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Author Topic: Syracuse - I-81  (Read 19577 times)

V'Ger

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Syracuse - I-81
« on: January 18, 2009, 01:33:57 AM »

Has anyone heard about the possible rerouting of the freeway from the aging downtown viaduct to 481 around the city? I've been to the city before, and the freeway is definitely ugly, especially around the 690 cosigned section, but I think that getting rid of the entire freeway will cause some huge problems for traffic in downtown, especially if traffic has to go all the way from the bypass to downtown Syracuse, which isn't easy to do unless they build a really wide BLVD or avenue to take there.
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Alex

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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2009, 01:48:49 AM »

V'Ger

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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2009, 08:13:50 AM »

I knew I read that from somewhere familiar.  ;D
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Snappyjack

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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2009, 10:20:20 PM »

New York's highway infrastructure is so far behind it is ridiculous. We are at least 5 to 10 years behind everyone else. And it would take us just as long to fix the broken stuff before we could build new.

Instead of tearing I-81 out of there, they should rehabilitate it, or build a new highway through there. This being New York though, you will never see it happen. If we were somewhere in the south, or perhaps the mid-west you'd see it done.
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Michael

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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2009, 05:47:54 PM »

I live about 20 miles west of Syracuse, so yes, I have heard about it!

I think it's ridiculous to reroute I-80 along I-481.  It adds about 7 miles and 10 minutes to a commute.  The I-81 viaduct has an AADT of about 50,000 cars.  During rush hour, there is bumper-to bumper traffic on the entire section.

A better alternative would be a reconstruction.  I originally thought a tunnel, but while the freeway would not create the "divide" some people claim, it would be expensive.  You would have to build about two miles of tunnels, plus exit ramps, AND the interchange with I-690.

After thinking about it, I think a cable-stayed bridge would work.  It would be a bridge with two sets of cables, to allow the supports to straddle the surface streets it runs above.  It would also need fewer supports, which would help eliminate the "divide" a bridge would create.  This option would also allow the freeway to remain where it currently is, while providing a more pleasing aesthetic experience for commuters and pedestrians.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2010, 09:49:15 AM by Michael »
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V'Ger

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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2009, 06:00:38 PM »

That's an interesting idea, having bridge that goes over a city!
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Dougtone

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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2009, 07:06:39 PM »

I'm not in favor of tearing down I-81 through Syracuse, especially with the DestiNY USA project being worked on finally.  The Pyramid Corporation, or whoever owns that mall these days, would not be happy if one of the through routes to their shopping destination was torn down.  I think the viaduct will stay, but I agree that it does need work.

Michael

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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2009, 08:05:59 PM »

That's an interesting idea, having bridge that goes over a city!

Only the current viaduct would be a new bridge (about a mile, .8 according to Google).

Here's a link to the area, with my bridge idea highlighted.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2009, 08:08:30 PM by Michael »
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Dougtone

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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2009, 11:05:50 PM »

There was an article in the Syracuse Post-Standard over the weekend regarding moving I-81 in downtown Syracuse underground.

The news article can be found at...
http://www.syracuse.com/poststandard/stories/index.ssf?/base/news-1/123287732980050.xml&coll=1

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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2009, 04:24:30 PM »

That's something I've suggested on the syracuse.com website in the past.  Though it all depends on DestinyUSA.  If it falls through, they might be able to get away with downgrading the viaduct to a surface boulevard, but that would require high-speed connectors at the 81/481 junctions on either end and probably some widening of 481.  However, if Congel gets his way and DestinyUSA moves forward, they'll need I-81 in place to facilitate traffic to/from the south.

One potential issue with putting 81 underground (besides construction), is what's the water table level in that area?


I was in Syracuse on Sunday, and made a stop at Carousel Center, which is part of the current DestiNY USA project.  Current construction is doubling the size of the mall.  I would really think that DestiNY USA's progress and development should be considered in deciding what to do with I-81.  And if I-81 becomes an at-grade boulevard, it should be only if DestiNY USA is not going to be developed any further than it is now.

As for the water table, the Syracuse area can be kinda swampy in parts, but that's generally not to the south of town.  It's more of a consideration north of the NY 5 corridor.  Buildings have been known to sink a little.

Revive 755

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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2009, 09:25:22 PM »

What about building a new alignment for I-81 via West Street and then following the above-grade railroad track back to the current I-81 alignment?  I doubt the barrier the railroad presents will go away.
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Alex

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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2009, 02:32:09 AM »

http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2009/06/onondaga_citizens_leage_suppor.html

Onondaga Citizens League supports replacing Interstate 81 in Syracuse with street-level boulevard
Thursday June 25, 2009, 5:00 AM

Syracuse, NY -- The Onondaga Citizens League has spent more than a year studying a monumental decision facing Central New York: whether the aging downtown stretch of Interstate 81 should be replaced with a surface-level boulevard or with a new elevated highway.

Today, the league releases its conclusion: Go with the boulevard, or at least seriously consider that option when studying the interstate's future.

The Citizens League took as a starting point a 2007 study by the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council. That study sparked the first serious consideration of getting rid of the mile-long elevated section of I-81 that runs through the heart of the city from approximately East Raynor Avenue to Erie Boulevard.

Through traffic would be routed onto I-481, which would be renamed I-81 so that going through the city would require a conscious decision to exit the highway. Almond Street, now obscured by I-81, would be redeveloped into a well-landscaped boulevard that would allow people to easily access the city's grid of streets at several points, not just at the congested Adams Street exit.

