015/10/23/tappan-zee-builder-wins-again-union-wage-dispute/74454228/
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on May 15, 2019, 04:28:05 PM


Kentucky pays everyone on a 100% state-funded job minimum wage?  No wonder the state is known for poverty.

Also makes me wonder about KY's split between federal and 100% funded state jobs and if their split is affected by that policy.

Kentucky does not pay them. The contractor pays them.

And where does the contractor get their money from?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: signalman on May 15, 2019, 04:53:56 PM
Except they drive up the cost to taxpayers.
These workers are taxpayers too, ya know.  They too have living expenses and deserve to be paid well for the work that they do.  Bottom line is that people want nice things, but no one wants to pay for them.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on May 15, 2019, 07:20:17 PM
Quote from: signalman
Bottom line is that people want nice things, but no one wants to pay for them.

This.  A thousand times this.  And this is in no small part why we're in this infrastructure mess.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Duke87 on May 15, 2019, 07:30:26 PM
But what, exactly, establishes a prevailing wage?

It's based on surveys of workers in individual trades and what they're getting paid - the "prevailing" wage is defined as what the majority of workers in the given trade make per hour in the given area. If no single rate is the majority, then the prevailing wage is defined as the average wage for the given trade in the given area.

What this effectively does is, if the majority of workers in the given trade in the given area are unionized, you are required to pay your workers at the standard union pay rate on this job even if the workers you've hired are non-union and would otherwise be paid less.

If unions are not prevalent in the given area, then all it really does is say you can't pay your workers below average, and the impact it has on labor costs will be fairly minimal.

Quote
My argument is that there are really only two places where project costs can be controlled, labor costs and corporate profits. Material costs are pretty much going to remain the same no matter which contractor gets the job. Even with labor costs set by law, it's sometimes amazing how much difference there can be in project bids.

There's another variable here that is important not to neglect - labor costs are not set by law, hourly labor rates are. You can still reduce costs if you are able to successfully complete the job using fewer man-hours of labor. I can tell you that in New York there is a lot of unrealized opportunity to do this because of arcane union work rules (set by collective bargaining agreement, not by law) that end up requiring more workers to be present on a jobsite than are actually necessary.

Well, to put things in perspective:

Eventually, the two unions worked out a deal in which the dockbuilders, who earn $92.47 an hour in wages and benefits, would be assigned the work.

https://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/tappan-zee-bridge/2015/10/23/tappan-zee-builder-wins-again-union-wage-dispute/74454228/

Emphasis on "wages and benefits" - that figure includes the cost of things like health and dental insurance, disability insurance, vacation time, paid family leave, as well as the cost of any pension or retirement plan the workers have.

What they're actually getting paid in wages alone is probably half of that figure, so say $46.23 per hour. Which works out to about $96k a year with no overtime. This may sound like a lot but with what the cost of living is in downstate NY, it really isn't.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on May 15, 2019, 11:26:08 PM
Alt. 3 would be very similar to the $240 million I-895 Canton Viaduct replacement under construction in Baltimore which is also 0.9 miles and with 4 lanes and full right shoulders, plus in a northern unionized city where the construction costs should be fairly similar.
It doesn't have 6 lanes over the majority of it - it's 6 to exit 18, 4 within exit 18 (where the majority of the viaduct is), and then you're in the I-690 interchange.  I-81 south even goes down to one lane just past the ramp from I-690 east.

True, I see that the northern end of about 0.3 mile has 2 lanes each way with minimal shoulders.

The I-895 Canton Viaduct replacement will have 2 lanes each way and full right shoulders.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: RobbieL2415 on May 16, 2019, 03:58:18 PM
At the rate everything is going the solution will be "tear the Viaduct down and do nothing else. Route I-81 around Syracuse". The city will be stuck with a giant strip of land devoid of anything because no one is willing to compromise.  That is what NIMBY'S deserve.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on May 16, 2019, 05:01:10 PM
At the rate everything is going the solution will be "tear the Viaduct down and do nothing else. Route I-81 around Syracuse". The city will be stuck with a giant strip of land devoid of anything because no one is willing to compromise.  That is what NIMBY'S deserve.
Don't think so. When - or if - NYSDOT starts the job, things will go reasonably. It is about getting the project going before viaduct collapses.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on May 16, 2019, 07:24:54 PM
At the rate everything is going the solution will be "tear the Viaduct down and do nothing else. Route I-81 around Syracuse". The city will be stuck with a giant strip of land devoid of anything because no one is willing to compromise.  That is what NIMBY'S deserve.

So $1.9 billion for the project that will tear a major chunk out of the freeway system, and $2.2 billion for the project that would provide the replacement of the freeway bridges and the improvement of the I-81/I-690 interchange area?   So seppuku costs 14% less than the full modernization... it's cheaper to commit seppuku.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on May 16, 2019, 08:41:54 PM
At the rate everything is going the solution will be "tear the Viaduct down and do nothing else. Route I-81 around Syracuse". The city will be stuck with a giant strip of land devoid of anything because no one is willing to compromise.  That is what NIMBY'S deserve.

So $1.9 billion for the project that will tear a major chunk out of the freeway system, and $2.2 billion for the project that would provide the replacement of the freeway bridges and the improvement of the I-81/I-690 interchange area?   So seppuku costs 14% less than the full modernization... it's cheaper to commit seppuku.
NYSDOT is cowering to the NIMBY and not seeing sense.

Foolish of them.

Biggest waste of taxpayer money, or any money for that sense.

If a community grid was 90% cheaper, I could see it. But $1.9 billion is a lot of money for.... nothing. $2.2 billion would keep a high-capacity, high-speed urban freeway in place, replace it and make it safer, wider, and more reliable, and provide traffic improvements with a major interchange reconstruction.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on May 16, 2019, 09:14:29 PM
NYSDOT is cowering to the NIMBY and not seeing sense.
Foolish of them.
Biggest waste of taxpayer money, or any money for that sense.
If a community grid was 90% cheaper, I could see it. But $1.9 billion is a lot of money for.... nothing. $2.2 billion would keep a high-capacity, high-speed urban freeway in place, replace it and make it safer, wider, and more reliable, and provide traffic improvements with a major interchange reconstruction.

Like they say a billion dollars is not what it used to be, due to years and years of cost inflation, but it is still a big chunk of change.

$1.9 billion was 50% of the cost of the new Tappan Zee Bridge, and that certainly was a needed replacement that was much wider.

Where are the "Taxpayers for Common Sense" when you need them?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Mccojm on May 22, 2019, 02:14:38 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.

I always wondered why we don’t and if we ever will have proper mile post signs on our highways on Long Island. Reference markers don’t mean anything to general public and the system in itself used by DOT is shady when many are missing, damaged, overgrown by brush. If we had proper mike posts it would be so much easier for all and for us who need to reference a point on roads whether for construction reports or maintenance work or project planning.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: seicer on July 30, 2019, 02:45:05 PM
A great piece about the I-81 project in Syracuse - the highway that was supposed to save the city, can tearing it down fix the sins of the past? (It's by Jalopnik, an auto-centered site.)

The Highway Was Supposed to Save This City. Can Tearing It Down Fix the Sins of the Past? (https://jalopnik.com/the-highway-was-supposed-to-save-this-city-can-tearing-1836529628)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on July 30, 2019, 03:09:23 PM
You're right, that is a great piece. I don't necessarily agree with everything in it, particularly the inference that all opponents of the grid are inherently racist, but it is a really good overview of the fundamentals at play with this project, whatever happens.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Duke87 on August 02, 2019, 05:38:30 PM
Quote
“The removal of the highway has the potential to essentially repeat the same outcomes that the construction of the highways had,” Crowther said. The viaduct has acted as a border that prevented the more gradual flow of economic opportunity seeping outwards from the university, downtown, and hospitals in recent years. Once that barrier is removed, residents expect it to cause a shockwave of higher property taxes and rising rents, which current residents are unlikely to be able to afford.

And this is someone from the Congress for New Urbanism talking!

This is one of the exact points I keep making about these types of projects - yes, the placement of the viaduct when it was first built had some absolutely racist motives, it was deliberately routed to destroy the local black neighborhood. But this is not a reversible process; tearing the viaduct down will not restore the neighborhood to as it was 60 years ago before it was built, if anything it will only be followed by a wave of gentrification that will once more result in low-income black families being displaced from their homes.

If anything, a viaduct teardown repeats the sins of the past as far as racial justice goes.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: bemybear on August 20, 2019, 12:50:29 PM
I'm new to Rochester NY but previously lived in Scranton PA, Memphis and Nashville TN, suburban Chicago, San Francisco CA and various places in Oregon.  So I'm not in Syracuse a ton but I've both visited as a tourist and driven through at least 10 times.

I normally have a knee jerk reaction to tearing down limited access structures and replacing them with a surface street but in this case I don't think I-81 through Syracuse is such a loss.

First, several of the existing sections of I-81 in Syracuse are lousy with zero useful shoulder and no easy way to upgrade since they are elevated and surrounded by stuff.  The I-81 north to I-690 west split is nerve wracking and not well suited for large vehicles, people not familiar with the area etc and ends in a left merge.

Secondly, Syracuse isn't a hot bed of traffic in general and has a lovely modern I-481 that will serve very well for people who are trying to get AROUND Syrcause not go to/through it.  I looked at the maps just now and wish I'd known that there was an I-481 to I-690 junction.  When driving on I-81 all the signs for the Thruway West direct you to stay on I-81 which I can see is shorter but I wonder if the time difference would even be measured in minutes compared with the better flowing I-481.

Lastly, Syracuse is a dumpster fire of awful and when we stayed at the very nice Hotel Skyler near the University and walked to and from downtown multiple times, it seemed undeniable that I-81 and the surface street (or series of off-ramps?) that are under the I-81 bridge near Harrison street are really horrendous impediments to making what should be a contiguous block of similarly conveniently located land seem like 2 islands (university area and downtown).  Anti highway people often say highways are scars that destroy neighborhoods and in THIS case I think it is very clearly an issue.

While not as separated as I-90 is from Rochester, I think having the mainline interstate not go through downtown Syracuse will be a win for both locals (who currently have a big gash through downtown) and long distance drivers who are currently traversing a sub standard narrow piece of freeway intermingled with a lot of locals who do lots of typical city driving shenanigans to cope with what must seem like annoying slow people passing through.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on August 20, 2019, 08:43:49 PM
I just did some Google directions from LaFayette (I-81 exit 15) to Weedsport (I-90 exit 40) to compare times.  I-81/I-690/I-90 and I-81/I-90 are both 39 minutes, while I-81/I-481/I-90 and I-81/I-481/I-690/I-90 are 46 (the last one is also the only one to require more than one shaping point).  Of course, in addition to time, there's also the principle of replacing what used to be 3 miles with 12 miles, and the fact that there will no longer be a good all-freeway route for trips from the western suburbs to/from points south or points south to/from the Fair or the northern Finger Lakes (I'm also the person who selects apartments based on how many trips in the metro area can be made with the freeway system (excluding the Thruway, which in my mind is mainly for long-distance travel, going to Canandaigua Lake, or Schenectady) as a backbone).

I'm not sure I'd really call I-481 "better flowing".  While it avoids the I-81/I-690 junction, it's mostly a 4-lane interstate with (IMO) a borderline need of a widening (and not so borderline between I-690 and I-90).  Traffic mostly flows below the speed limit on the times I've used it.  It's also less interesting than I-81, though I'm the type of person who prefers to drive through cities rather than around them if it doesn't take me out of my way and traffic isn't too congested.

I've never understood what's so "dividing" about I-81.  What's under it is a surface street... why is it more difficult to cross than any other surface street?  It's a viaduct you can walk under just fine, not a wall.  I find waiting at all the traffic lights at every single intersection (and getting asked for money from homeless people nearly every single time I've been in downtown Syracuse) to be a greater annoyance.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: bemybear on August 21, 2019, 01:12:00 PM
vdeane....

I'm sure everybody has different levels of comfort and tolerance but I would honestly consider walking down Harrison under I-81 (the bridge made a lot of loud clunking noises and seemed very dark) as quite an off putting experience.  Plus more than one of the times we were walking through there people were honking at each other over some conflict about lanes under the bridge.  Given that the bridge itself isn't in great shape and some work seems inevitable, I think opting to eliminate it isn't crazy sounding at all.  Hopefully the street replacement is intelligently designed. A few miles of well done surface road don't have to be a huge back step in terms of transportation for those vehicles that need or choose to use it.  I think of even very homely US-11 from the I-81 split near Avoca to downtown Scranton.  Not an amazingly fast road but hardly a traffic snarled disaster and that road is basically just whatever evolved over the years, not obviously planed or optimized in any way.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on August 21, 2019, 01:48:26 PM
Is it odd to actually like the sound of cars driving over expansion joints?

I would think lighting (similar to what was done in Schenctady (https://www.google.com/maps/@42.8137734,-73.9432983,3a,75y,100.56h,81.1t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sm566iKTCRNbjDW53yEKI6Q!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo2.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3Dm566iKTCRNbjDW53yEKI6Q%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D123.80041%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656)) would be a possible solution if darkness is an issue.  And I'm sure a narrow four-lane surface street (like what is proposed for an I-81 tear-down) would be no less honk-prone than what's currently there.

Here's all the alternatives that were evaluated: https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/alternatives

I'm also not a fan of removing even the part that would stay a freeway from the interstate system and replacing it with a business loop.  I'm not even a fan of interstate business routes, period, for that matter.

More information (including detailed maps): https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/repository/03%20Alternatives_04-19-2019.pdf

Note that the "community grid" won't have direct connections to/from I-690, so even if you don't mind the traffic lights that will be on the existing route, you'll still have to take I-481 or leave the state system.

(personal opinion)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on August 21, 2019, 02:11:56 PM
vdeane....

I'm sure everybody has different levels of comfort and tolerance but I would honestly consider walking down Harrison under I-81 (the bridge made a lot of loud clunking noises and seemed very dark) as quite an off putting experience.  Plus more than one of the times we were walking through there people were honking at each other over some conflict about lanes under the bridge.  Given that the bridge itself isn't in great shape and some work seems inevitable, I think opting to eliminate it isn't crazy sounding at all.  Hopefully the street replacement is intelligently designed. A few miles of well done surface road don't have to be a huge back step in terms of transportation for those vehicles that need or choose to use it.  I think of even very homely US-11 from the I-81 split near Avoca to downtown Scranton.  Not an amazingly fast road but hardly a traffic snarled disaster and that road is basically just whatever evolved over the years, not obviously planed or optimized in any way.
Is there enough ROW to do street replacement [which] is intelligently designed in the downtown?
For example, US11 in the area of proposed I-81 removal is a 2-lane street with - just looking at a random spot -  an overpass where squeezing third lane will be difficult. That is to replace 6-lane highway?
https://www.google.com/maps/@43.0394563,-76.1475086,3a,87.3y,201.09h,94.28t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1swHkiKCweGjlF6wn7kzd9wg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
And this is about NYSDOT, you know...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Michael on September 11, 2019, 08:29:01 PM
I found something interesting on Reddit last night.  A commenter on a thread (https://old.reddit.com/r/Syracuse/comments/d1ie0x/the_highway_was_supposed_to_save_this_city_can/ezo6iec/) linking to Jalopnik's I-81 article on r/Syracuse (the same article linked upthread) claimed that Save 81 is backed by Pyramid.  When someone asked for proof, a third person linked to the WHOIS data (https://www.whois.com/whois/savei81.org) for savei81.org, and sure enough, it's registered to Pyramid Companies.

EDIT: I just saw a Syracuse.com article (https://www.syracuse.com/news/2019/09/destiny-usa-developer-listed-as-owner-of-save-81s-website-mistake-or-a-big-reveal.html) about the domain registration.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: seicer on September 12, 2019, 07:21:47 AM
Shocker. Pyramid is just an unreputable company (https://www.syracuse.com/business/2019/04/destiny-usa-bonds-downgraded-could-be-headed-to-junk-status.html), asking for generous tax breaks and credits and causing several malls in Syracuse to die. And several of their former malls were left to languish and die.

The new I-81 route, no matter where it ends up, needs to be designed to serve the residents of Syracuse, not business interests. The decision (?) was made to route I-81 along the bypass which ultimately benefits central Syracuse residents and rights the wrongs of the past, but ultimately hurts Pyramid, which I have little sympathy for. Judging from comments on prior articles about Pyramid, I think a lot of locals agree.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on September 12, 2019, 08:47:30 AM
Shocker. Pyramid is just an unreputable company (https://www.syracuse.com/business/2019/04/destiny-usa-bonds-downgraded-could-be-headed-to-junk-status.html), asking for generous tax breaks and credits and causing several malls in Syracuse to die. And several of their former malls were left to languish and die.

The new I-81 route, no matter where it ends up, needs to be designed to serve the residents of Syracuse, not business interests. The decision (?) was made to route I-81 along the bypass which ultimately benefits central Syracuse residents and rights the wrongs of the past, but ultimately hurts Pyramid, which I have little sympathy for. Judging from comments on prior articles about Pyramid, I think a lot of locals agree.
Glass can be half-full or half empty. You may dislike the mall, but it is a part of the regional economy, and as such has to be considered as integral part of the situation. Would the city be better off if the mall starts downsizing?
One thing to keep in mind - Upstate NY is planning for the decline. Syracuse lost 15% of the population over the past 25 years, and I don't see a way for things to go better. Mall - which is actually very big for the area - attracts a lot of money, including shoppers from out of area, and likely Canada. Loss of mall revenue - including taxes and jobs - is not something that is going to help the city.
Of course, Canada or Rochester traffic to the mall is not affected by reroute; but southern suburbs and Cornell (out of state money!) are. Well, Amazon is there to pick up the slack, after all.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Henry on September 12, 2019, 10:06:15 AM
The upside to this is that what is now I-481 is already available for a potential I-81 reroute, and that there wouldn't be much difference in its overall length (11.18 miles in its current form, and 15.08 as proposed). I'm just hoping we don't get another Greensboro situation, where residents were complaining about I-40 when it was rerouted, and that ultimately forced it to return to its former route.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on September 12, 2019, 02:10:03 PM
If Interstate 481 becomes 81, I assume NY 481 would retain its existing designation since there is already a NY 81 between Rensselaerville and Coxsackie.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: ixnay on September 12, 2019, 03:59:57 PM
Of course, Canada or Rochester traffic to the mall is not affected by reroute; but southern suburbs and Cornell (out of state money!) are. Well, Amazon is there to pick up the slack, after all.

Amazon has a major Syracuse presence?  Where?

ixnay
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on September 12, 2019, 04:59:31 PM
Of course, Canada or Rochester traffic to the mall is not affected by reroute; but southern suburbs and Cornell (out of state money!) are. Well, Amazon is there to pick up the slack, after all.

Amazon has a major Syracuse presence?  Where?

ixnay
http://amazon.com
Check it out, if you didn't yet - they sell anything you may ever need!
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on September 12, 2019, 05:38:05 PM
I'm just hoping we don't get another Greensboro situation, where residents were complaining about I-40 when it was rerouted, and that ultimately forced it to return to its former route.
When they tear I-81 down and see how crappy a community grid is, they'll call for the state to undo the $2 billion project and build a new viaduct!

