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Author Topic: Interstate 81 in Syracuse  (Read 130239 times)

sparker

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #50 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. 
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machias

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #51 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.
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Alps

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #52 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?

cl94

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #53 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.
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machias

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #54 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.
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Buffaboy

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #55 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
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #56 on: October 10, 2016, 04:25:17 PM »

I would choose the viaduct option. The boulevard option would likely be a traffic nightmare.
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Michael

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #57 on: November 16, 2016, 10:31:42 PM »

From Syracuse.com: How would the I-81 replacement impact the eastern suburbs?

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 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?
« Last Edit: November 16, 2016, 11:11:10 PM by Michael »
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vdeane

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #58 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.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #59 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?
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PHLBOS

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #60 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.
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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #61 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:
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Rothman

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #62 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.
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Michael

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #64 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...
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Buffaboy

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #65 on: December 12, 2016, 11:53:34 PM »

I bet my student loans that doesn't happen.
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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #66 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.
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Rothman

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #67 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)
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cl94

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #68 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.
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vdeane

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #69 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.
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amroad17

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #70 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!
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #71 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.
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Rothman

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #72 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.
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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #73 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...
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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #74 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?
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