New York state transportation officials will hold an open house on Tuesday to discuss plans surrounding the Interstate 81 community grid project.
New preliminary drawings and information on the project will be available for the June 18 meeting.
This will be the first public meeting and discussion about the I-81 project since the state Department of Transportation released its long-awaited draft environmental impact statement — its strongest signal to date that the state backs a community grid.
The issue has divided city leaders — such as Mayor Ben Walsh and Syracuse University — and suburban town supervisors, who supported alternatives to the grid.
Here are six key things to know from the state's plan:
- "Business Loop 81" would have a speed limit of 30 mph through the city. And plans call for calming measures to get drivers to slow down on their approach with narrower shoulders, curbs, and landscaping.
- The $1.9 billion project is anticipated to be footed largely by the federal government — who would pay for 80 percent of the cost, with New York state responsible for the remainder.
- The "re-routed I-81" (a.k.a. the current I-481) would go up to seven lanes near the Hancock International Airport, and up to six lanes around the Kirkville Road exit.
- Bridges that currently cross over I-81 like Bear, Court, Butternut, and Spencer would be made narrower with sidewalks. These areas would also see the addition of bike lanes.
- I-690 to Hiawatha Boulevard — as you approach Destiny USA - would be widened from three to four lanes in each direction.
- Heading to the Dome from 690? It might get easier with a new interchange with Business Loop 81 at Irving and Crouse avenues.