Or better yet, in 15-20 years they'll begin an EIS for a new elevated freeway through Syracuse to relieve newly created traffic issues.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on September 12, 2019, 05:57:49 PM
I'm just hoping we don't get another Greensboro situation, where residents were complaining about I-40 when it was rerouted, and that ultimately forced it to return to its former route.
When they tear I-81 down and see how crappy a community grid is, they'll call for the state to undo the $2 billion project and build a new viaduct!

Or better yet, in 15-20 years they'll begin an EIS for a new elevated freeway through Syracuse to relieve newly created traffic issues.
Or...tunnel... :D
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: ixnay on September 12, 2019, 07:23:33 PM
Of course, Canada or Rochester traffic to the mall is not affected by reroute; but southern suburbs and Cornell (out of state money!) are. Well, Amazon is there to pick up the slack, after all.

Amazon has a major Syracuse presence?  Where?

ixnay
http://amazon.com
Check it out, if you didn't yet - they sell anything you may ever need!

I've bought a couple of books from there a few years ago.  That's about the extent of my dealings with Amazon.  I prefer QVC.  (I like Amazon's logo, though.)

My question was whether Syracuse had a Middletown, DE-like Amazon facility that most don't know about.  I see where you're coming from, now, kalvado.

ixnay
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on September 12, 2019, 08:18:35 PM
Of course, Canada or Rochester traffic to the mall is not affected by reroute; but southern suburbs and Cornell (out of state money!) are. Well, Amazon is there to pick up the slack, after all.

Amazon has a major Syracuse presence?  Where?

ixnay
http://amazon.com
Check it out, if you didn't yet - they sell anything you may ever need!

I've bought a couple of books from there a few years ago.  That's about the extent of my dealings with Amazon.  I prefer QVC.  (I like Amazon's logo, though.)

My question was whether Syracuse had a Middletown, DE-like Amazon facility that most don't know about.  I see where you're coming from, now, kalvado.

ixnay
Amazon distribution facility being built near Albany NY is said to be the first one in upstate.
But my message is indeed that retail is listed as endangered species these days, and if I-81 can become the last straw for the mall is anyone's guess.
Mall's management opinion is not the only one to be heard, but they are a legitimate stakeholder from my perspective.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on September 12, 2019, 09:07:09 PM
The upside to this is that what is now I-481 is already available for a potential I-81 reroute, and that there wouldn't be much difference in its overall length (11.18 miles in its current form, and 15.08 as proposed). I'm just hoping we don't get another Greensboro situation, where residents were complaining about I-40 when it was rerouted, and that ultimately forced it to return to its former route.
That works for north-south traffic going through Syracuse - I-481 is only 3 minutes longer (though IMO it's less interesting and the traffic is not fun).  However, things are much worse for traffic traveling between the west and south (Binghamton/Cortland/PA to the State Fair, Syracuse western suburbs, northern Finger Lakes, much of Lake Ontario, Rochester via the fastest route, etc.) that currently takes I-81 and I-690 to the Thruway.  Here's a comparison of trips from south of exit 16A to west of exit 39:

Existing route (I-81/I-690/I-90): 14.3 miles/15 minutes
I-481/I-690/I-90: 22.5 miles/22 minutes
I-481/I-90: 24.6 miles/23 minutes

It's a much bigger difference.  I'd have a much more favorable opinion of the community grid if the western bypass had been built (which I'd number I-681).

(personal opinion)

If Interstate 481 becomes 81, I assume NY 481 would retain its existing designation since there is already a NY 81 between Rensselaerville and Coxsackie.
Why would NY 481 change even if NY 81 didn't exist?  It's not like I-81 north of there to Canada is being renumbered.  The state route extensions of interstates are just that: extensions, not spurs.  The only one that's technically a spur is NY 787... and the part of I-787 heading towards Troy was once planned to become part of I-88 and is only signed southbound.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on September 13, 2019, 12:13:25 AM
If Interstate 481 becomes 81, I assume NY 481 would retain its existing designation since there is already a NY 81 between Rensselaerville and Coxsackie.
Why would NY 481 change even if NY 81 didn't exist?  It's not like I-81 north of there to Canada is being renumbered.  The state route extensions of interstates are just that: extensions, not spurs.  The only one that's technically a spur is NY 787... and the part of I-787 heading towards Troy was once planned to become part of I-88 and is only signed southbound.
Isn't NY 690 technically a spur off I-690?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: TonyTrafficLight on September 13, 2019, 09:34:43 AM
Of course, Canada or Rochester traffic to the mall is not affected by reroute; but southern suburbs and Cornell (out of state money!) are. Well, Amazon is there to pick up the slack, after all.

Amazon has a major Syracuse presence?  Where?

ixnay
http://amazon.com
Check it out, if you didn't yet - they sell anything you may ever need!

I've bought a couple of books from there a few years ago.  That's about the extent of my dealings with Amazon.  I prefer QVC.  (I like Amazon's logo, though.)

My question was whether Syracuse had a Middletown, DE-like Amazon facility that most don't know about.  I see where you're coming from, now, kalvado.

ixnay

Rumor has it, this warehouse that may be built in Liverpool, NY will be for Amazon. At almost 4 million square feet, probably is.

https://www.localsyr.com/news/local-news/who-wants-to-build-a-huge-warehouse-in-clay/

Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on September 13, 2019, 01:04:24 PM
If Interstate 481 becomes 81, I assume NY 481 would retain its existing designation since there is already a NY 81 between Rensselaerville and Coxsackie.
Why would NY 481 change even if NY 81 didn't exist?  It's not like I-81 north of there to Canada is being renumbered.  The state route extensions of interstates are just that: extensions, not spurs.  The only one that's technically a spur is NY 787... and the part of I-787 heading towards Troy was once planned to become part of I-88 and is only signed southbound.
Isn't NY 690 technically a spur off I-690?
Really technically (same for NY 890), but there's even less signage (none) than for I-787 in both cases.  You can't even see this in the Functional Class Viewer because all the other Thruway/interstate interchanges are classed as interstates too because of the ramps.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on September 13, 2019, 07:11:41 PM
In response to the comment that the viaduct will go back up when the "community grid" proves to be insufficient, I think that is wishful thinking. Like anywhere else in the world, once a freeway is torn down, it is gone forever! Syracuse will be stuck with the community grid permanently.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on September 13, 2019, 10:04:46 PM
In response to the comment that the viaduct will go back up when the "community grid" proves to be insufficient, I think that is wishful thinking. Like anywhere else in the world, once a freeway is torn down, it is gone forever! Syracuse will be stuck with the community grid permanently.
It's more of a joke in reference to how I-40 in Greensboro, North Carolina was routed onto the new freeway bypass but then routed back on the old alignment a few years later. At least in that case though, they never tore down the original freeway.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: tolbs17 on September 13, 2019, 10:11:43 PM
I hate it when freeways get torn down... Freeways relief traffic congestion!
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: SGwithADD on September 13, 2019, 11:18:04 PM
The upside to this is that what is now I-481 is already available for a potential I-81 reroute, and that there wouldn't be much difference in its overall length (11.18 miles in its current form, and 15.08 as proposed). I'm just hoping we don't get another Greensboro situation, where residents were complaining about I-40 when it was rerouted, and that ultimately forced it to return to its former route.
That works for north-south traffic going through Syracuse - I-481 is only 3 minutes longer (though IMO it's less interesting and the traffic is not fun).  However, things are much worse for traffic traveling between the west and south (Binghamton/Cortland/PA to the State Fair, Syracuse western suburbs, northern Finger Lakes, much of Lake Ontario, Rochester via the fastest route, etc.) that currently takes I-81 and I-690 to the Thruway.  Here's a comparison of trips from south of exit 16A to west of exit 39:

Existing route (I-81/I-690/I-90): 14.3 miles/15 minutes
I-481/I-690/I-90: 22.5 miles/22 minutes
I-481/I-90: 24.6 miles/23 minutes

It's a much bigger difference.  I'd have a much more favorable opinion of the community grid if the western bypass had been built (which I'd number I-681).

(personal opinion)

Similarly, it's another 9.0 miles/8 minutes to go from 16A to the SYR airport using I-481 instead of I-81.  This has become more important recently for folks in the Binghamton area, as ever since American and United pulled out of BGM, many people drive up to SYR for flights on those airlines (and for overall cheaper fares).
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on September 14, 2019, 12:01:59 PM
I hate it when freeways get torn down... Freeways relief traffic congestion!

They also have a history of creating traffic congestion.  Consider that dichotomy.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Plutonic Panda on September 14, 2019, 01:19:00 PM
I hate it when freeways get torn down... Freeways relief traffic congestion!

They also have a history of creating traffic congestion.  Consider that dichotomy.
I suppose you are playing devils advocate but saying freeways create congestion is a non-statement, IMO. I mean the obvious is out there and ones definition of success would likely be something that is popular or used a lot. A victim of its own success certainly applies here. So the urbanists would love to just give up so people are either forced to take transit or suffer nightmare congestion. Where freeways aren't widened traffic still increases and never have I seen a no build alt. factored in whenever an induced demand argument is made when people whine about freeways being jammed that were just widened.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on September 14, 2019, 05:34:14 PM
I hate it when freeways get torn down... Freeways relief traffic congestion!

They also have a history of creating traffic congestion.  Consider that dichotomy.
Traffic on I-481 would be significantly worse if I-81 was demolished.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: tolbs17 on September 14, 2019, 06:56:27 PM
It's also like saying that you want I-275 demolished and I-4 traffic would be way worse in Florida. It does make room for more development, but it's better to demolish buildings that are too close to the main highway.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on September 16, 2019, 12:08:47 PM
I hate it when freeways get torn down... Freeways relief traffic congestion!
They also have a history of creating traffic congestion.  Consider that dichotomy.

Making it easier to travel, releasing suppressed demand, and causing volumes to rise, isn't the same thing as creating "congestion".
Overall congestion always or almost always improves with freeway construction. I can't even come up with any counter-examples.

Traffic on I-481 would be significantly worse if I-81 was demolished.

And the Thruway. And in downtown Syracuse.
The overall movement of people and goods within and through Syracuse will get worse in pretty much every possible way.
I can't think of one single part of the Syracuse area where the residents won't see drastically increased travel times and longer commutes. Origin and destination are almost irrelevant; it will occur across the board.
Further, making almost every major destination (including Destiny, SU, the airport, and the State Fair) less accessible will add to this effect and stifle the already struggling economy.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on September 16, 2019, 04:57:56 PM
Traffic on I-481 would be significantly worse if I-81 was demolished.
And the Thruway. And in downtown Syracuse.
The overall movement of people and goods within and through Syracuse will get worse in pretty much every possible way.
I can't think of one single part of the Syracuse area where the residents won't see drastically increased travel times and longer commutes. Origin and destination are almost irrelevant; it will occur across the board.
Further, making almost every major destination (including Destiny, SU, the airport, and the State Fair) less accessible will add to this effect and stifle the already struggling economy.

$1.9 billon to dismantle it, and $2.2 billion to replace it and rebuild the interchange.

What a waste.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on September 16, 2019, 06:17:51 PM
Traffic on I-481 would be significantly worse if I-81 was demolished.
And the Thruway. And in downtown Syracuse.
The overall movement of people and goods within and through Syracuse will get worse in pretty much every possible way.
I can't think of one single part of the Syracuse area where the residents won't see drastically increased travel times and longer commutes. Origin and destination are almost irrelevant; it will occur across the board.
Further, making almost every major destination (including Destiny, SU, the airport, and the State Fair) less accessible will add to this effect and stifle the already struggling economy.

$1.9 billon to dismantle it, and $2.2 billion to replace it and rebuild the interchange.

What a waste.

We talked about it a lot - rebuild as-is would be relatively easy; but this is a 4-lane highway which needs 6 lanes - and may need an upgrade to 8, with no ROW and even no proper shoulders, curves requiring 45 MPH limit... And not  easy to navigate if you're not local...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on September 17, 2019, 09:20:06 AM
Quote from: webny99
Making it easier to travel, releasing suppressed demand, and causing volumes to rise, isn't the same thing as creating "congestion".

Look up induced demand.  Despite some naysayers on this forum, it is a well-documented outcome.  New roadway construction doesn't just shift traffic over from other facilities, it entices (induces) new trips to be taken...and this is where your congestion often comes into play.  Perhaps not right away but it won't take long especially if there's already latent (i.e. unmet) demand in a given region.

There have also been cases where new freeway facilities got overwhelmed simply from the volume of traffic that was shifted over from other locations.  You can argue semantics all you want about whether that's "congestion" but the bottom line is that the congestion wasn't reduced overall and you're simply robbing Peter to pay Paul.

And this is to say nothing about the environmental, societal, and financial costs of freeway construction in heavily built up or environmentally sensitive (thinking wetlands specifically here) areas.  I'm not necessarily saying a given project shouldn't be done, but the costs of such need to be fully weighed against the benefits.  Far too often, freeway promoters ignored the full costs of construction....this is in no small part what led rise to the freeway revolts of the '60s and '70s, because the highwaymen thought they could simply bulldoze over the opposition (pun intended).
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: 1 on September 17, 2019, 09:32:01 AM
Quote from: webny99
Making it easier to travel, releasing suppressed demand, and causing volumes to rise, isn't the same thing as creating "congestion".

Look up induced demand.  Despite some naysayers on this forum, it is a well-documented outcome.  New roadway construction doesn't just shift traffic over from other facilities, it entices (induces) new trips to be taken...and this is where your congestion often comes into play.  Perhaps not right away but it won't take long especially if there's already latent (i.e. unmet) demand in a given region.

There have also been cases where new freeway facilities got overwhelmed simply from the volume of traffic that was shifted over from other locations.  You can argue semantics all you want about whether that's "congestion" but the bottom line is that the congestion wasn't reduced overall and you're simply robbing Peter to pay Paul.

And this is to say nothing about the environmental, societal, and financial costs of freeway construction in heavily built up or environmentally sensitive (thinking wetlands specifically here) areas.  I'm not necessarily saying a given project shouldn't be done, but the costs of such need to be fully weighed against the benefits.  Far too often, freeway promoters ignored the full costs of construction....this is in no small part what led rise to the freeway revolts of the '60s and '70s, because the highwaymen thought they could simply bulldoze over the opposition (pun intended).

Upstate New York isn't growing much.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on September 17, 2019, 09:44:54 AM
Quote from: webny99
Making it easier to travel, releasing suppressed demand, and causing volumes to rise, isn't the same thing as creating "congestion".

Look up induced demand.  Despite some naysayers on this forum, it is a well-documented outcome.  New roadway construction doesn't just shift traffic over from other facilities, it entices (induces) new trips to be taken...and this is where your congestion often comes into play.  Perhaps not right away but it won't take long especially if there's already latent (i.e. unmet) demand in a given region.

There have also been cases where new freeway facilities got overwhelmed simply from the volume of traffic that was shifted over from other locations.  You can argue semantics all you want about whether that's "congestion" but the bottom line is that the congestion wasn't reduced overall and you're simply robbing Peter to pay Paul.

And this is to say nothing about the environmental, societal, and financial costs of freeway construction in heavily built up or environmentally sensitive (thinking wetlands specifically here) areas.  I'm not necessarily saying a given project shouldn't be done, but the costs of such need to be fully weighed against the benefits.  Far too often, freeway promoters ignored the full costs of construction....this is in no small part what led rise to the freeway revolts of the '60s and '70s, because the highwaymen thought they could simply bulldoze over the opposition (pun intended).
What you're describing is suppressed demand. WHich does exists, of course, and which may show up after the new construction. Mobility - including the ability to change jobs on short notice - is an important factor of the modern social system. Suppressing demand may have its positive aspects, but doesn't really fit in a grand scheme of things.
To bring things to a bit of extreme:
Yet again, what you're coming to, is that the best society with minimal travel needs is a dorm above production floor, kids schooled in a basement room, where leaving factory campus without a proper permit is strictly prohibited. Once you allow people to travel off-campus, strange things may happen.


Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on September 17, 2019, 11:30:36 AM
Quote from: webny99
Making it easier to travel, releasing suppressed demand, and causing volumes to rise, isn't the same thing as creating "congestion".

Look up induced demand.  Despite some naysayers on this forum, it is a well-documented outcome.  New roadway construction doesn't just shift traffic over from other facilities, it entices (induces) new trips to be taken...and this is where your congestion often comes into play.  Perhaps not right away but it won't take long especially if there's already latent (i.e. unmet) demand in a given region.

There have also been cases where new freeway facilities got overwhelmed simply from the volume of traffic that was shifted over from other locations.  You can argue semantics all you want about whether that's "congestion" but the bottom line is that the congestion wasn't reduced overall and you're simply robbing Peter to pay Paul.

And this is to say nothing about the environmental, societal, and financial costs of freeway construction in heavily built up or environmentally sensitive (thinking wetlands specifically here) areas.  I'm not necessarily saying a given project shouldn't be done, but the costs of such need to be fully weighed against the benefits.  Far too often, freeway promoters ignored the full costs of construction....this is in no small part what led rise to the freeway revolts of the '60s and '70s, because the highwaymen thought they could simply bulldoze over the opposition (pun intended).

I actually don't disagree with any of that, at least not strongly enough to spend a lot of time on, as you say, semantics.

But there is really two separate conversations to be had: one about truly new freeway construction, often in rural or semi-rural areas, and one about an existing urban structure that has been around for decades and needs replacing.
Case in point, it is much easier to argue that the viaduct should be replaced, than it is to argue that the western bypass of Syracuse should be dug up from the grave and constructed. The latter would be a massive systemwide shakeup, with two very obvious sides to the coin, while the former should be an obvious go-ahead; how could it even be questioned as a critical high-priority project for Syracuse and Upstate NY as a whole?

Upstate New York isn't growing much.

Also true, and if it was growing, this wouldn't even be a conversation we were having.
Imagine similar discussion in Charlotte, NC, or Portland, OR, for example; ridiculous to even think about.
I-81 in Syracuse is a freeway removal guinea pig precisely because the area isn't on the upswing, so the blowback (and added congestion) won't be as extreme or pronounced as it would be in a similar-sized city anywhere else.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on September 17, 2019, 07:20:24 PM
Far too often, freeway promoters ignored the full costs of construction....
To be fair, the community grid concept that is proposed is $1.9 billion to construct, whereas replacing the viaduct with a new viaduct and reconstructing a major junction would be $2.2 billion - only a $300 million difference.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on September 17, 2019, 09:01:52 PM
This discussion has me thinking. Has NYSDOT ever identified, and later changed, their preferred alternative after public blowback (or for any other reason)?

Obviously, this is one of the bigger projects being undertaken, so a shakeup of any sort would be noteworthy. I'm just reading through this thread and a few other sources and trying to assess the chance that they're forced to revisit the rebuild option. Maybe a 20% chance that the rebuild comes back to the table in a legitimate, meaningful way?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on September 17, 2019, 09:07:38 PM
Far too often, freeway promoters ignored the full costs of construction....
To be fair, the community grid concept that is proposed is $1.9 billion to construct, whereas replacing the viaduct with a new viaduct and reconstructing a major junction would be $2.2 billion - only a $300 million difference.
The community grid concept isn't just simple as dismantling the viaduct.  Transitions would have to be built at either end to transition the freeway stub down to the surface streets, the surface streets would need upgrading, and each I-81/I-481 interchange would need a major upgrade to provide an I-81 thru movement.

