Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday afternoon that he is throwing his support behind the New York State Department of Transportation’s recommendation of a community grid to replace the aging Interstate 81 viaduct in downtown Syracuse.
The decision to move forward with the community grid option has seen some pushback from people concerned about traffic, suburban business loss and other issues. The project, which would transform the portion of highway into a network of city streets and divert thru traffic to Interstate 481, would cost an estimated $1.9 billion while the cost for revamping the viaduct as it is would be $2.2 billion.
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Cuomo said there's no perfect answer in a situation like this and not everyone will be happy.
"We did a thorough assessment. Everyone was heard, every option was analyzed,” Cuomo said. “They came up with the community grid option as the’ unquote best in their opinion’ and also a feasible option.”
In the draft environmental impact statement released in April, the DOT said it was “anticipated” that the federal government would pay for 80 percent of the project with the state paying for the remaining 20 percent.
Gov. Cuomo will have to sign off on the final project.
Right now the DOT is working on an environmental impact study.