The Transportation Council's idea, the Citizens League writes in its study, "encouraged a new way of thinking: take it down and they will come. With the obstructive, land-devaluing presence of highway I-81 gone, residential, institutional and business growth could happen around the highway corridor. This would create the potential for an attractive urban neighborhood that would provide space for the expansion of growing hospitals and education institutions and knit together the Hill and downtown areas."

The Citizens League focused on whether the Transportation Council's idea had any merit. It studied the physical condition of I-81; examined case studies from other cities that have torn down elevated highways such as San Francisco and Milwaukee; held public information sessions; researched the history of I-81; re-examined the original Transportation Council study; and talked with emergency service providers to see if removing the highway would create issues for them, which it does not.

In the end, the Citizens League liked the idea, writing that "rerouting traffic around the city and replacing a section of I-81 with an at-grade urban boulevard is a desirable concept that would benefit the region."

The group knows that this type of radical change will take time for people to get used to, and that it certainly needs more study, said Sandra Barrett, the executive vice president of the Onondaga Citizens League. That's why the group considered it crucial to conduct its study and release its finding in advance of a separate study process about to be launched by the Transportation Council and the state Department of Transportation.

"We want this to be on people's radar, something that they have information on and that they are starting to wrestle with, before the formal study begins, so that the idea gets serious consideration," Barrett said.

Doug Sutherland, a local developer and study committee member, said there was great resistance to tearing down freeways in both San Francisco and Milwaukee.

"In San Francisco," he said, "they never would have taken the Central Freeway down had it not been damaged by an earthquake. Now, it's well accepted that the community is better off, that it has spurred economic development, and that negotiating the city is no more difficult than it was before."

Sutherland said Syracuse is fortunate that Milwaukee, a city more equivalent to ours, also took down a highway running through its city, giving us a better point of comparison than San Francisco.

The area around the old freeway in Milwaukee, the Citizens League found, is experiencing explosive growth. Manpower, a Fortune 500 company, relocated its headquarters there, and new buildings have popped up along the old highway corridor while land values have soared.

Sutherland also noted that engineers say I-81 will have to be torn down, if only to be replaced by another elevated highway, because it is so badly deteriorated. That, and the fact that replacing it with a boulevard could be dramatically cheaper than rebuilding it, also gives the group's recommendations a better chance of becoming reality.

Study Chair Rebecca Livengood noted that the next phase of studies includes many opportunities for citizen participation, and she encouraged everyone to study up on the issue and have their say.

"This is a huge decision that will affect our community for generations," Livengood said. "We have a lot of important decisions ahead of us as a community, but this is it -- this is the big one."

Chris

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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2009, 02:47:07 AM »

All those who think chopping down freeways in favor of street-level boulevards is a good idea should take a look in Moscow:




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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2009, 06:25:41 AM »

I've noticed that everyone who supports this sort of thing (not just in Syracuse) cites San Fran and Milwaukee as successful examples.  But they fail to mention/remember that both the San Fran and Milwaukee examples were spur freeways, not through freeways.

And if DestinyUSA ever takes off, this will turn both any "surface boulevard" AND I-690 into a parking lot.
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Chris

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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2009, 06:28:22 AM »

Toronto also wants/wanted to chop down the Gardiner expressway. Maybe a quiet freeway to Toronto standards, but try handling 120,000 AADT on at-grade boulevards...

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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2009, 01:12:55 PM »

is there a bypass available in Moscow?

if I-481 is widened some to accommodate the I-81 traffic, this may not be a bad idea. 
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Chris

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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2009, 01:14:22 PM »

is there a bypass available in Moscow?


Yeah, one 10 lane beltway for a city the size of the Los Angeles metropolitan area..  :pan:

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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2009, 04:47:27 PM »

Why do people always seem to think "if we tear down the freeway, all our problems will go away"?  This would severely impact travel in the region - not all of the through traffic can use I-481, as a large amout of it is going to/from the west via I-90 and I-690.
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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2011, 01:40:04 AM »

Why do people always seem to think "if we tear down the freeway, all our problems will go away"?  This would severely impact travel in the region - not all of the through traffic can use I-481, as a large amout of it is going to/from the west via I-90 and I-690.

Most of those people probably don't drive :-P
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Buummu

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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2011, 01:51:37 AM »

What happens if I-81 get tore down? What will happen to I-690? does it get torn down as well or what?
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Alps

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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2011, 02:25:34 AM »

What happens if I-81 get tore down? What will happen to I-690? does it get torn down as well or what?
There has never been any article or suggestion that anything would change about I-690.

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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2011, 08:02:47 AM »

For further elaboration/clarification, they're only talking about tearing down the elevated segment of I-81 that is south of I-690.
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Buummu

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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2011, 11:39:50 PM »

Oh i see.. if they HAVE to tear down I-81 south of I-690... man.. I support rebuilding that section (i bet it'd be VERY expensive.)
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Re: Syracuse - I-81
« Reply #24 on: May 08, 2011, 01:12:42 PM »

is there a bypass available in Moscow?


Yeah, one 10 lane beltway for a city the size of the Los Angeles metropolitan area..  :pan:

The thing with Moscow is that until just over 20 years ago, few Muscovites owned or used cars - private enterprise and the accumulation of things were very strongly discouraged by the Communists - and thus, major urban motorways were not needed nor built in Moscow.  Improvements have been made since The Wall fell and more highway upgrade projects are under construction in and around Moscow, but yes, they have a loooooong way to go in their game of 'catch-up' with the needs of the 'new normal' that the fall of the Commies brought on.

As for I-81 south of I-690, is the idea by some to simply remove it with nothing other than a surface street being built in its place?  If so, that would be a bad idea, indeed.

Mike
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