That said, the cost-benefit ratio is horribly against the community grid as compared to the freeway project, as your figures above substantiate.  90% of the cost for a huge loss of regional capacity and connectivity.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on September 18, 2019, 12:58:40 PM
This discussion has me thinking. Has NYSDOT ever identified, and later changed, their preferred alternative after public blowback (or for any other reason)?

Obviously, this is one of the bigger projects being undertaken, so a shakeup of any sort would be noteworthy. I'm just reading through this thread and a few other sources and trying to assess the chance that they're forced to revisit the rebuild option. Maybe a 20% chance that the rebuild comes back to the table in a legitimate, meaningful way?
It happened on a bridge project on the Northway.  The project was to replace the overpasses for Crescent and East High and to close/demolish the one for Nelson; after significant opposition, the plan to close/demolish Nelson was dropped and the project proceeded with just the replacements for Crescent and East High.

That said, I would assume the I-81 preferred alternative has a lower chance of being changed for a multitude of reasons - chief among them being that whether one supports the grid or the viaduct is very much a matter of ideology (New Urbanism vs. highways).

(personal opinion)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on September 18, 2019, 01:55:12 PM
So the "community grid" is what will ultimately be constructed? That's depressing. I hope Syracuse doesn't live to regret it.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 22, 2019, 12:10:25 AM
Here's how to do it --

New photos of I-59/20 Bridge Construction in Birmingham
https://www.al.com/news/g66l-2019/06/b9a7e8569c9394/new-photos-of-i5920-bridge-construction-in-birmingham.html

(https://www.al.com/resizer/V5Cv52W0kI8j5NI3UFND6DwZAZ8=/700x0/smart/advancelocal-adapter-image-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/expo.advance.net/img/6fb04d7504/width2048/230_i5920bridgeconstruction612190083.jpeg)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on October 22, 2019, 01:58:24 PM
This would be the way to do it, if the preferred alternative was to rebuild the Interstate 81 viaduct. Since the preferred alternative is the "community grid", perhaps this story would be more appropriate (not every aspect, just the freeway-to-boulevard conversion part):

The End Of The Central Freeway In Hayes Valley (in San Francisco)
https://hoodline.com/2015/08/the-end-of-the-central-freeway-in-hayes-valley
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Plutonic Panda on October 22, 2019, 03:04:18 PM
The ideal solution would be to get our infrastructure costs under control and build the tunnel with moderate access to downtown and the community grid. This gives the best of both worlds. So many other countries can do this in their cities and the US can’t.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: PHLBOS on October 22, 2019, 03:42:05 PM
So many other countries can do this in their cities and the US can'’t.
It's probably a reasonable assumption that those other countries you speak of don't have the permitting hoops that like-projects in the US have to go through.  Such alone can add years if not decades to a project before ground is even broken.  Not to mention that those other countries are probably much more forceful when it comes to eminent domain.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on October 22, 2019, 03:56:02 PM
Here's how to do it --

New photos of I-59/20 Bridge Construction in Birmingham
https://www.al.com/news/g66l-2019/06/b9a7e8569c9394/new-photos-of-i5920-bridge-construction-in-birmingham.html

(https://www.al.com/resizer/V5Cv52W0kI8j5NI3UFND6DwZAZ8=/700x0/smart/advancelocal-adapter-image-uploads.s3.amazonaws.com/expo.advance.net/img/6fb04d7504/width2048/230_i5920bridgeconstruction612190083.jpeg)
The beauty is not only are they replacing the viaduct in Downtown, I-59 thru traffic also has I-459 as a bypass. Very comparable to I-295 around Richmond. Nice mostly 6-8 lane rural freeway that is pretty much a direct shot.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 22, 2019, 04:07:53 PM
The ideal solution would be to get our infrastructure costs under control and build the tunnel with moderate access to downtown and the community grid. This gives the best of both worlds. So many other countries can do this in their cities and the US can’t.
Great solution - but not in Syracuse soil, as far as I understand.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on October 22, 2019, 04:34:50 PM
So many other countries can do this in their cities and the US can'’t.
It's probably a reasonable assumption that those other countries you speak of don't have the permitting hoops that like-projects in the US have to go through.  Such alone can add years if not decades to a project before ground is even broken.  Not to mention that those other countries are probably much more forceful when it comes to eminent domain.

Have you not see the volume of design changes that a typical U.S. project will undertake during the course of construction (let alone a large project)?  That's arguably a bigger reason for the massive cost overruns we see in the U.S. than the documentation/permitting issues you mention.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Plutonic Panda on October 22, 2019, 04:48:56 PM
So many other countries can do this in their cities and the US can'’t.
It's probably a reasonable assumption that those other countries you speak of don't have the permitting hoops that like-projects in the US have to go through.  Such alone can add years if not decades to a project before ground is even broken.  Not to mention that those other countries are probably much more forceful when it comes to eminent domain.
Right and I understand what you and Froggie are saying. I am not suggesting we go to the extremes that China has regarding ED nor am I suggesting a complete disregard for the environment like we used to have in the early 20th century.

I do think we got too carried away with the public input(more specifically with the ridiculousness of locally preferred alternatives), environmental reviews, and not to mention seemingly partisan affect that is becoming more evident on infrastructure building(Dems being more partial to mass transit and repubs freeways). Certain projects that are of high priority and needed now should get some exemptions and passes to be constructed that would allow for reasonable time frames. 10+ years is arguably not that and 20+ is insanity. Projects like the Golden Gate Bridge were built in 4 years. I doubt she went through 10 years of planning.

Again I know costs for infrastructure in developed countries are always going to be higher with some more so and I’m fine with that but a community grids surface street costing almost 2 billion dollars is mind boggling. I don’t even want to know what the estimated for the tunnel were.

There has got to be compromises made somewhere. If we’re just going to accept the status quo of projects like a new Bay Area bridge and tube not happening for 20+ years when it was needed in the last decade, then there isn’t much hope.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Plutonic Panda on October 22, 2019, 04:49:39 PM
The ideal solution would be to get our infrastructure costs under control and build the tunnel with moderate access to downtown and the community grid. This gives the best of both worlds. So many other countries can do this in their cities and the US can’t.
Great solution - but not in Syracuse soil, as far as I understand.
They did study this, no? I have heard something about the soil there before. It is unstable?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on October 22, 2019, 05:39:39 PM
Eh, the soil in that area doesn't look horrible. Low water table, well-drained. It's not like the stuff north and east of Buffalo that is poorly-drained with a high water table. There's a reason most buildings at SUNY Buffalo have no basement and are built on piles.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 22, 2019, 07:59:06 PM
Eh, the soil in that area doesn't look horrible. Low water table, well-drained. It's not like the stuff north and east of Buffalo that is poorly-drained with a high water table. There's a reason most buildings at SUNY Buffalo have no basement and are built on piles.
If  my memory serves me right, water table is linked to the lake, and fairly close to the surface. I am fairly sure I had a link to the elevations map somewhere in this thread.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on October 22, 2019, 08:42:34 PM
The cheapest option was chosen. That's basically it.

Something tells me Syracuse's pull on Albany doesn't quite match Birmingham's pull on Montgomery. :D
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on October 22, 2019, 09:16:08 PM
The cheapest option was chosen. That's basically it.

Something tells me Syracuse's pull on Albany doesn't quite match Birmingham's pull on Montgomery. :D
Barely any cheap, only a couple hundred million out of an already multi-billion dollar project. Not to mention, the benefits are far greater on regional traffic flow with the viaduct replacement whereas the “cheaper” one will only choke the beltway further, and eventually call for a widening of its own which could easily ultimately exceed the cost of just replacing the viaduct.

Not to mention local traffic freeway movements are eliminated and will require surface street driving to navigate as opposed to existing freeway.

It’s a RE/T project and they won this one it seems. New York’s DOT is a joke for going along with it.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on October 22, 2019, 09:21:11 PM
A couple hundred million is not small change, even in NY for cash-strapped NYSDOT (compared to the systems' needs).  The cost of the project also includes some improvements to I-481, so it isn't like those billions are just spent on tearing the viaduct down and building a boulevard.

Oh, and stop trying to make "RE/T" happen.  It's not going to happen.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on October 22, 2019, 09:34:38 PM
It seems to me that at the end of the day, cost is just another bullet point in favor of the grid; significant, but hardly central to the overall decision.

Seriously, if this was any other state, a grid option would have been laughed out of the park, and the entire conversation would be about replacement, not removal. Cost would never even have come up as a talking point. And why should it? This a major thru interstate that provides vital statewide, regional, and local connectivity!
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on October 22, 2019, 09:36:45 PM
All I can say to that is that you're wrong. :D
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on October 22, 2019, 09:39:13 PM
Wrong about what; the first bit?

I think it's obvious as to what would have happened in other states vs. what's happening here. I-59 is just one example. No doubt there will be many more examples in years to come.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on October 22, 2019, 09:43:05 PM
Eh, the soil in that area doesn't look horrible. Low water table, well-drained. It's not like the stuff north and east of Buffalo that is poorly-drained with a high water table. There's a reason most buildings at SUNY Buffalo have no basement and are built on piles.
If  my memory serves me right, water table is linked to the lake, and fairly close to the surface. I am fairly sure I had a link to the elevations map somewhere in this thread.

The soil map for that area (https://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/WebSoilSurvey.aspx) is maxed out for the water table ("more than 80 inches"). The lowest point of the viaduct is a good 25 feet above the lake surface elevation.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on October 22, 2019, 09:51:41 PM
Wrong about what; the first bit?

I think it's obvious as to what would have happened in other states vs. what's happening here. I-59 is just one example. No doubt there will be many more examples in years to come.
See my earlier post.  Syracuse has no pull.  No pull means the State won't send more money than it wants to.  Therefore, cost becomes the primary variable in the State's decision.

Birmingham is the biggest city in Alabama.  Of course they're getting the big bucks.  If I-81 went through New York City, it'd be a very different story.

(And before you point out the Sheridan, the City had a much stronger stance on it than any alternative for the viaduct had in Syracuse)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 22, 2019, 09:53:45 PM
The cheapest option was chosen. That's basically it.
Something tells me Syracuse's pull on Albany doesn't quite match Birmingham's pull on Montgomery. :D
Barely any cheap, only a couple hundred million out of an already multi-billion dollar project. Not to mention, the benefits are far greater on regional traffic flow with the viaduct replacement whereas the “cheaper” one will only choke the beltway further, and eventually call for a widening of its own which could easily ultimately exceed the cost of just replacing the viaduct.
Not to mention local traffic freeway movements are eliminated and will require surface street driving to navigate as opposed to existing freeway.
It’s a RE/T project and they won this one it seems. New York’s DOT is a joke for going along with it.
The "community grid" costs 91% of what the viaduct replacement project would cost.

Results in a huge reduction in capacity and severing of vital access links as opposed to a moderate increase in capacity and safety.

The anti-highway activist/obstructionist (AHA/O) groups are undoubtedly pleased.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on October 22, 2019, 09:56:16 PM
AHA/O may actually catch on.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on October 22, 2019, 11:47:49 PM
AHA/O may actually catch on.
No more than RE/T will. Can we stick with NIMBY and BANANA plz?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Plutonic Panda on October 23, 2019, 02:33:47 AM
Pardon my ignorance but what is RE/T and AHA/O
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Verlanka on October 23, 2019, 04:58:09 AM
Pardon my ignorance but what is RE/T and AHA/O
AHA/O = Anti-Highway Activist/Obstructionist. Not sure about RE/T, though.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on October 23, 2019, 07:12:10 AM
Pardon my ignorance but what is RE/T
Radical environmentalist/transit groups.

and AHA/O
Go up a few posts.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Plutonic Panda on October 23, 2019, 07:25:41 AM
thanks for the info!
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on October 23, 2019, 10:49:55 AM
See my earlier post.  Syracuse has no pull.  No pull means the State won't send more money than it wants to.  Therefore, cost becomes the primary variable in the State's decision.

Right, I get that. But is the state actually completely unwilling to send a penny more than necessary to Syracuse? Maybe, but I'm not convinced. Funds are being poured in to a number of other Upstate projects, but it's clear here that the state wants - and will make sure they get - the grid. So I keep coming back to the grid being very much pre-ordained as a pet project, and cost being a major talking point/crutch in favor of an otherwise hard-to-defend alternative.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 23, 2019, 01:16:08 PM
Eh, the soil in that area doesn't look horrible. Low water table, well-drained. It's not like the stuff north and east of Buffalo that is poorly-drained with a high water table. There's a reason most buildings at SUNY Buffalo have no basement and are built on piles.
If  my memory serves me right, water table is linked to the lake, and fairly close to the surface. I am fairly sure I had a link to the elevations map somewhere in this thread.

The soil map for that area (https://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/WebSoilSurvey.aspx) is maxed out for the water table ("more than 80 inches"). The lowest point of the viaduct is a good 25 feet above the lake surface elevation.

Challenge accepted! Took a bit of looking for documents.
Here is an appendix D of an independent feasibility study for the tunnel: https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/repository/Appendix%20B-3_Independent%20Tunnel%20Feasibility%20Study_04-19-2019%20Appendix%20C-D.pdf
(D is further down the document)
Study itself is an appendix to a bigger document: https://www.dot.ny.gov/i81opportunities/library

There are a few interesting things in the document. As for our discussion
Quote
Both the depressed roadway alternatives and the underground roadway alternatives generally will be constructed below the groundwater table. The groundwater is presumed to be saline.
Stressed soil and flammable/toxic  gas release from shale soil are two other issues for construction.

Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on October 23, 2019, 01:20:48 PM
The cheapest option was chosen. That's basically it.

Something tells me Syracuse's pull on Albany doesn't quite match Birmingham's pull on Montgomery. :D

Eh, I can see there being more to it.  Cuomo has been pretty on board with freeway removal projects (see: the Scajaquada, Buffalo Skyway, and the Sheridan; I think the Inner Loop was a city project, but if not, add it to the list too).  And like the Sheridan, the city strongly wants to remove I-81; the choice only becomes more controversial once the suburbs and thru traffic are taken into account.

(personal opinion)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 23, 2019, 01:22:58 PM
See my earlier post.  Syracuse has no pull.  No pull means the State won't send more money than it wants to.  Therefore, cost becomes the primary variable in the State's decision.

Right, I get that. But is the state actually completely unwilling to send a penny more than necessary to Syracuse? Maybe, but I'm not convinced. Funds are being poured in to a number of other Upstate projects, but it's clear here that the state wants - and will make sure they get - the grid. So I keep coming back to the grid being very much pre-ordained as a pet project, and cost being a major talking point/crutch in favor of an otherwise hard-to-defend alternative.

If you think about it... Syracuse area population is 662k, we're talking about.. lets round the number - $3.3B for construction, that is $5k per area resident.
Assuming a current federal gas tax rate of ~0.7 cents/mile and typical mileage, say, 13k.year - or $100 per vehicle a year; this project is consuming 50 years worth of federal gas tax paid by the area, or 20-25 years if NYS taxes are included, before any maintenance or other road needs are considered
You may twist the number in many ways - but the message is simple: construction money are not going to come from taxes generated by the road use in the area, which is a significant issue for the road with majority of traffic being commuters. 
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on October 23, 2019, 01:23:55 PM
The cheapest option was chosen. That's basically it.

Something tells me Syracuse's pull on Albany doesn't quite match Birmingham's pull on Montgomery. :D

Eh, I can see there being more to it.  Cuomo has been pretty on board with freeway removal projects (see: the Scajaquada, Buffalo Skyway, and the Sheridan; I think the Inner Loop was a city project, but if not, add it to the list too).  And like the Sheridan, the city strongly wants to remove I-81; the choice only becomes more controversial once the suburbs and thru traffic are taken into account.

(personal opinion)
On the other hand, 787 got a major rehab under current administration...
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on October 23, 2019, 01:55:59 PM
On the other hand, 787 got a major rehab under current administration...
The Buffalo Skyway just had a major rehab too (I think it just finished, but may still be under construction).  Doesn't mean that Cuomo isn't pushing removal in the relatively near term.

Regarding I-787, I think the debate on removing it is more recent than many of the other corridors.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on October 23, 2019, 02:48:09 PM
787 will also be a far harder sell than the others for a variety of reasons. Even as it is, the Skyway and 81 are going to have quite a few lawsuits and some strong opposition from the suburbs. 787 has higher traffic counts than anything else they've proposed removing.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: seicer on October 23, 2019, 07:28:52 PM
On the other hand, 787 got a major rehab under current administration...
The Buffalo Skyway just had a major rehab too (I think it just finished, but may still be under construction).  Doesn't mean that Cuomo isn't pushing removal in the relatively near term.

Regarding I-787, I think the debate on removing it is more recent than many of the other corridors.

The Skyway was a bridge deck rehab, if I am not mistaken. It adds approximately 15-20 years to the life expectancy of the bridge, which gives plenty of time for those decisions to be made on its future.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Michael on October 24, 2019, 09:41:09 PM
Wow, this thread has blown up since I last looked at it!  Here's a few thoughts on some of the recent posts that stood out to me:

The cheapest option was chosen. That's basically it.
Something tells me Syracuse's pull on Albany doesn't quite match Birmingham's pull on Montgomery. :D
Barely any cheap, only a couple hundred million out of an already multi-billion dollar project. Not to mention, the benefits are far greater on regional traffic flow with the viaduct replacement whereas the “cheaper” one will only choke the beltway further, and eventually call for a widening of its own which could easily ultimately exceed the cost of just replacing the viaduct.
Not to mention local traffic freeway movements are eliminated and will require surface street driving to navigate as opposed to existing freeway.
It’s a RE/T project and they won this one it seems. New York’s DOT is a joke for going along with it.
The "community grid" costs 91% of what the viaduct replacement project would cost.

Results in a huge reduction in capacity and severing of vital access links as opposed to a moderate increase in capacity and safety.

The anti-highway activist/obstructionist (AHA/O) groups are undoubtedly pleased.

I agree that one of the biggest reasons that the grid is being pushed is cost.  It has always seemed silly to me since it isn't much cheaper than a replacement, but seeing the 91% really makes it stand out more to me!

See my earlier post.  Syracuse has no pull.  No pull means the State won't send more money than it wants to.  Therefore, cost becomes the primary variable in the State's decision.

Right, I get that. But is the state actually completely unwilling to send a penny more than necessary to Syracuse? Maybe, but I'm not convinced. Funds are being poured in to a number of other Upstate projects, but it's clear here that the state wants - and will make sure they get - the grid. So I keep coming back to the grid being very much pre-ordained as a pet project, and cost being a major talking point/crutch in favor of an otherwise hard-to-defend alternative.

I agree that it seems like this is a pet project for the state and/or NYSDOT.



A couple days ago, I saw an article on Syracuse.com about the grid needing more land than originally stated:
Exclusive: I-81 project would take land from unsuspecting homeowners; ‘that’s my backyard’ (https://www.syracuse.com/news/2019/10/exclusive-i-81-project-would-take-land-from-unsuspecting-homeowners-thats-my-backyard.html)

I wonder how this will affect the opinions of people who support the grid because of the smaller impact since the impact isn't as small after all.



Yesterday, I saw a post from NewsChannel 9 on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/NewsChannel9/posts/10157607684785351) that mentioned an article from the Washington Post:
In Syracuse, a road and reparations (https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/10/20/how-crumbling-bridge-syracuse-is-sparking-conversation-about-reparations/?arc404=true)

The article is long, so I just skimmed through it.  The gist I got is that the viaduct is racist, and it needs to be removed to repair the damage done when it was first built.  I've read that argument before, and I'm open to the idea that it may have been racist at the time it was built, but I have a hard time believing that it's racist now and removing it will magically make everything better.  To me, it's a more specific version of the "it divides people" argument, which I've mentioned before that I think is silly.



A thought I've had before about building impacts, but never mentioned in the thread is what about moving buildings?  I've seen some pretty big buildings moved, and there's open land south of I-690 just to the east of it's interchange with I-81.  Once the bridges come down, there shouldn't be too many overhead obstacles in the way.

Lastly, I wonder if people complaining about the cost of either option realize that this project involves more than just the viaduct.  They may not realize that it's going to involve all of I-81 in Syracuse, I-690 through downtown, and if the grid is chosen, the two I-481 interchanges and some of I-481 itself.  That's a lot more than just a viaduct!
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Henry on November 18, 2019, 12:13:02 PM
I went ahead and drew up an exit list for the upcoming reroute, which shows both the sequential and potential mileage-based exit numbering schemes:

(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49085046353_ad48cbf333_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2hMtGbD)I-81 NY Reroute Part 1 (https://flic.kr/p/2hMtGbD) by Henry Watson (https://www.flickr.com/photos/155587311@N07/), on Flickr
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49085770637_f160b8cce3_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2hMxpui)I-81 NY Reroute Part 2 (https://flic.kr/p/2hMxpui) by Henry Watson (https://www.flickr.com/photos/155587311@N07/), on Flickr
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/49085046343_331de2e488_h.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2hMtGbt)I-81 NY Reroute Part 3 (https://flic.kr/p/2hMtGbt) by Henry Watson (https://www.flickr.com/photos/155587311@N07/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on November 18, 2019, 01:09:35 PM
A few notes:
-NY appears to have the "round down" method as policy.
-The "old exit" numbers appear to be equally fictional as the "new exit" numbers.
-182B/182A isn't MUTCD compliant - should be reversed.
-NY is moving away from the "don't number freeway junctions" policy.  Actually, the Wikipedia exit list is a little outdated on this - what's listed as exit 4 is now 4A and the NY 17 junction is now 4B.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Henry on November 19, 2019, 09:44:32 AM
Everything south of the I-481 junction in south Syracuse would remain the same, but north of the I-481/NY 481 junction in Cicero, the exit numbers would go down by five while the mileage would go up by 3.9 (187.52 compared to the current 183.62). And the former would be assuming that NY does not adopt a mileage-based numbering scheme statewide, though given that I-84 was already converted, it would only be a matter of time before the other Interstates got the same treatment.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on November 19, 2019, 12:50:42 PM
They're not really "old" numbers then, are they?  In any case, I doubt the whole road would be renumbered if I-81 were to remain sequential since there are fewer interchanges on the new route than the old, and I think someone posted a report that it would go mile-based if rerouted anyways.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: machias on November 21, 2019, 07:56:32 PM
They're not really "old" numbers then, are they?  In any case, I doubt the whole road would be renumbered if I-81 were to remain sequential since there are fewer interchanges on the new route than the old, and I think someone posted a report that it would go mile-based if rerouted anyways.

Yes, according the conversations I had with R3 two years ago, since I-81 would be relocated, they would have to renumber all the interchanges in the new alignment and because of that change it’s been decided that’s when they’ll go to milepost numbers for the entire route. R3 has already been coordinating with the other two regions. This would happen even if they went to the non-grid alternative, as the number of interchanges would still change.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: machias on November 21, 2019, 10:42:31 PM
They're not really "old" numbers then, are they?  In any case, I doubt the whole road would be renumbered if I-81 were to remain sequential since there are fewer interchanges on the new route than the old, and I think someone posted a report that it would go mile-based if rerouted anyways.

Yes, according the conversations I had with R3 two years ago, since I-81 would be relocated, they would have to renumber all the interchanges in the new alignment and because of that change it’s been decided that’s when they’ll go to milepost numbers for the entire route. R3 has already been coordinating with the other two regions. This would happen even if they went to the non-grid alternative, as the number of interchanges would still change.

And now that I think about it, NY 481 would have to get all new exit numbers as well if NYSDOT with the grid plan in Downtown Syracuse and they would then go to distance based as well.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sparker on November 22, 2019, 01:23:05 AM
Since the existing freeway portion of present I-81 north of I-690 will remain intact, are there any rumblings regarding reassigning the I-481 number to that segment -- since it will undoubtedly remain on the FHWA logbooks as chargeable mileage?   It would seem quite logical to do that as a continuation (albeit less direct) of NY 481. 
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on November 22, 2019, 08:01:20 AM
Since the existing freeway portion of present I-81 north of I-690 will remain intact, are there any rumblings regarding reassigning the I-481 number to that segment -- since it will undoubtedly remain on the FHWA logbooks as chargeable mileage?   It would seem quite logical to do that as a continuation (albeit less direct) of NY 481.
No.  It will become BL I-81, per most recent presentations.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Roadsguy on November 22, 2019, 09:47:46 AM
Not to mention actually swapping the 81 and 481 numbers would confuse drivers more than the project will as-is. DelDOT realized the same when they briefly moved I-95 onto I-495, with the route through Wilmington becoming I-895, not 495. The later cancelled proposal similarly would have seen Business I-95 on the downtown route, not 495.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on November 22, 2019, 01:36:32 PM
Since the existing freeway portion of present I-81 north of I-690 will remain intact, are there any rumblings regarding reassigning the I-481 number to that segment -- since it will undoubtedly remain on the FHWA logbooks as chargeable mileage?   It would seem quite logical to do that as a continuation (albeit less direct) of NY 481.
No.  It will become BL I-81, per most recent presentations.
Unfortunately.  As far as I'm concerned, business interstate aren't REAL interstates, and I'd prefer to see them go away - the last thing we need is to add another.  Plus they're functionally deleting even the freeway portions of the current route from the interstate system with the current plan.  I wonder if it has anything to do with the removal of the ramps connecting the north and west.  FHWA doesn't like partial interchanges, but they might find it more palatable if it isn't the terminus of an interstate.

Navigating the Syracuse area with the interstate system serving as the backbone (with lesser routes used only for "last mile" connections - minus the Thruway of course, because you have to enter the ticket system through double trumpet interchanges) was never something the metro was great at in the first place, but once the I-81 viaduct is removed and I-81 rerouted it will be effectively impossible.

(personal opinion)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sturmde on November 22, 2019, 02:30:01 PM
I know the current plan is to sign a BL-81.  I know that those are now becoming frowned upon as confusing to the average driver of the least common denominator.  As we are seeing with North Carolina, ditching Green 40 in W-S for US 421 and Green 85 for US 29... was there any consideration to signing these with spur routes, as the southern section still is to interstate standards and could serve as an I-181 to the point it becomes a surface boulevard which could be BUS SPUR 181?  (Maybe Tennessee has some spare I-181 signs they'd send to NY for cheap. ;) )
.
The northern component since it would remain intact (I presume) from I-690 to the current I-81/I-481/NY 481 interchange... wouldn't that make sense as I-281?
.
I'd think a 181 stub and a 281 connector would be a lot more "in the spirit of the rules" and maintain all but the surface boulevard as part of the system.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on November 22, 2019, 09:51:13 PM
I-681 would make more sense than I-281 for the existing route - NY 281 not only exists, but it's less than 20 miles away.

Not sure if the remaining freeway at the south end would be significant enough to have an I-181 number.  A NYS reference route designation would seem more likely.  The freeway/expressway/parkway removals in Rochester and Buffalo didn't result in any new touring routes or even reference routes - the state route was simply truncated and the surface road given to the municipality.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on November 22, 2019, 10:55:44 PM
The "community grid" costs 91% of what the viaduct replacement project would cost.
Results in a huge reduction in capacity and severing of vital access links as opposed to a moderate increase in capacity and safety.
I agree that one of the biggest reasons that the grid is being pushed is cost.  It has always seemed silly to me since it isn't much cheaper than a replacement, but seeing the 91% really makes it stand out more to me!
Sad.  Very sad.

Has there been any actual final official decision on what alternative will be selected?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on November 23, 2019, 12:36:26 AM
As far as I know, NYSDOT is going around giving public presentations that the grid is the chosen alternative.  It certainly looks like the decision as been made.

One "pro" that NYSDOT puts forward is the fact that ROW takings are going to be far less with the grid than with replacing the viaduct.  Another is that new ramps off of I-690 will be built that supposedly will help traffic get to Syracuse University (I am not so certain).  I believe they'll be at Crouse and maybe University.

Time will tell.

(personal opinion expressed)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: machias on November 23, 2019, 12:42:05 PM
With the reconfigurations of I-690 as part of this project, I'm wondering if I-690/NY 690 will also get its interchanges renumbered according to the mileposts that were installed a few years ago. It'd be I-690's third set of interchange numbers.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on November 23, 2019, 09:35:38 PM
It would be nice (in fact, this would be a good opportunity for Region 3 to convert everything to mile-based, as there isn't a single freeway with exit numbers in the entire region save for the Thruway that is unaffected by this), but I-690 can just as easily adjust its exit changes by staying sequential.  The new interchange at Crouse and Irving is a replacement for existing exit 13, and with the changes to exit 11, exit 12 is freed up for BL I-81.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Michael on December 14, 2019, 09:52:57 PM
On the day after Thanksgiving, I drove I-481 from the northern terminus to NY 5/92.  I had never driven between the northern terminus and NY 298 before, and the last time I had been on that section of I-481 was in 2012.  As I was driving, I thought that it seemed narrow between the northern terminus and NY 298.  The large 90 degree curve between Northern Blvd and NY 298 wasn't as sharp as I was expecting as first, but it got sharper than I would have liked in the second half.  I think I slowed down to 55 or 60 in that part of the curve.

While I was driving through the I-690 interchange, I took a quick look to the side to look at one of the ghost ramps.  When I looked straight ahead again, I was closer to the right white line than I liked, and was surprised at how sharp the curve was within the interchange.  I've taken the ramp to I-690 at the interchange before too, and I don't like how sudden the ramp comes up and the departure angle of the ramp.  While I was on the bridge over the rail yard, I had to slow down a bit because a few cars ahead of me were slowing down, and it looked like one or two cars in the front of the pack were slowing down for the I-690 ramp.  If I-481 was to become I-81, I'd be concerned with the issues I saw during my drive.

On a side note, I'd never seen the congestion mentioned in the thread on I-481 until fairly recently.  The past few times I've been on I-481, traffic has slowed down to 55 a bit after merging southbound from I-690 until the NY 5/92 ramps.  A couple months ago, traffic even slowed down to 45 in the right lane a bit before the first ramp because of weaving in the cloverleaf.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Bobby5280 on December 14, 2019, 10:46:55 PM
Quote from: Rothman
One "pro" that NYSDOT puts forward is the fact that ROW takings are going to be far less with the grid than with replacing the viaduct.  Another is that new ramps off of I-690 will be built that supposedly will help traffic get to Syracuse University (I am not so certain).  I believe they'll be at Crouse and maybe University.

Time will tell.

I think they're going to be sorry once they demolish the segment of I-81 between I-481 & I-690. One factor is the giant Destiny USA mall just north of the complex I-81/I-690 junction. Destiny USA is currently the 4th largest shopping mall in the United States. It's a major draw of traffic across the region. Can we expect shoppers heading up I-81 toward Syracuse to take the loop around the East side and I-690 back West again? I think a whole lot of that traffic will just keep going North and create a whole lotta gridlock in the downtown area. It should be lots and lots of fun for all the college people who were expecting a "walkable" downtown experience. The end result might really really suck.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on December 14, 2019, 11:14:12 PM
Quote from: Rothman
One "pro" that NYSDOT puts forward is the fact that ROW takings are going to be far less with the grid than with replacing the viaduct.  Another is that new ramps off of I-690 will be built that supposedly will help traffic get to Syracuse University (I am not so certain).  I believe they'll be at Crouse and maybe University.

Time will tell.

I think they're going to be sorry once they demolish the segment of I-81 between I-481 & I-690. One factor is the giant Destiny USA mall just north of the complex I-81/I-690 junction. Destiny USA is currently the 4th largest shopping mall in the United States. It's a major draw of traffic across the region. Can we expect shoppers heading up I-81 toward Syracuse to take the loop around the East side and I-690 back West again? I think a whole lot of that traffic will just keep going North and create a whole lotta gridlock in the downtown area. It should be lots and lots of fun for all the college people who were expecting a "walkable" downtown experience. The end result might really really suck.
And there is not a whole lot of traffic coming from the south. Cortland, Binghamton, Elmira are not really places with lots of free cash. Ithaca and Cornell can be a player, but still only that big.... Ottawa canbe bigger than all of those, but it is in the other direction
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on December 15, 2019, 12:09:53 AM
Something Bobby's probably not aware of but to keep in mind:  the Onondaga nation sits just south of the city, including much of the land along I-81 between 481 and Lafayette.  This has limited residential growth to the south as kalvado pointed out.  Sure, Carousel Center (the original name for "Destiny USA" and to which I will always call the place, Robert Congel and his grandiose ideas be damned) is a regional draw....but most of that draw is from an east-west direction.  Removing 81 south of 690 will have very little impact on that draw.

From what I recall (when my wife lived there in the mid-2000s), most of the growth in the area was to the northwest of Syracuse, the town of Clay in particular.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on December 15, 2019, 11:00:12 AM
Insofar as I know, I-81 is not being demolished the total length between I-481 and I-690.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: ixnay on December 15, 2019, 07:15:45 PM
How will access to Syracuse Univ. be affected by the viaduct removal?  Per Google Sat, the viaduct begins three blocks west of the Carrier Dome.

ixnay
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on December 15, 2019, 08:54:23 PM
The party line is that it won't be or some argue that it will be better.  Again, time will tell.

That said, SMTC and Syracuse PD (I believe) will be conducting a study of Carrier Dome access as the I-81 project unfolds.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Bobby5280 on December 15, 2019, 09:12:12 PM
I lived in Liverpool (NW Syracuse suburb) in the 1980-81 time frame (spent a year at Liverpool Middle School). The Carrier Dome was brand new back then; I think it's the last of those kinds of domed stadiums now. The traffic on I-81 was pretty busy back then. I worry about one of two possible scenarios with an I-81 removal. One: street level traffic could get really bad due to freeway traffic getting dumped down to grade level with a series of stop lights. Two: a whole lot of traffic could simply avoid the downtown area, sticking to the outer areas or just North of I-690 for shopping, entertainment, etc. There are spots near downtown and the University that are a bit rough. Who wants to be stuck at stop lights in the middle of that?

I guess if the I-81 downtown tear-down backfires and causes some stagnation of the downtown they could just double down on the strategy and pitch removing I-690 next!
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: machias on December 16, 2019, 01:41:44 PM
Back in the day there was a push to build the Carrier Dome out at the Fairgrounds because there was too much gridlock downtown and getting to and from the Dome would be a nightmare. And it is a nightmare. This discussion was in the mid 70s and traffic counts were probably lower than they are today!
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: bemybear on January 06, 2020, 11:30:43 AM
So far, the history of sections of Urban freeways that have been removed has had a consistent pattern...

Fear and hand wringing for years leading up to it...

Something between a non-reaction and a total shock at how little it mattered after it's done.

See:
Central Freeway in San Francisco CA
Embarcadero Freeway in San Francisco CA
Harbor Freeway in Portland OR
Inner Loop in Rochester NY

Granted, San Francisco and Portland have substantial traffic and delays but it's not an easy argument to say that these missing roads are the cause of it or that any of them had any measurable impact on traffic whatsoever.

See also the recently created 14th street busway in NYC.

Just like decisions TO build things, I think the best path to 'unbuild' I-81 is to get it over with and focus on moving forward.  People underestimate how adaptable people are at finding ways to get around.  This is part of what makes induced demand so baffling.  How does that lovely new freeway come to be packed with people when it seemed to connect from nowhere to nowhere when it opened?  Why can't the opposite be true?  What will happen to those former I-81 AADT counts?   Some will go onto I-481, some will stay on surface streets, some use the new boulevard or whatever they are calling it and though it is hard to imagine or explain, I think history shows that some of those former trips just won't happen at all.... There is at least some precedent that suggests that the sun will still rise and people will still somehow conquer might Syracuse after I-81 as it is now known in the city ceases to exist!
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on January 06, 2020, 11:41:47 AM
Central Freeway in San Francisco CA
Embarcadero Freeway in San Francisco CA
Harbor Freeway in Portland OR
Inner Loop in Rochester PA
They were stubs that were replaced and/or supplemented by other nearby freeways.

The freeway removal activists always like to trot these out when they suggest removing a vital urban Interstate highway that carries a high volume of traffic.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: bemybear on January 06, 2020, 12:16:22 PM
Beltway:
I lived in SF when the Central Freeway was truncated and believe me, if you listened to the radio or TV news you were basically told that traffic Armageddon was coming.  And from the AADT is seemed like a very 'vital' freeway.   And Armageddon most certainly didn't come.

Do you have suggestions for situations when a multi-year planned transition of a road from limited access to boulevard was a mobility disaster?  While not common, I'm sure there have been some substantial stretches of roadway that have either had a lane removed or gone from limited access to surface street etc.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on January 06, 2020, 01:18:00 PM
Beltway:
I lived in SF when the Central Freeway was truncated and believe me, if you listened to the radio or TV news you were basically told that traffic Armageddon was coming.  And from the AADT is seemed like a very 'vital' freeway.   And Armageddon most certainly didn't come.
It was a 1.0 mile stub, i.e. one end connected to surface streets.

Like the Embarcadero, it was a stub and it was heavily damaged in the 1989 earthquake.

Do you have suggestions for situations when a multi-year planned transition of a road from limited access to boulevard was a mobility disaster?  While not common, I'm sure there have been some substantial stretches of roadway that have either had a lane removed or gone from limited access to surface street etc.
No, because there have been no examples of removing an urban freeway that was a complete route thru the area.

Say like I-95 thru Philadelphia, as in what I mean by "a complete route thru the area."
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on January 06, 2020, 01:59:20 PM
It's worth noting that, this being a through route, how it affects the whole system is something that should really be considered.  The removal would work fine for traffic going to downtown and for north-south through traffic, but what about other traffic?  I did a drive time comparison for traffic between I-81 south of exit 16A (southern I-481 junction) and the Thruway west of exit 39 (I-690), using the existing route (I-81->I-690), and two alternates (I-481->I-690 and I-481->I-90), and if I remember right, the alternates doubled the length of time the trip would take.  This would affect anyone heading from Rochester or Buffalo to places like Cortland, as well as anyone headed to/from Binghamton or PA to the State Fair or the Finger Lakes (and the western suburbs of Syracuse).

Even if you're not as much of a stickler for staying on the freeway/interstate system as I am, it's worth noting that there's no interchange between BL I-81 and I-690 other than the two ramps preserving the existing movements to the freeway to the north of downtown, so you'd have to find some other way though the city.

Maybe I've been spoiled by spending most of my life in the Rochester area and the Capital District, both of which have fairly comprehensive local freeway systems (assuming Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy doesn't get her way on the removal of I-787), but the fact that Syracuse doesn't (due to missing connections on the northwest side as well as the missing movements in the I-81/I-690 interchange) is an annoyance for me, and one reason why I'd be less likely to consider living in the area.  The removal of I-81 doesn't help matters - without it, you go from being unable to make some trips by staying on the freeway to being unable to make most trips by staying on the freeway (only the eastern suburbs and downtown would be unaffected).

(personal opinion)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on January 06, 2020, 02:16:27 PM
Uh, yeah, removing the Inner Loop is not even remotely comparable to removing part of I-81. The Inner Loop was a ghost highway pretty much 24/7. It didn't serve an important local OR regional/statewide purpose.

With I-81, on the other hand, imagine killing an inner section of I-490, except worse, because Syracuse has MUCH more through traffic than Rochester, and (as noted by vdeane) the Syracuse freeway system is already sub-par compared to Buffalo, Rochester, and Albany. We should be trying to make their medium-range connectivity for commuters and travelers better, not worse.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 07, 2020, 05:11:09 AM
So far, the history of sections of Urban freeways that have been removed has had a consistent pattern...
If it’s such a consistent pattern, how many mainline 2di long-distance interstates have been removed and not replaced?

All of your examples are spur, local highways.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: bemybear on January 07, 2020, 08:02:48 AM
So far, the history of sections of Urban freeways that have been removed has had a consistent pattern...
If it’s such a consistent pattern, how many mainline 2di long-distance interstates have been removed and not replaced?

All of your examples are spur, local highways.

I feel really conflicted with this issue.  I'm really NOT somebody who would like to remove or downgrade a bunch of roads in some reverse Robert Moses way.   But I am of the belief that the impacts of this will be minimal.

Oddly, almost none of us who are so interested in this seem to actually work or live in Syracuse, a city I usually avoid because it has little redeeming virtue in my eyes, regardless of the roads.  but what if we look at this from the perspective of various stakeholders and road users:

Through travelers (non road geeks mostly): The I-81 designation will be moved to what is now I-481.  Truckers, people passing through (or more likely, around) Syracuse will follow signs for I-81 and be on I-481.  It's a better road with easier expansion options, it doesn't have a nasty right exit left merge for people headed to the Thruway/Fairgrounds.  It doesn't have a 40 or 45 MPH speed limit or whatever that slow part of I-81 has.  It has shoulders.  It isn't a rusting narrow overpass.  It might add a few miles but the average speed should be slightly higher.  It's probably a net loss to those users of a few minutes.  I-481 will be busier and probably need expansion sooner but this project already includes some expansion of it.

Locals/the local Illuminati who are pushing this plan: They were using the freeway for the shortest trips, many of them probably for less than 5 miles. They will quickly try and either accept or reject the boulevard as an alternative and they already know how to get around without I-81 anyway. The travel time penalty will be modest for them.  They are also supposedly the ones who want I-81 removed.

Those two groups really aren't coming out that badly.  The hardest hit will probably be those who commute into Syracuse from relatively far away areas that I-481 is exactly in the wrong place for.  Those users will make repeated trips to the same destination and will repeatedly suffer whatever the time and/or safety penalty is.  But the hand wringing about this loss seems to assume that I-81 is being obliterated and replaced with a sidewalk.  I don't think that is the case.  It's being replaced with a road (yes with lights, yes not a 55 MPH road) that will be wide, have reasonable curves, hopefully timed lights etc.  It isn't as though average speeds will go from 50 MPH to 10 MPH.  It's probably more like from 50 MPH to 25 MPH.  And, very importantly, the VAST majority of people who are going to something that is somewhere on the current I-81 section in Syracuse will NOT BE DRIVING THE ENTIRE LENGTH of the reduced road (otherwise they'd just use the bypass).  So maybe on average those commuting/student/shopping/whatever users will have 5 miles of their journey that used to be I-81 now be on a slower road.  5 miles at 25 MPH = 12 minutes.  5 miles at 50 MPH = 6.  Those users on average might loose about 6 minutes.  And it is this effect that HAS been simulated by removing or downgrading these other urban roadways.  If you cherry pick and count only the part of the journey that was on the removed road you might be able to say it doubled their travel time but unless your house is on an existing I-81 on-ramp and whatever you were going to was at the end of an off-ramp, the truth is that slowing down part of a journey for a relatively modest part of the total population just isn't going to be a disaster.

It would be interesting to have a visualization of what I-81 traffic in Syracuse would look like if it was just people who actually had a destination that was on the part of the roadway in question.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: ixnay on January 07, 2020, 08:21:52 AM
The rerouted I-81 will appear on a map similar to I-83's dodge of York, PA, only at a radius from downtown that's a few miles longer (York is quite smaller than Syracuse).

Are there plans to reconfigure the (current) I-81/I-481/NY 481 interchange?  Per Google Sat that's currently a cloverleaf.  Rerouting I-81 IMO will require flyovers eventually.

ixnay
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on January 07, 2020, 01:29:27 PM
Quote
Are there plans to reconfigure the (current) I-81/I-481/NY 481 interchange?  Per Google Sat that's currently a cloverleaf.  Rerouting I-81 IMO will require flyovers eventually.

Not flyovers per se, but yes the alternative that moves 81 onto 481 builds direct connectors at the northern 81/481 interchange.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on January 07, 2020, 01:31:09 PM
Yes, both I-481 interchanges would be reconfigured.  I had to do some digging to find an article with images of them: https://expo.syracuse.com/news/g66l-2019/04/8c50a10c522772/how-would-community-grid-work-check-out-maps-from-interstate-81-report.html

While doing said digging, I also found my analysis of traffic moving between the south and west:

Quote
I just did some Google directions from LaFayette (I-81 exit 15) to Weedsport (I-90 exit 40) to compare times.  I-81/I-690/I-90 and I-81/I-90 are both 39 minutes, while I-81/I-481/I-90 and I-81/I-481/I-690/I-90 are 46 (the last one is also the only one to require more than one shaping point).  Of course, in addition to time, there's also the principle of replacing what used to be 3 miles with 12 miles, and the fact that there will no longer be a good all-freeway route for trips from the western suburbs to/from points south or points south to/from the Fair or the northern Finger Lakes (I'm also the person who selects apartments based on how many trips in the metro area can be made with the freeway system (excluding the Thruway, which in my mind is mainly for long-distance travel, going to Canandaigua Lake, or Schenectady) as a backbone).

I don't disagree that north-south through traffic would be minimally impacted.  That's why I didn't even bother to do an analysis of it at the time.  It's only two minutes and three miles longer over a 12 mile corridor.  What I don't get is why everyone is ignoring the movements between the south and west that will be hosed by this proposal.

Honestly, I'd have a lot fewer objections to removing I-81 if the southwest bypass had been built.  That would solve those concerns.  Unfortunately, it's no longer possible to build.

(personal opinion)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on January 07, 2020, 01:34:12 PM
Quote from: vdeane
What I don't get is why everyone is ignoring the movements between the south and west that will be hosed by this proposal.

Because the studies found even fewer folks making those movements than are making the through north-south movement.

While I agree that some sort of southwest bypass would be useful as an alternative, there aren't enough south-west movements to make the cost justifiable.  You and Josh are notable (and vocal) exceptions to the lack of people making movements in those directions.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on January 07, 2020, 01:43:08 PM
When did they study that?  Between all the PA plates I see when driving the Thruway west of Syracuse in the summer and the very noticeable change in traffic at exit 39, I'm guessing they didn't study it when everyone is heading out on vacation.

That's probably why Josh and I are the "notable exceptions" - we're the ones who drive I-90 between Albany and Rochester/Buffalo several times a year.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on January 07, 2020, 01:47:14 PM
It was part of the project/corridor studies.  Surprised you didn't pick up on that before.

The "noticeable change in traffic at Exit 39" can easily be explained by that being the primary entry into Syracuse from the west.

The Thruway is also close enough to the PA border to where it doesn't surprise me that there are a number of PA plates on it.  Not much different than the multitude of Mass plates I see all over here in northern Vermont.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on January 07, 2020, 01:54:20 PM
South-West is the signed truck route from west of Syracuse to Cortland and south, to the point where there are signs on the Thruway west of NY 14 telling trucks to use I-690 and I-81. That pair of ramps has not had a public class count, so I can't check how many trucks make that movement, but there's a pretty steady parade of trucks exiting the Thruway at 690 most times I'm through there.

For 81 NB - 481NB, the last class count (2008) showed 40% trucks. If the N-W class count is even remotely close, that's a lot of trucks you're moving.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on January 07, 2020, 02:30:55 PM
It was part of the project/corridor studies.  Surprised you didn't pick up on that before.
I'm not Region 3 and it's not like I've read every single word of the EIS.  I skimmed through a few sections and the analysis appears to focus on the areas already widely reported (north-south through traffic and traffic to/from downtown), freight from the south to/from the airport, and consumers from the south to/from DestiNY USA.  Naturally, the analysis did not include my "all freeway/no Thruway" preferences (a result of my combination of obsession with the chargeable interstate system and logical additions and Aspergian inflexibility; I'm only getting more set in my ways as I get older).  I'm probably spoiled by living in the Capital District - ignoring Breezewood junctions and incomplete roads like I-86, aside from Vermont, I'm hard-pressed to think of anywhere in the US or Canada that would require me to go significantly out of my way to access via the interstate system (or equivalent) that isn't wholly disconnected from the system entirely (Providence is my best guess right now, but even that hinges on how "significantly out of my way" I-495 would be over MA/RI 146; the north shore of Lake Ontario (including Kingston) is also arguable, but one could also think of ON 137 as a giant Breezewood).  Losing that is one thing I wouldn't like about moving back to Rochester, and this doesn't help.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on January 07, 2020, 06:07:03 PM
Quote from: vdeane
What I don't get is why everyone is ignoring the movements between the south and west that will be hosed by this proposal.
Because the studies found even fewer folks making those movements than are making the through north-south movement.

But if you have half the volume, and quadruple the impact, doesn't that mean it still deserves twice as much attention?

It's not like there's just a handful of people making that south-west connection.. it's in the thousands, and is important on both smaller (think Rochester-Cortland) and larger (think Buffalo-NYC) levels in terms of connectivity.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on January 08, 2020, 10:54:26 PM
Lots of photos --

Latest photos from the I-59/20 bridge construction in Birmingham
https://www.al.com/news/j66j-2020/01/da241df2b77982/latest-photos-from-the-i5920-bridge-construction-in-birmingham.html?fbclid=IwAR1Ae5a0ax9nOrVQk8VI6z0EbY0NX6ZC55jY6Y0KJKJMOuDvAiFAEtBZNsg
. . . . . .

Syracuse needs to check this out!
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on January 08, 2020, 11:11:36 PM
Lots of photos --

Latest photos from the I-59/20 bridge construction in Birmingham
https://www.al.com/news/j66j-2020/01/da241df2b77982/latest-photos-from-the-i5920-bridge-construction-in-birmingham.html?fbclid=IwAR1Ae5a0ax9nOrVQk8VI6z0EbY0NX6ZC55jY6Y0KJKJMOuDvAiFAEtBZNsg
. . . . . .

Syracuse needs to check this out!
Nah.  The viaduct is coming down.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on January 08, 2020, 11:23:50 PM
Lots of photos --
Latest photos from the I-59/20 bridge construction in Birmingham
https://www.al.com/news/j66j-2020/01/da241df2b77982/latest-photos-from-the-i5920-bridge-construction-in-birmingham.html?fbclid=IwAR1Ae5a0ax9nOrVQk8VI6z0EbY0NX6ZC55jY6Y0KJKJMOuDvAiFAEtBZNsg
. . . . . .
Syracuse needs to check this out!
Nah.  The viaduct is coming down.

So they choose defeat instead of victory, failure instead of success?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Plutonic Panda on January 08, 2020, 11:34:21 PM
Lots of photos --

Latest photos from the I-59/20 bridge construction in Birmingham
https://www.al.com/news/j66j-2020/01/da241df2b77982/latest-photos-from-the-i5920-bridge-construction-in-birmingham.html?fbclid=IwAR1Ae5a0ax9nOrVQk8VI6z0EbY0NX6ZC55jY6Y0KJKJMOuDvAiFAEtBZNsg
. . . . . .

Syracuse needs to check this out!
Nah.  The viaduct is coming down.
Incredibly foolish and shortsighted.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 09, 2020, 05:40:01 AM
Lots of photos --

Latest photos from the I-59/20 bridge construction in Birmingham
https://www.al.com/news/j66j-2020/01/da241df2b77982/latest-photos-from-the-i5920-bridge-construction-in-birmingham.html?fbclid=IwAR1Ae5a0ax9nOrVQk8VI6z0EbY0NX6ZC55jY6Y0KJKJMOuDvAiFAEtBZNsg
. . . . . .

Syracuse needs to check this out!
Good to see that project coming nicely along. Syracuse will feel the pain of their decision after they already pulled the trigger, I-481 will become a bottleneck, and once you have to pour expense into expanding that road, you’re now spending more money on this RE/T project than an actual network improvement.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on January 09, 2020, 06:36:29 AM
Lots of photos --

Latest photos from the I-59/20 bridge construction in Birmingham
https://www.al.com/news/j66j-2020/01/da241df2b77982/latest-photos-from-the-i5920-bridge-construction-in-birmingham.html?fbclid=IwAR1Ae5a0ax9nOrVQk8VI6z0EbY0NX6ZC55jY6Y0KJKJMOuDvAiFAEtBZNsg
. . . . . .

Syracuse needs to check this out!
Good to see that project coming nicely along. Syracuse will feel the pain of their decision after they already pulled the trigger, I-481 will become a bottleneck, and once you have to pour expense into expanding that road, you’re now spending more money on this RE/T project than an actual network improvement.
Improvements to I-481 are included in the I-81 project.

Concerns like vdeane's are more valid.

(personal opinion emphasized)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on January 09, 2020, 12:57:26 PM
It's worth noting that there are already signs directing I-81 north-south through traffic to take I-481, though I'm guessing not everyone actually does.  Thinking about how traffic flows in Syracuse, it might just be a Syracuse thing to drive 60-65 even on the suburban freeways posted at 65 (I didn't notice anyone other than myself slowing down the last time I was on I-81 where it dropped to 55 at exit 23).
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 09, 2020, 03:35:28 PM
Lots of photos --

Latest photos from the I-59/20 bridge construction in Birmingham
https://www.al.com/news/j66j-2020/01/da241df2b77982/latest-photos-from-the-i5920-bridge-construction-in-birmingham.html?fbclid=IwAR1Ae5a0ax9nOrVQk8VI6z0EbY0NX6ZC55jY6Y0KJKJMOuDvAiFAEtBZNsg
. . . . . .

Syracuse needs to check this out!
Good to see that project coming nicely along. Syracuse will feel the pain of their decision after they already pulled the trigger, I-481 will become a bottleneck, and once you have to pour expense into expanding that road, you’re now spending more money on this RE/T project than an actual network improvement.
Improvements to I-481 are included in the I-81 project.

Concerns like vdeane's are more valid.

(personal opinion emphasized)
I-481 is being widened to 6-lanes?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on January 09, 2020, 08:16:30 PM
I-481 is being widened to 6-lanes?
Both directions between exits 4 and 5 and NB between exits 5 and 6.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on January 16, 2020, 06:02:31 PM
Alabama and Birmingham show us how to do it.

The Alabama Department of Transportation is preparing to open the new Interstate 59/20 bridges across the Magic City -- a $700 million project that is finishing early -- by Jan. 21.

The project, funded by ALDOT, the Federal Highway Administration and the Birmingham Metropolitan Planning Organization, started in 2015.

Traffic was diverted to Interstate 459 and surface roads all around one year ago.

“We are very excited that we are getting to a point where we can put traffic back on 59/20 through downtown Birmingham,” said ALDOT East Central Regional Engineer DeJarvis Leonard.

(https://www.al.com/resizer/sL4Yv1fiykIfJEKL7ScecN2IzRg=/700x0/smart/arc-anglerfish-arc2-prod-advancelocal.s3.amazonaws.com/public/2GQ5N4ZAIZGNRMZ3GEJEMFMCSM.jpg)

Article and photos here --
https://www.al.com/news/2020/01/alabama-your-700-million-i-5920-bridge-through-birmingham-is-ready.html
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Plutonic Panda on January 16, 2020, 06:12:54 PM
They can build that wide freeway for 700 million yet NYSDOT estimates billions to rebuild a 4 lane highway?

I still think they should build the tunnel. At this point if they don't even to consider rebuilding the viaduct it is hard to throw support behind a tunnel. It sucks it has to be this way. I have a small glimmer of hope they change course and rebuild the highway.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 16, 2020, 07:24:15 PM
A major improvement over the previous 6-lane bridge with minimal shoulders on either side, plus left exits / entrances to local streets. No tolls or HO/T lanes included in the project either, another nice plus. This, along with the fact that I-59 and I-20 traffic additionally have I-459 as an outer bypass of the city.

It's a shame New York is going forth with the current project.

Next time I head southwest, I'll be sure to route through Birmingham to see the new roadway, presumably within the next 6 months. I've actually been through there my last few trips, though have utilized I-459 every time since a) the interstate was closed through Downtown and b) it avoids the city entirely.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 16, 2020, 07:35:06 PM
I still think they should build the tunnel. At this point if they don't even to consider rebuilding the viaduct it is hard to throw support behind a tunnel. It sucks it has to be this way. I have a small glimmer of hope they change course and rebuild the highway.
Tunnel = expensive = tolls.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on January 16, 2020, 09:22:11 PM
I still think they should build the tunnel. At this point if they don't even to consider rebuilding the viaduct it is hard to throw support behind a tunnel. It sucks it has to be this way. I have a small glimmer of hope they change course and rebuild the highway.
Tunnel = expensive = tolls.
Right.  Just replace the viaduct with a modern viaduct.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 16, 2020, 09:23:49 PM
I still think they should build the tunnel. At this point if they don't even to consider rebuilding the viaduct it is hard to throw support behind a tunnel. It sucks it has to be this way. I have a small glimmer of hope they change course and rebuild the highway.
Tunnel = expensive = tolls.
Right.  Just replace the viaduct with a modern viaduct.
Yes. Alabama did it right.

In the case of New York, $2 billion will be spent regardless of which option chosen, so if they were smart, they'd put it towards the most beneficial option in the long term.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on January 16, 2020, 09:54:12 PM
I wonder if there were any ROW takings in the Alabama project.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Plutonic Panda on January 17, 2020, 01:27:35 AM
I wonder if there were any ROW takings in the Alabama project.
Does the viaduct rebuild option require taking new ROW?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: amroad17 on January 17, 2020, 08:16:21 AM
Observation about the Birmingham project: Could ALDOT have built the bridge closer to the parking garage there on the left?  :-P

If something similar to this could be done in Syracuse, I would be all for it.  However, I believe there is a more limited right-of-way around the viaduct, plus there is the I-81/I-690 interchange to contend with.  This is what happens when Interstate highways were "jammed" (or "rammed") through a downtown area in the 1960's.  NYSDOT snaked I-81 north of I-690 around buildings and basically bulldozed a "slum" neighborhood south of I-690 to build the viaduct--not even thinking about what will need to happen when the viaduct's useful life would end.  No foresight whatsoever.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on January 17, 2020, 09:30:01 AM
I wonder if there were any ROW takings in the Alabama project.
Does the viaduct rebuild option require taking new ROW?
Yes, and demolition of a couple of buildings - some old and historic -  as well.
https://www.syracuse.com/news/2016/10/here_are_the_four_buildings_doomed_under_any_i-81_plan_and_20_more_doo.html
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on January 17, 2020, 01:00:35 PM
Heck, even the community grid and tunnel options require ROW.  There is literally no option here that doesn't.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on January 17, 2020, 01:27:54 PM
Heck, even the community grid and tunnel options require ROW.  There is literally no option here that doesn't.
Why, letting old structure rot out and collapse doesn't require anything. And we know that has a fat chance to actually happen...  Is there any funding allocated for I-81 yet? May be interesting with latest budget news
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on January 17, 2020, 01:48:31 PM
Heck, even the community grid and tunnel options require ROW.  There is literally no option here that doesn't.
Why, letting old structure rot out and collapse doesn't require anything. And we know that has a fat chance to actually happen...  Is there any funding allocated for I-81 yet? May be interesting with latest budget news
If that actually happened there'd probably at least be a temporary easement involved to get the demolition done.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on January 17, 2020, 02:00:08 PM
The ROW takings with the viaduct replacement were of a much greater number and cost than with the community grid.  It was one of the factors in the decision to go with the grid, insofar as I am aware.

(personal opinion emphasized)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 17, 2020, 03:48:58 PM
The ROW takings with the viaduct replacement were of a much greater number and cost than with the community grid.  It was one of the factors in the decision to go with the grid, insofar as I am aware.

(personal opinion emphasized)
Cost vs. benefit.

The viaduct option may have greater impacts and cost, though will have far greater benefits in the long term than a community grid would. The Alabama project involved higher cost and impacts than rehabilitating the existing viaduct, though they chose that option due to the greater benefits in the long term.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on January 17, 2020, 04:18:55 PM
The ROW takings with the viaduct replacement were of a much greater number and cost than with the community grid.  It was one of the factors in the decision to go with the grid, insofar as I am aware.

(personal opinion emphasized)
Cost vs. benefit.

The viaduct option may have greater impacts and cost, though will have far greater benefits in the long term than a community grid would. The Alabama project involved higher cost and impacts than rehabilitating the existing viaduct, though they chose that option due to the greater benefits in the long term.
NY state has a negative population growth rate, more so for upstate; and seems to be  planning for future negative population growth as well.
Given project cost, abandoning city of Syracuse is likely a preferred option cost-wise.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on January 17, 2020, 04:44:51 PM
NY state has a negative population growth rate, more so for upstate; and seems to be  planning for future negative population growth as well.
Given project cost, abandoning city of Syracuse is likely a preferred option cost-wise.

Repeated acts of urban hari-kari like with this I-81 matter, are the reason for the negative population growth rate, not the other way around; it is not like a negative population growth rate is causing the acts of hara-kiri.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Plutonic Panda on January 17, 2020, 04:49:05 PM
The ROW takings with the viaduct replacement were of a much greater number and cost than with the community grid.  It was one of the factors in the decision to go with the grid, insofar as I am aware.

(personal opinion emphasized)
Cost vs. benefit.

The viaduct option may have greater impacts and cost, though will have far greater benefits in the long term than a community grid would. The Alabama project involved higher cost and impacts than rehabilitating the existing viaduct, though they chose that option due to the greater benefits in the long term.
NY state has a negative population growth rate, more so for upstate; and seems to be  planning for future negative population growth as well.
Given project cost, abandoning city of Syracuse is likely a preferred option cost-wise.
So give up and all but ensure with a lack of infrastructure the state will continue to shrink? Going from a freeway to a boulevard is downgrade in every sense.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 17, 2020, 04:56:02 PM
Given project cost, abandoning city of Syracuse is likely a preferred option cost-wise.
$1.9 billion for a community grid. Seems like a lot of money poured into the city to appease locals and RE/T groups, and choke I-481 which will eventually require a 6-lane widening that could easily cost more than the $300 million difference. Not to mention that I-81 North to I-690 West movement will have to travel local roads or go even further out of the way.

Compare that to $2.2 billion for a viaduct replacement which would have far greater benefits in the long-term for both local and long-distance traffic, something that type of money is better used for.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on January 17, 2020, 05:12:51 PM
Given project cost, abandoning city of Syracuse is likely a preferred option cost-wise.
$1.9 billion for a community grid. Seems like a lot of money poured into the city to appease locals and RE/T groups, and choke I-481 which will eventually require a 6-lane widening that could easily cost more than the $300 million difference. Not to mention that I-81 North to I-690 West movement will have to travel local roads or go even further out of the way.

Compare that to $2.2 billion for a viaduct replacement which would have far greater benefits in the long-term for both local and long-distance traffic, something that type of money is better used for.
Mr. Moses, this is 2020, not 1960. Demolishing city for better traffic - especially if there is no traffic to begin with - is hard to sell, for better or worse.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 17, 2020, 05:21:50 PM
especially if there is no traffic to begin with
:-D :-D
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on January 17, 2020, 05:25:50 PM
NY state has a negative population growth rate, more so for upstate; and seems to be  planning for future negative population growth as well.
Given project cost, abandoning city of Syracuse is likely a preferred option cost-wise.

Repeated acts of urban hari-kari like with this I-81 matter, are the reason for the negative population growth rate, not the other way around; it is not like a negative population growth rate is causing the acts of hara-kiri.
We can talk quite a bit about it; but probably uncontrolled spending and overtaxation is a bigger problem. Spending big time on fancy projects is going to make problem worse, not better.
And I am sort of agreeing with you, see this post: https://www.aaroads.com/forum/index.php?topic=18020.msg2393056#msg2393056
I just don't think this highway really matters that much - shape of bandaid sticker doesn't matter, bullet went all the way through.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 17, 2020, 05:41:39 PM
I just don't think this highway really matters that much - shape of bandaid sticker doesn't matter, bullet went all the way through.
After it, it's just a local 1960 era freeway that is well underutilized and is merely a spur off of a major interstate highway and will not have much impact on traffic removing it.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Plutonic Panda on January 17, 2020, 05:58:11 PM
Given project cost, abandoning city of Syracuse is likely a preferred option cost-wise.
$1.9 billion for a community grid. Seems like a lot of money poured into the city to appease locals and RE/T groups, and choke I-481 which will eventually require a 6-lane widening that could easily cost more than the $300 million difference. Not to mention that I-81 North to I-690 West movement will have to travel local roads or go even further out of the way.

Compare that to $2.2 billion for a viaduct replacement which would have far greater benefits in the long-term for both local and long-distance traffic, something that type of money is better used for.
Mr. Moses, this is 2020, not 1960. Demolishing city for better traffic - especially if there is no traffic to begin with - is hard to sell, for better or worse.
Yet nearly every city in the world is still investing in freeways. With your logic of freeway building being a relic of the 60s than trains are even worse being a relic of the 1800s.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on January 17, 2020, 06:17:08 PM
Given project cost, abandoning city of Syracuse is likely a preferred option cost-wise.
$1.9 billion for a community grid. Seems like a lot of money poured into the city to appease locals and RE/T groups, and choke I-481 which will eventually require a 6-lane widening that could easily cost more than the $300 million difference. Not to mention that I-81 North to I-690 West movement will have to travel local roads or go even further out of the way.

Compare that to $2.2 billion for a viaduct replacement which would have far greater benefits in the long-term for both local and long-distance traffic, something that type of money is better used for.
Mr. Moses, this is 2020, not 1960. Demolishing city for better traffic - especially if there is no traffic to begin with - is hard to sell, for better or worse.
Yet nearly every city in the world is still investing in freeways. With your logic of freeway building being a relic of the 60s than trains are even worse being a relic of the 1800s.
Nearly every city which can afford it. This is said reality in NYS: we can barely afford maintaining relics of 60s, major construction is beyond reach. And we have $6B budget gap projected for next year.
This discussion goes way beyond I-81, though.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 17, 2020, 06:21:09 PM
Nearly every city which can afford it.
Yet NYSDOT has no problem spending $1.9 billion to appease RE/T groups and locals?

You continue to act like the community grid option costs $50 million and the I-81 viaduct replacement costs $2.2 billion.

Both options cost around the same, and one provides greater benefits in the long-term for local, regional, and long-distance traffic. The other appeases locals and chokes regional and long-distance traffic, though because it costs 9% less and appeases locals, it's preferred. The current preferred option is an irresponsible spending of limited funding, and will only hurt Syracuse further routing traffic away from the city.

Alabama is doing it right.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Plutonic Panda on January 17, 2020, 06:31:18 PM
I am just bewildered that it will cost 3-4x more to build a smaller freeway than what Alabama built theirs, a wider one, for. The projects seem comparable even though Syracuse's looks a bit longer.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 17, 2020, 06:37:56 PM
I am just bewildered that it will cost 3-4x more to build a smaller freeway than what Alabama built theirs, a wider one, for. The projects seem comparable even though Syracuse's looks a bit longer.
Different states, different costs.

A local example, it costs Virginia $50 - $100 million per mile to construct a rural freeway, but right over the border in North Carolina it only costs $25 - $30 million per mile to construct that same rural freeway.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Plutonic Panda on January 17, 2020, 06:58:11 PM
I am just bewildered that it will cost 3-4x more to build a smaller freeway than what Alabama built theirs, a wider one, for. The projects seem comparable even though Syracuse's looks a bit longer.
Different states, different costs.

A local example, it costs Virginia $50 - $100 million per mile to construct a rural freeway, but right over the border in North Carolina it only costs $25 - $30 million per mile to construct that same rural freeway.
It seems to me there are ways to get these costs down. While I understand that there are going to be cost discrepancies among various states, differing factors like geography and population density, two projects like the ones in Birmingham and Syracuse shouldn't have such a cost disparity. A hundred or so million dollars even makes me scratch my head but is understandable but not a billion and this will be even more than that. The renderings of a rebuilt viaduct seem to imply the new road would be built substandard as in its current form.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on January 17, 2020, 07:13:20 PM
I am just bewildered that it will cost 3-4x more to build a smaller freeway than what Alabama built theirs, a wider one, for. The projects seem comparable even though Syracuse's looks a bit longer.
Different states, different costs.

A local example, it costs Virginia $50 - $100 million per mile to construct a rural freeway, but right over the border in North Carolina it only costs $25 - $30 million per mile to construct that same rural freeway.
It seems to me there are ways to get these costs down. While I understand that there are going to be cost discrepancies among various states, differing factors like geography and population density, two projects like the ones in Birmingham and Syracuse shouldn't have such a cost disparity. A hundred or so million dollars even makes me scratch my head but is understandable but not a billion and this will be even more than that. The renderings of a rebuilt viaduct seem to imply the new road would be built substandard as in its current form.
Alabama is red, NY is blue. Enough said.
Did you ever hear what "prevailing wage" is? Hint: it means that many people on NY construction site will get $100/hour, working the task done by one minimum wage guy in Alabama

Nearly every city which can afford it.
Yet NYSDOT has no problem spending $1.9 billion to appease RE/T groups and locals?

You continue to act like the community grid option costs $50 million and the I-81 viaduct replacement costs $2.2 billion.

Both options cost around the same, and one provides greater benefits in the long-term for local, regional, and long-distance traffic. The other appeases locals and chokes regional and long-distance traffic, though because it costs 9% less and appeases locals, it's preferred. The current preferred option is an irresponsible spending of limited funding, and will only hurt Syracuse further routing traffic away from the city.

Alabama is doing it right.
No, I continue to believe dirt will not get moved within next 10 years. Or until old road collapses, and the president will commit to helping out.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on January 18, 2020, 01:16:57 AM
Given project cost, abandoning city of Syracuse is likely a preferred option cost-wise.
$1.9 billion for a community grid. Seems like a lot of money poured into the city to appease locals and RE/T groups, and choke I-481 which will eventually require a 6-lane widening that could easily cost more than the $300 million difference. Not to mention that I-81 North to I-690 West movement will have to travel local roads or go even further out of the way.

Compare that to $2.2 billion for a viaduct replacement which would have far greater benefits in the long-term for both local and long-distance traffic, something that type of money is better used for.
Mr. Moses, this is 2020, not 1960. Demolishing city for better traffic - especially if there is no traffic to begin with - is hard to sell, for better or worse.
Demolishing city is likely at this rate. Already started in Rochester.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on January 18, 2020, 07:12:09 AM
Given project cost, abandoning city of Syracuse is likely a preferred option cost-wise.
$1.9 billion for a community grid. Seems like a lot of money poured into the city to appease locals and RE/T groups, and choke I-481 which will eventually require a 6-lane widening that could easily cost more than the $300 million difference. Not to mention that I-81 North to I-690 West movement will have to travel local roads or go even further out of the way.

Compare that to $2.2 billion for a viaduct replacement which would have far greater benefits in the long-term for both local and long-distance traffic, something that type of money is better used for.
Mr. Moses, this is 2020, not 1960. Demolishing city for better traffic - especially if there is no traffic to begin with - is hard to sell, for better or worse.
Demolishing city is likely at this rate. Already started in Rochester.
And what is the best option here from your perspective - suffocating city by removing traffic access or slump clearance to build a new highway?
And no, you cannot have a cake and eat it too.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on January 18, 2020, 08:21:37 PM
Actually, since people are advocating rebuild as a long-term beneficial solution.. Let me ask a mirrored question:
someone should pay short-term for either alternative, and by "pay" i mean not money but bigger effects.
Can you justify why you think local residents are the ones who should be suffering? They do have highway going through the city, and they don't get too many benefits of that: depressed city, poor inner district. You're saying they will be even worse off without highway - which is far from a given; and they, collectively, will be worse off if the highway is expanded - because of demolitions if nothing else.
So, why should they pay the price?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on January 18, 2020, 08:34:14 PM
Demolishing city is likely at this rate. Already started in Rochester.

Actually, I think downtown Rochester has very much improved since they filled that section of the loop.

The difference, obviously, is that there's no long distance traffic anywhere near our downtown. Even commuters didn't use the Inner Loop. Couldn't be more opposite to Syracuse in terms of the importance of the highway.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 18, 2020, 08:37:39 PM
Demolishing city is likely at this rate. Already started in Rochester.

Actually, I think downtown Rochester has very much improved since they filled that section of the loop.

The difference, obviously, is that there's no long distance traffic anywhere near our downtown. Even commuters didn't use the Inner Loop. Couldn't be more opposite to Syracuse in terms of the importance of the highway.
Exactly, and this is when RE/T groups try to compare demolishing I-81 to other local highway demolitions and say it doesn’t hurt traffic. They fail to realize (or publicly admit) that I-81 is a long-distance interstate highway corridor with a heavy traffic load, and the other examples are localized freeways that don’t get heavy usage.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: ixnay on January 18, 2020, 09:24:35 PM
Demolishing city is likely at this rate. Already started in Rochester.

Actually, I think downtown Rochester has very much improved since they filled that section of the loop.

More businesses coming downtown iow?  Improved nightlife?  A safer downtown?  Better community coherence?

ixnay
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on January 19, 2020, 12:36:12 PM
Demolishing city is likely at this rate. Already started in Rochester.

Actually, I think downtown Rochester has very much improved since they filled that section of the loop.

More businesses coming downtown iow?  Improved nightlife?  A safer downtown?  Better community coherence?

Not sure about safety (that has never really been an issue in the CBD), but definitely all of the above other than that.

It's amazing how much less of a ghost town it feels like with that empty highway filled, and it really provides a lot more continuity between booming areas like Park Avenue/ South Wedge and the CBD. (And at least we have some new vacant buildings now instead of just old ones!  :-D)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: bemybear on January 21, 2020, 10:51:02 AM
In reply to somebody who said people fail to understand or admit what a massive piece of infrastructure is being lost...

The amount of traffic on the boulevard is not going to be what I-81 currently carries or even 50% of it.  It will be almost all people who ACTUALLY want to be in Syracuse, not loads of cat litter and Amazon deliveries headed for the suburbs and umpteen people going from Virginia to someplace on the Thruway.

Also, the 'corridor' will be intact.  Normal non road geeks will blandly/blindly follow signage and be on the lovely modern and soon to be improved I-481.  They aren't creating a section of gravel road between Scranton and I-90.  They are shifting a bunch of trucks and disinterested through traffic to a newer piece of road and turning the old road which used to be the almost everybody road into hopefully a reasonably tolerable road that most non Syracuse people will never use and most people who do use it will on only be on for 2 or 3 miles.  How this modest change becomes the downfall of an entire region is really a head scratcher.

There are two math and logic errors being repeated so often here:
1.  The boulevard is going to be a disaster of no transportation benefit because it's not a giant freeway... Once you remove all the through traffic, there is practically no need of a giant fast road there because most of the traffic on I-81 IS through traffic.  As others have accurately pointed out, there are no signs that indicate that Syracuse is going to be bursting at the seems any time soon with new people moving in and no, a shiny new viaduct (or lack thereof) is probably not going to cure the ills of the city.  The number of people that actually exit in the core of Syracuse is very modest from my (admittedly anecdotal) observations.  Everybody always thinks whatever road they use most often is some snow flake of unimaginable importance to the world and that any change will ruin their lives.  I get it, its human nature and I'm sure I've fallen into that thinking before.

2. The boulevard doesn't cost almost as much as rebuilding the viaduct.  The boulevard PLUS substantial work to make I-481 capable of handling significantly more traffic.... Costs almost as much as the viaduct rebuild.

Chris 

Demolishing city is likely at this rate. Already started in Rochester.

Actually, I think downtown Rochester has very much improved since they filled that section of the loop.

The difference, obviously, is that there's no long distance traffic anywhere near our downtown. Even commuters didn't use the Inner Loop. Couldn't be more opposite to Syracuse in terms of the importance of the highway.
Exactly, and this is when RE/T groups try to compare demolishing I-81 to other local highway demolitions and say it doesn’t hurt traffic. They fail to realize (or publicly admit) that I-81 is a long-distance interstate highway corridor with a heavy traffic load, and the other examples are localized freeways that don’t get heavy usage.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on January 21, 2020, 06:58:35 PM
Eesh.  The truth lies between that optimism and those that predict Armageddon.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 21, 2020, 07:21:52 PM
Also, the 'corridor' will be intact.  Normal non road geeks will blandly/blindly follow signage and be on the lovely modern and soon to be improved I-481.  They aren't creating a section of gravel road between Scranton and I-90.  They are shifting a bunch of trucks and disinterested through traffic to a newer piece of road and turning the old road which used to be the almost everybody road into hopefully a reasonably tolerable road that most non Syracuse people will never use and most people who do use it will on only be on for 2 or 3 miles.  How this modest change becomes the downfall of an entire region is really a head scratcher.
I-481 is a beltway route that serves primarily local traffic. Pushing thru traffic on it will only overload it, and necessitate widening its 14 miles to 6-lanes, at least $300 million, if not much more. The movement from I-81 North to I-690 West will be eliminated and reduced to local boulevard, or far out of the way on I-481 and I-690.

2. The boulevard doesn't cost almost as much as rebuilding the viaduct.  The boulevard PLUS substantial work to make I-481 capable of handling significantly more traffic.... Costs almost as much as the viaduct rebuild.
Community grid - $1.9 billion
Viaduct replacement - $2.2 billion

$300 million difference. Once you factor eventual I-481 widening for 14 miles, you're talking the same costs, or even more for the community grid & I-481 re-route.

Viaduct replacement benefits local, regional, and long-distance traffic alike. The community grid pours $1.9 billion into a project to appease locals, NIMBY, and RE/T groups that doesn't have a widespread benefit. The viaduct replacement would also continue to allow 2 north-south routes - the main I-81 and an alternate I-481. A community grid restricts this solely to I-481, and offers no other north-south options. The viaduct replacement additionally has more lane capacity overall, 4 lanes on I-481, and 6 lanes on a replaced I-81 - 10 north-south lanes total. The community grid restricts this to only 4 lanes, 6 lanes if they pour $300 million or more into widening. The viaduct replacement also keeps the I-81 North to I-690 West movement intact, the community grid eliminates this, requiring use of surface streets, or traveling out of the way to remain on interstate highways.

Ultimately, the viaduct replacement is the better option in the long-term of things, and benefits all. The community grid will shift traffic patterns, congest the only other north-south route necessitating future widening, add mileage, and eliminate regional interstate movements, all to appease locals, NIMBY, and RE/T groups.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: ixnay on January 22, 2020, 11:23:02 AM
Demolishing city is likely at this rate. Already started in Rochester.

Actually, I think downtown Rochester has very much improved since they filled that section of the loop.

More businesses coming downtown iow?  Improved nightlife?  A safer downtown?  Better community coherence?

Not sure about safety (that has never really been an issue in the CBD), but definitely all of the above other than that.

It's amazing how much less of a ghost town it feels like with that empty highway filled, and it really provides a lot more continuity between booming areas like Park Avenue/ South Wedge and the CBD. (And at least we have some new vacant buildings now instead of just old ones!  :-D)

Has downtown Niagara Falls benefited similarly from the removal of the Robert Moses Parkway?  Looking at Google Sat, it looks like downtown Houston with all the parking lots.

ixnay
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: seicer on January 22, 2020, 12:19:50 PM
Considering that urban renewal that created many of those downtown parking lots happened back in the 1960s and 1970s, I'd say... give it time. There are a lot of redevelopment proposals underway in the Niagara Falls area and in downtown to the north.

I'm pretty certain you aren't sad over the removal of the Parkway through the state park, right?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on January 22, 2020, 01:00:32 PM
Right.  The parkway was removed only recently.  It's a bit early to gauge its effects which I doubt will be major.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: The Ghostbuster on January 22, 2020, 06:14:39 PM
How much traffic used the Robert Moses Parkway before it was torn down? How much traffic currently uses Interstate 81 in Syracuse? I suspect the traffic counts on Interstate 81 could make the case that the viaduct should not be removed.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 22, 2020, 07:44:19 PM
How much traffic used the Robert Moses Parkway before it was torn down? How much traffic currently uses Interstate 81 in Syracuse? I suspect the traffic counts on Interstate 81 could make the case that the viaduct should not be removed.
Local freeway vs. long-distance interstate.

A flawed comparison proponents of demolishing Interstate 81 use.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on January 22, 2020, 08:56:01 PM
How much traffic used the Robert Moses Parkway before it was torn down? How much traffic currently uses Interstate 81 in Syracuse? I suspect the traffic counts on Interstate 81 could make the case that the viaduct should not be removed.
Local freeway vs. long-distance interstate.

A flawed comparison proponents of demolishing Interstate 81 use.
Long distance traffic in the area of interest  can  fit on 2-lane road. area of interest is something like 80% commuting.
It may be hard to imagine that in VA, but Syracuse is at the dead end of things geographically, with long haul traffic (a) not very numerous and (b) avoiding ride through the city center.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on January 22, 2020, 09:26:57 PM
Local freeway vs. long-distance interstate.
A flawed comparison proponents of demolishing Interstate 81 use.
Long distance traffic in the area of interest  can  fit on 2-lane road. area of interest is something like 80% commuting.
It may be hard to imagine that in VA, but Syracuse is at the dead end of things geographically, with long haul traffic (a) not very numerous and (b) avoiding ride through the city center.
Really?  Crossroads of I-90 New York Thruway and I-81. 

I-81 is a major connector to Canada.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 22, 2020, 09:37:21 PM
Local freeway vs. long-distance interstate.
A flawed comparison proponents of demolishing Interstate 81 use.
Long distance traffic in the area of interest  can  fit on 2-lane road. area of interest is something like 80% commuting.
It may be hard to imagine that in VA, but Syracuse is at the dead end of things geographically, with long haul traffic (a) not very numerous and (b) avoiding ride through the city center.
Really?  Crossroads of I-90 New York Thruway and I-81. 

I-81 is a major connector to Canada.
Not to mention, the major I-81 to I-90 connection via I-690 that would be eliminated.

I-90 is a major east-west interstate highway, certainly not at the “dead end of things”.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on January 22, 2020, 10:33:54 PM
Crossroads of I-90 New York Thruway and I-81.  I-81 is a major connector to Canada.
Not to mention, the major I-81 to I-90 connection via I-690 that would be eliminated.
I-90 is a major east-west interstate highway, certainly not at the “dead end of things”.
If they want to keep calling themselves the "Empire State," then they need to do better than this.

The source of the term "Empire State" is uncertain.  It has been attributed to the state's wealth and resources, but there is some doubt regarding that.  Two possible stories involve America's first president George Washington.

There are several theories on the origin of the name.  Two of them involve George Washington, one credits aggressive trade routes, and another associates the nickname with New York exceeding Virginia in population.  None has been proven.  One commonly accepted tale says that, when Washington was given a full map of New York prior to the Battle of New York, he remarked on New York's natural geographic advantages, proclaiming New York the "Seat of an Empire".


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empire_State
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on January 22, 2020, 10:45:25 PM
Well, that conversation took a weird turn.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on January 23, 2020, 06:03:44 AM
Local freeway vs. long-distance interstate.
A flawed comparison proponents of demolishing Interstate 81 use.
Long distance traffic in the area of interest  can  fit on 2-lane road. area of interest is something like 80% commuting.
It may be hard to imagine that in VA, but Syracuse is at the dead end of things geographically, with long haul traffic (a) not very numerous and (b) avoiding ride through the city center.
Really?  Crossroads of I-90 New York Thruway and I-81. 

I-81 is a major connector to Canada.
Can you guess traffic count towards Canada on I-81 without looking it up?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on January 23, 2020, 06:12:52 AM
Crossroads of I-90 New York Thruway and I-81. 
I-81 is a major connector to Canada.
Can you guess traffic count towards Canada on I-81 without looking it up?
A low of 16,000 south of Watertown and over 22,000 in the Watertown area.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: seicer on January 23, 2020, 06:56:44 AM
While an important connector, it's not as busy as some boasters make it out to be.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on January 23, 2020, 07:34:58 AM
Crossroads of I-90 New York Thruway and I-81. 
I-81 is a major connector to Canada.
Can you guess traffic count towards Canada on I-81 without looking it up?
A low of 16,000 south of Watertown and over 22,000 in the Watertown area.
and less than 6000 at actual border crossing.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on January 23, 2020, 11:08:44 AM
Syracuse is at the dead end of things geographically

Wouldn't that be Oswego?


Demolishing city is likely at this rate. Already started in Rochester.
Actually, I think downtown Rochester has very much improved since they filled that section of the loop.
More businesses coming downtown iow?  Improved nightlife?  A safer downtown?  Better community coherence?
Not sure about safety (that has never really been an issue in the CBD), but definitely all of the above other than that.
It's amazing how much less of a ghost town it feels like with that empty highway filled, and it really provides a lot more continuity between booming areas like Park Avenue/ South Wedge and the CBD. (And at least we have some new vacant buildings now instead of just old ones!  :-D)
Has downtown Niagara Falls benefited similarly from the removal of the Robert Moses Parkway?  Looking at Google Sat, it looks like downtown Houston with all the parking lots.

Complicated question, but almost certainly "no". The RMSP was weirdly located, and the removal didn't do much in terms of connectivity. Niagara Falls has the tourist area near the falls, and the rest of it is a grim, depressed place. I don't think any changes to the road network are going to change that, as they don't have two separate thriving areas (the CBD/Corn Hill/South Wedge and the Park/East Ave area, in Rochester's case). It's basically just the falls and that's it, as far as economic activity.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on January 24, 2020, 07:21:27 AM
Crossroads of I-90 New York Thruway and I-81. 
I-81 is a major connector to Canada.
Can you guess traffic count towards Canada on I-81 without looking it up?
A low of 16,000 south of Watertown and over 22,000 in the Watertown area.

I'll help Scott out here since I've read through the studies:

Approximately 6K AADT in I-81 through traffic through Syracuse.  Given that the Syracuse viaduct in question has about 100K on its southern approach, that 6K is not a large number.  And kalvado's right in that it would fit onto a 2-lane road.

For the I-81 South to I-90 West connection that everyone is lamenting, the number is even lower...just over 2K.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on January 24, 2020, 08:26:08 AM
Can you guess traffic count towards Canada on I-81 without looking it up?
A low of 16,000 south of Watertown and over 22,000 in the Watertown area.
I'll help Scott out here since I've read through the studies:
Approximately 6K AADT in I-81 through traffic through Syracuse.  Given that the Syracuse viaduct in question has about 100K on its southern approach, that 6K is not a large number.  And kalvado's right in that it would fit onto a 2-lane road.
How does the 'study' define "through traffic?"

For example, do they ignore traffic between Syracuse and the Watertown area?  To the Fort Drum area?  Between south of Syracuse and those places?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on January 24, 2020, 08:52:07 AM
Can you guess traffic count towards Canada on I-81 without looking it up?
A low of 16,000 south of Watertown and over 22,000 in the Watertown area.
I'll help Scott out here since I've read through the studies:
Approximately 6K AADT in I-81 through traffic through Syracuse.  Given that the Syracuse viaduct in question has about 100K on its southern approach, that 6K is not a large number.  And kalvado's right in that it would fit onto a 2-lane road.
How does the 'study' define "through traffic?"

For example, do they ignore traffic between Syracuse and the Watertown area?  To the Fort Drum area?  Between south of Syracuse and those places?

entire Jefferson county is 116k in 2010, estimated decline to 111k today.
How many of those people take long haul drive more than once a week?
How many of those who do drive go beyond airport or a big shopping mall?  both drives are not affected by this project.

You see, there is a lot of discussion here regarding who is actually affected by the project. Discussions by those who know the area, drove there, and have some idea what this is about. I, for one, is not a big expert - I've been there maybe 30-50 times. Things are messy - but they are messy not the way you think about it.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on January 24, 2020, 09:49:11 AM
Can you guess traffic count towards Canada on I-81 without looking it up?
A low of 16,000 south of Watertown and over 22,000 in the Watertown area.
I'll help Scott out here since I've read through the studies:
Approximately 6K AADT in I-81 through traffic through Syracuse.  Given that the Syracuse viaduct in question has about 100K on its southern approach, that 6K is not a large number.  And kalvado's right in that it would fit onto a 2-lane road.
How does the 'study' define "through traffic?"
For example, do they ignore traffic between Syracuse and the Watertown area?  To the Fort Drum area?  Between south of Syracuse and those places?
entire Jefferson county is 116k in 2010, estimated decline to 111k today.
How many of those people take long haul drive more than once a week?
How many of those who do drive go beyond airport or a big shopping mall?  both drives are not affected by this project.
There should be engineering data in the report that would have the specifics.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: froggie on January 24, 2020, 11:13:34 AM
Can you guess traffic count towards Canada on I-81 without looking it up?
A low of 16,000 south of Watertown and over 22,000 in the Watertown area.
I'll help Scott out here since I've read through the studies:
Approximately 6K AADT in I-81 through traffic through Syracuse.  Given that the Syracuse viaduct in question has about 100K on its southern approach, that 6K is not a large number.  And kalvado's right in that it would fit onto a 2-lane road.
How does the 'study' define "through traffic?"

For example, do they ignore traffic between Syracuse and the Watertown area?  To the Fort Drum area?  Between south of Syracuse and those places?

The cordons were the two I-81/481 interchanges and the I-690 interchange on the Thruway.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on January 24, 2020, 12:38:20 PM
IMO traffic to/from the north really isn't affected much if at all.  To get to/from the south, they'll just take current I-481 (which signs already direct them to anyways).  If they want to go to/from the mall or downtown, the current route will still be a freeway to I-690.  If they want to go to the southwest side, they'll have to take NY 298, which is disappointing, but not a change from current conditions.

It's traffic from Cortland/Binghamton/PA looking to go to the western suburbs/mall/State Fair/points west that feels the big impact - which is why it keeps coming up again and again.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on January 24, 2020, 01:48:20 PM
There should be engineering data in the report that would have the specifics.
Well, lets look at a bigger picture.
You are trying to close the case "this stretch is essential for long haul through traffic"
THere are several people familiar with the area who tell you that this is a very weak case, there is only that much through traffic  as there is not much there up north, nor there a lot to the south until you drive at least 150 miles to Wilkes-Barre, or 200+ ty NYC-Philli.
Vdeane is pretty correct (I added something to the quote) - that is who would get problems, along with commuters .
It's traffic from Cortland/Binghamton/PA/Ithaca and Cornell looking to go to the SYR airport/western suburbs/mall/State Fair/points west that feels the big impact - which is why it keeps coming up again and again.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: seicer on January 24, 2020, 02:08:12 PM
Syracuse gets some traffic for Ithaca/Cornell, but we found that about 50% of our students that do fly go out of Rochester and the remainder fly out of Ithaca (which will soon be an international airport).
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on January 24, 2020, 03:11:34 PM
There should be engineering data in the report that would have the specifics.
Well, lets look at a bigger picture.
You are trying to close the case "this stretch is essential for long haul through traffic"
I did not use those words or say that.

I said that it depends on how "through traffic" is defined.

THere are several people familiar with the area who tell you that this is a very weak case, there is only that much through traffic  as there is not much there up north, nor there a lot to the south until you drive at least 150 miles to Wilkes-Barre, or 200+ ty NYC-Philli.

Data.  Need engineering data.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on January 24, 2020, 03:24:09 PM
There should be engineering data in the report that would have the specifics.
Well, lets look at a bigger picture.
You are trying to close the case "this stretch is essential for long haul through traffic"
I did not use those words or say that.

I said that it depends on how "through traffic" is defined.

THere are several people familiar with the area who tell you that this is a very weak case, there is only that much through traffic  as there is not much there up north, nor there a lot to the south until you drive at least 150 miles to Wilkes-Barre, or 200+ ty NYC-Philli.

Data.  Need engineering data.
http://thei81challenge.org/cm/ResourceFiles/resources/SMTC%20Model%20Version%203.023%20Documentation.pdf
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 24, 2020, 05:00:37 PM
I said that it depends on how "through traffic" is defined.
The cordons were the two I-81/481 interchanges and the I-690 interchange on the Thruway.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on January 24, 2020, 06:52:26 PM
I said that it depends on how "through traffic" is defined.
The cordons were the two I-81/481 interchanges and the I-690 interchange on the Thruway.

It is very hard to believe that 6,000 AADT is all the I-81 traffic that passes both of those I-81/I-481 points.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 24, 2020, 07:14:21 PM
I said that it depends on how "through traffic" is defined.
The cordons were the two I-81/481 interchanges and the I-690 interchange on the Thruway.

It is very hard to believe that 6,000 AADT is all the I-81 traffic that passes both of those I-81/I-481 points.
You ask for study results and details, then when they contradict what you think it should be, you claim they’re false. But if they are what you think they should be, you back it and cite it when necessary.

You’ve done this a lot.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: webny99 on January 24, 2020, 07:15:30 PM
It's even harder to believe that there's only 2000 VPD transitioning between I-81 NB and the Thruway WB and vice versa. Maybe on a winter weekday when there's a big snowstorm (just to name a situation when few people would want to be traveling); but in the summer? I don't think so. I look at the volume of Ontario and PA license plates on either route and I'm highly skeptical.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 24, 2020, 07:25:31 PM
It's even harder to believe that there's only 2000 VPD transitioning between I-81 NB and the Thruway WB and vice versa. Maybe on a winter weekday when there's a big snowstorm (just to name a situation when few people would want to be traveling); but in the summer? I don't think so. I look at the volume of Ontario and PA license plates on either route and I'm highly skeptical.
Could also be decent amount during peak vs. very little to none off peak. Remember it is averaged.

May be better to see peak volumes separate from overall AADT. The design needs to be designed off that IMO.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on January 24, 2020, 07:26:13 PM
I said that it depends on how "through traffic" is defined.
The cordons were the two I-81/481 interchanges and the I-690 interchange on the Thruway.
It is very hard to believe that 6,000 AADT is all the I-81 traffic that passes both of those I-81/I-481 points.
You ask for study results and details, then when they contradict what you think it should be, you claim they’re false. But if they are what you think they should be, you back it and cite it when necessary.
OK, where in the report does it specifically say that?

Of the face of it that seems very unlikely, on a small beltway such as that in that metro.

Just asserting some "fact" exists doesn't make it proven.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 24, 2020, 07:27:03 PM
I said that it depends on how "through traffic" is defined.
The cordons were the two I-81/481 interchanges and the I-690 interchange on the Thruway.
It is very hard to believe that 6,000 AADT is all the I-81 traffic that passes both of those I-81/I-481 points.
You ask for study results and details, then when they contradict what you think it should be, you claim they’re false. But if they are what you think they should be, you back it and cite it when necessary.
OK, where in the report does it specifically say that?

Of the face of it that seems very unlikely, on a small beltway such as that in that metro.

Just asserting some "fact" exists doesn't make it proven.
Not disagreeing with you, but you did ask for study results and were given such.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on January 24, 2020, 07:29:29 PM
I said that it depends on how "through traffic" is defined.
The cordons were the two I-81/481 interchanges and the I-690 interchange on the Thruway.
It is very hard to believe that 6,000 AADT is all the I-81 traffic that passes both of those I-81/I-481 points.
You ask for study results and details, then when they contradict what you think it should be, you claim they’re false. But if they are what you think they should be, you back it and cite it when necessary.
OK, where in the report does it specifically say that?
Of the face of it that seems very unlikely, on a small beltway such as that in that metro.
Just asserting some "fact" exists doesn't make it proven.
Not disagreeing with you, but you did ask for study results and were given such.
Can't just claim "the report says xxxx" without showing where it says that.

Some posters have a habit of doing that.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on January 24, 2020, 07:48:04 PM
I said that it depends on how "through traffic" is defined.
The cordons were the two I-81/481 interchanges and the I-690 interchange on the Thruway.
It is very hard to believe that 6,000 AADT is all the I-81 traffic that passes both of those I-81/I-481 points.
You ask for study results and details, then when they contradict what you think it should be, you claim they’re false. But if they are what you think they should be, you back it and cite it when necessary.
OK, where in the report does it specifically say that?
Of the face of it that seems very unlikely, on a small beltway such as that in that metro.
Just asserting some "fact" exists doesn't make it proven.
Not disagreeing with you, but you did ask for study results and were given such.
Can't just claim "the report says xxxx" without showing where it says that.

Some posters have a habit of doing that.
Please see figure 23 on page 64 (p. 65 pdf) : http://thei81challenge.org/cm/ResourceFiles/resources/SMTC%20Model%20Version%203.023%20Documentation.pdf
Is that a good enough reference for you?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on January 24, 2020, 08:15:19 PM
Please see figure 23 on page 64 (p. 65 pdf) : http://thei81challenge.org/cm/ResourceFiles/resources/SMTC%20Model%20Version%203.023%20Documentation.pdf
Is that a good enough reference for you?
According to that, closer to 2,000?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on January 24, 2020, 08:48:03 PM
Please see figure 23 on page 64 (p. 65 pdf) : http://thei81challenge.org/cm/ResourceFiles/resources/SMTC%20Model%20Version%203.023%20Documentation.pdf
Is that a good enough reference for you?
According to that, closer to 2,000?
Please stop questioning facts. You have a habit of doing that.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: cl94 on January 24, 2020, 09:45:29 PM
It's nice to finally see numbers, but looking through, there is one key thing missing: freight movements. The study considers person-trips. The words "truck", "freight", or "heavy" appear a total of 0 times in the document. 81 on the south side of the metro is 25% trucks. I want to know how they are moving, how many of them are terminating in the metro area, and where they are terminating in the metro area. If they're using license plate data, it would have been very easy to track truck movements.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on January 25, 2020, 12:06:52 AM
Please see figure 23 on page 64 (p. 65 pdf) : http://thei81challenge.org/cm/ResourceFiles/resources/SMTC%20Model%20Version%203.023%20Documentation.pdf
Is that a good enough reference for you?
According to that, closer to 2,000?
Please stop questioning facts. You have a habit of doing that.
I'm still trying to determine the FActs and the data.

I've seen 6,000 and 2,000 posted here.

If you know the FActs then please post them.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on January 25, 2020, 01:09:04 AM
Please see figure 23 on page 64 (p. 65 pdf) : http://thei81challenge.org/cm/ResourceFiles/resources/SMTC%20Model%20Version%203.023%20Documentation.pdf
Is that a good enough reference for you?
According to that, closer to 2,000?
Please stop questioning facts. You have a habit of doing that.
I'm still trying to determine the FActs and the data.

I've seen 6,000 and 2,000 posted here.

If you know the FActs then please post them.
You want a number higher than 6000. You're not getting it. Too bad.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on January 25, 2020, 01:19:42 AM
Please see figure 23 on page 64 (p. 65 pdf) : http://thei81challenge.org/cm/ResourceFiles/resources/SMTC%20Model%20Version%203.023%20Documentation.pdf
Is that a good enough reference for you?
According to that, closer to 2,000?
Please stop questioning facts. You have a habit of doing that.
I'm still trying to determine the FActs and the data.
I've seen 6,000 and 2,000 posted here.
If you know the FActs then please post them.
You want a number higher than 6000. You're not getting it. Too bad.
Unlike some people, I can embrace contradiction, as I analyze an issue and work toward finding a solution.  That means sometimes being found incorrect and needing to readjust my understanding.

Perhaps you could provide us an engineering analysis concerning this data point.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on January 25, 2020, 02:04:57 AM
Please see figure 23 on page 64 (p. 65 pdf) : http://thei81challenge.org/cm/ResourceFiles/resources/SMTC%20Model%20Version%203.023%20Documentation.pdf
Is that a good enough reference for you?
According to that, closer to 2,000?
Please stop questioning facts. You have a habit of doing that.
I'm still trying to determine the FActs and the data.
I've seen 6,000 and 2,000 posted here.
If you know the FActs then please post them.
You want a number higher than 6000. You're not getting it. Too bad.
Unlike some people, I can embrace contradiction, as I analyze an issue and work toward finding a solution.  That means sometimes being found incorrect and needing to readjust my understanding.

Perhaps you could provide us an engineering analysis concerning this data point.
OK, here goes.
This is a very macro model, far outside the reaches of I-481. We only see broad regional data. Anything closer than this, we don't know. So we don't know how much traffic is being generated from either cordon to I-481, going past the other I-481/81 junction. However, in broad terms, 1300 SB and 900 NB trips are through trips on I-81 in this region, or 2200 total. Page 79, the predicted trips are 1700 SB and 1200 NB. However, since the residential density on p. 22-23 is mostly within the confines of I-481, not too much traffic should be added to that. 6,000 is believable.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: amroad17 on January 25, 2020, 07:28:42 AM
IMO traffic to/from the north really isn't affected much if at all.  To get to/from the south, they'll just take current I-481 (which signs already direct them to anyways).  If they want to go to/from the mall or downtown, the current route will still be a freeway to I-690.  If they want to go to the southwest side, they'll have to take NY 298, which is disappointing, but not a change from current conditions.

It's traffic from Cortland/Binghamton/PA looking to go to the western suburbs/mall/State Fair/points west that feels the big impact - which is why it keeps coming up again and again.
If a motorist comes toward Syracuse from the south and needs to go to the places mentioned by vdeane, they would have to use 2 or 4-lane suburban roads.  For example, if a motorist from Binghamton wants to go to the State Fair, they would either have to go through on the downtown "boulevard" to reach I-690 west or, if they wanted to avoid the downtown area completely, they would have to exit at the Nedrow interchange, go north on US 11, turn left on NY 173, turn right on West Genesee Street to reach the NY 5 Camillus bypass, and then exit on to NY 695 to reach the Fairgrounds.  A bit of a convoluted way to reach the destination but there aren't too many other options available short of following current I-481/future I-81 to I-690 west in DeWitt if a motorist wanted to stay on a freeway.

All this is contingent on completing the Community Grid option.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Rothman on January 25, 2020, 06:13:42 PM
Region 3 is developing the DEIS for the community grid option.  It's pretty locked in.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: ixnay on January 25, 2020, 07:13:37 PM
Region 3 is developing the DEIS for the community grid option.  It's pretty locked in.

Yep, soon (enough) some Syracusan will have to parody Springsteen's "I'm Going Down". :)

Meanwhile there are other bones of contention re the com-grid:

1)  What to name the boulevard.
2)  What to number it (and its approaches).  Business Loop [I-]81, perhaps?

ixnay
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Hwy 61 Revisited on January 25, 2020, 07:17:19 PM
Region 3 is developing the DEIS for the community grid option.  It's pretty locked in.

Yep, soon (enough) some Syracusan will have to parody Springsteen's "I'm Going Down". :)

Meanwhile there are other bones of contention re the com-grid:

1)  What to name the boulevard.
2)  What to number it (and its approaches).  Business Loop [I-]81, perhaps?

ixnay

It will be designated as BL 81, that is for sure. It might be designated as 81st Blvd, if they are feeling cheeky, and there is no actual 81st street in Syracuse.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on January 25, 2020, 07:35:04 PM
Perhaps you could provide us an engineering analysis concerning this data point.
OK, here goes.
This is a very macro model, far outside the reaches of I-481. We only see broad regional data. Anything closer than this, we don't know. So we don't know how much traffic is being generated from either cordon to I-481, going past the other I-481/81 junction. However, in broad terms, 1300 SB and 900 NB trips are through trips on I-81 in this region, or 2200 total. Page 79, the predicted trips are 1700 SB and 1200 NB. However, since the residential density on p. 22-23 is mostly within the confines of I-481, not too much traffic should be added to that. 6,000 is believable.
That seems a good analysis, and allows that the study could have been more detailed.

I-81 between Syracuse and Watertown is as low as about 15,000 AADT, and between Syracuse and Binghamton dips to 19,000 at one point; so the 6,000 thru figure may well fit with those data.

Still, the section of I-81 with the viaduct carries a lot of traffic, so there are other issues at work as well that factor into what should be done there, whatever final outcome takes place.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on January 25, 2020, 10:58:46 PM
It's nice to finally see numbers, but looking through, there is one key thing missing: freight movements. The study considers person-trips. The words "truck", "freight", or "heavy" appear a total of 0 times in the document. 81 on the south side of the metro is 25% trucks. I want to know how they are moving, how many of them are terminating in the metro area, and where they are terminating in the metro area. If they're using license plate data, it would have been very easy to track truck movements.
A number of truckers have threatened to divert to Auburn and elsewhere if the viaduct is removed.  The fact that the study didn't include freight is very, very interesting.  One would have thought that NYSDOT would have wanted yet more data to prove that the "community grid" won't negatively affect anything significant.

IMO traffic to/from the north really isn't affected much if at all.  To get to/from the south, they'll just take current I-481 (which signs already direct them to anyways).  If they want to go to/from the mall or downtown, the current route will still be a freeway to I-690.  If they want to go to the southwest side, they'll have to take NY 298, which is disappointing, but not a change from current conditions.

It's traffic from Cortland/Binghamton/PA looking to go to the western suburbs/mall/State Fair/points west that feels the big impact - which is why it keeps coming up again and again.
If a motorist comes toward Syracuse from the south and needs to go to the places mentioned by vdeane, they would have to use 2 or 4-lane suburban roads.  For example, if a motorist from Binghamton wants to go to the State Fair, they would either have to go through on the downtown "boulevard" to reach I-690 west or, if they wanted to avoid the downtown area completely, they would have to exit at the Nedrow interchange, go north on US 11, turn left on NY 173, turn right on West Genesee Street to reach the NY 5 Camillus bypass, and then exit on to NY 695 to reach the Fairgrounds.  A bit of a convoluted way to reach the destination but there aren't too many other options available short of following current I-481/future I-81 to I-690 west in DeWitt if a motorist wanted to stay on a freeway.

All this is contingent on completing the Community Grid option.
Can't just go up the downtown boulevard to I-690.  There will be no interchange between the two.  Additional local streets will be needed to make the connection.  I assume that's how NYSDOT will force traffic to disperse along the local streets rather than just take the boulevard.  The only ramps between I-690 and BL I-81 will be the existing ramps to the freeway to the north.

On that note, I really, really wish they would do something else for existing I-81.  Call the freeway I-481 or I-681 and make the rest a reference route (or touring route extension of I-681?).  I don't like interstate business routes (or bannered routes in general) and would rather that they just go away.

Just for fun, I also compared the distances for using current I-81 vs. I-481 and I-690 to using originally proposed I-390 to I-590 and I-490.  Despite looking similar on the surface, the contrast is stark - 4 miles to 12 miles vs. 3 miles to less than 8 miles.  And in my experience, I-590 moves faster (outside of rush hour) than I-481 does now, despite carrying all the traffic proposed I-390 would have and having a 10 mph slower speed limit!

Region 3 is developing the DEIS for the community grid option.  It's pretty locked in.
Yeah, because NY has billions for an air train to nowhere that no passenger will use to get to LaGuardia (seriously, we're spending billions to build what will essentially be a shuttle to an employee parking lot that probably wouldn't be needed were there a real and useful transit link to LaGuardia), but doesn't have a couple hundred million to replace the viaduct.  It will eviscerate NY's interstate network and Syracuse's freeway network, turning them into random corridor collections, and embolden freeway removal activists everywhere by being the first major through route to be obliterated.  Captain Picard put it best:

(personal opinion)
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: ixnay on January 26, 2020, 08:21:07 AM
I don't like interstate business routes (or bannered routes in general) and would rather that they just go away.

We'll have to agree to disagree.  What could be so repugnant about bannered routes, vdeane?  And is there a thread on AARoads dedicated to this topic?

ixnay
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on January 26, 2020, 08:42:54 AM
I don't like interstate business routes (or bannered routes in general) and would rather that they just go away.
We'll have to agree to disagree.  What could be so repugnant about bannered routes, vdeane?  And is there a thread on AARoads dedicated to this topic?
I don't like Interstate Business Routes on a freeways. 

They should be a standard Interstate route, either mainline or supplementary. 

At least 2 have been proposed in my state, on I-81 and on I-95.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 26, 2020, 10:33:11 AM
At least 2 have been proposed in my state, on I-81 and on I-95.
Where?
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on January 26, 2020, 01:02:27 PM
I don't like interstate business routes (or bannered routes in general) and would rather that they just go away.
We'll have to agree to disagree.  What could be so repugnant about bannered routes, vdeane?  And is there a thread on AARoads dedicated to this topic?
I don't like Interstate Business Routes on a freeways. 

They should be a standard Interstate route, either mainline or supplementary. 

At least 2 have been proposed in my state, on I-81 and on I-95.
If it's currently an Interstate and they're bypassing it (like green 40/85 in NC), it should have a 3di number. It was good enough for Interstate in 1957.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 26, 2020, 01:14:32 PM
If it's currently an Interstate and they're bypassing it (like green 40/85 in NC), it should have a 3di number. It was good enough for Interstate in 1957.
The I-40 Business segment thru Winston-Salem is currently being eliminated and becoming solely US-421. This route is a full freeway and was apart of I-40 until it was relocated in 1992.

The I-85 Business segment from Greensboro to Lexington I believe is planned to be phased out and just become US-29 / US-70. This route is a full freeway between I-40 and the I-85 relocation completed in 2004, though is only expressway south of there with a mix of intersections and interchanges.

There was briefly an I-40 Business thru Greensboro when I-40 was relocated along the relocated I-85 and new segment of I-73 south of the city completed in 2008, though I-40 ended up being reverted back to its old route thru the city a few years later.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Alps on January 26, 2020, 02:44:14 PM
If it's currently an Interstate and they're bypassing it (like green 40/85 in NC), it should have a 3di number. It was good enough for Interstate in 1957.
The I-40 Business segment thru Winston-Salem is currently being eliminated and becoming solely US-421. This route is a full freeway and was apart of I-40 until it was relocated in 1992.

The I-85 Business segment from Greensboro to Lexington I believe is planned to be phased out and just become US-29 / US-70. This route is a full freeway between I-40 and the I-85 relocation completed in 2004, though is only expressway south of there with a mix of intersections and interchanges.

There was briefly an I-40 Business thru Greensboro when I-40 was relocated along the relocated I-85 and new segment of I-73 south of the city completed in 2008, though I-40 ended up being reverted back to its old route thru the city a few years later.

See, unlike a certain poster, I looked those up myself to verify what you say, so I don't need to pester you endlessly for sources. I think that's a mistake. You wouldn't know US 421 or 29/70 would be a viable alternate route that takes you downtown, but an even 3di would give you that information.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: kalvado on January 26, 2020, 03:25:49 PM
If it's currently an Interstate and they're bypassing it (like green 40/85 in NC), it should have a 3di number. It was good enough for Interstate in 1957.
The I-40 Business segment thru Winston-Salem is currently being eliminated and becoming solely US-421. This route is a full freeway and was apart of I-40 until it was relocated in 1992.

The I-85 Business segment from Greensboro to Lexington I believe is planned to be phased out and just become US-29 / US-70. This route is a full freeway between I-40 and the I-85 relocation completed in 2004, though is only expressway south of there with a mix of intersections and interchanges.

There was briefly an I-40 Business thru Greensboro when I-40 was relocated along the relocated I-85 and new segment of I-73 south of the city completed in 2008, though I-40 ended up being reverted back to its old route thru the city a few years later.

See, unlike a certain poster, I looked those up myself to verify what you say, so I don't need to pester you endlessly for sources. I think that's a mistake. You wouldn't know US 421 or 29/70 would be a viable alternate route that takes you downtown, but an even 3di would give you that information.
Honestly speaking, who is driving without at least some navigation assistance - GPS, if not some pre-planning? So route numbers in most cases are just that - labels; and prefix isn't very relevant.
What does matter, though, is that I- prefix means certain minimum highway standard, with few exceptions. US- or State route can be literally anything. I wonder if any unpaved roads are designated...
In this sense business loop is deceiving as it pretends to be I-grade.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: sprjus4 on January 26, 2020, 04:12:52 PM
See, unlike a certain poster, I looked those up myself to verify what you say, so I don't need to pester you endlessly for sources. I think that's a mistake. You wouldn't know US 421 or 29/70 would be a viable alternate route that takes you downtown, but an even 3di would give you that information.
I-40 Business could reasonably become an even I-x40, though the I-85 Business route is only expressway grade and has at-grade intersections and private driveway connections, so that couldn't be an interstate regardless.

Kalvado does have a point though, most travelers nowadays rely solely on their navigation apps, and couldn't give any second thought to what designation is what. If Google Maps says take US-421 to avoid a wreck on I-40, they take it without question.

If an alt route to I-40 and I-85 was desired, VMS signage with travel times could be posted on either ends to provide choices. Once the I-840 beltway is completed around Greensboro, signage will be placed on either end of the beltway to provide travel times to the other end via - I-840 (northern beltway), I-73 / I-85 (southern beltway), or I-40 straight thru.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: Beltway on January 26, 2020, 06:15:35 PM
At least 2 have been proposed in my state, on I-81 and on I-95.
Where?
The I-95 Bypass of Richmond, what to do with existing I-95 between I-85 and I-64, late 1970s.

A relocation on I-81 near Abingdon as part of the Tier 1 EIS about 2005.
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: vdeane on January 26, 2020, 07:56:59 PM
I don't like interstate business routes (or bannered routes in general) and would rather that they just go away.

We'll have to agree to disagree.  What could be so repugnant about bannered routes, vdeane?  And is there a thread on AARoads dedicated to this topic?

ixnay
They strike me as sloppy and over-complicate the highway system.  It's worth noting that I'm not a huge fan of overlaps either (they can be useful in certain circumstances but shouldn't be over-used, which can get frustrated when trying to enter one's travels on Travel Mapping).  States with a ton of bannered routes also tend to have a TON of overlaps (see: PA, North Carolina, etc.).  A good highway system isn't just a way to help people navigate from Point A to Point B - it's a work of art.

It's worth noting that NY doesn't really do bannered routes for the most part.  Sure, you'll see a few, but most of them don't actually exist.  NYSDOT Main Office doesn't acknowledge the truck routes at all.  There is no inventory of them and nobody knows where they all are.  NY 52 Business near Beacon is a reference route for half of it and a city street for the other half.  US 219 Business is part reference route, rest overlapped with NY 417.  US 62 Business, which is the only bannered route in the entire state as far as the Highway Data Services Bureau is concerned, is actually inventoried as US 62B in places because the inventory can't handle banners (the only reason it even exists is because Niagara Falls wouldn't take no for an answer).

If for some reason you really, really need a bannered route somewhere, NY's system of suffixes for child routes gets the job done (although in practice there are a few suffixed routes that are a bit odd and should probably be separate touring routes, like NY 9N).
Title: Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
Post by: ixnay on January 26, 2020, 09:10:20 PM
I don't like interstate business routes (or bannered routes in general) and would rather that they just go away.

We&