There is finally some progress on the dilapidated building that has caused the shutdown of a one-mile stretch of Interstate 81 in Syracuse.
The highway has been closed for a week and a half due to the crumbling former brewery on the 900 block of State Street that is on the brink of collapse. State Department of Transportation officials blocked off I-81 on February 26 because they feared that bricks and other debris from the structure could crumble and land on the nearby road or passing vehicles.
Monday morning, crews from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation arrived on the scene, and are currently inside clearing out the building in anticipation of demolition. Officials say there is nothing hazardous inside the structure, and there are far fewer materials to remove than they expected. The crews did discover some chemicals on the premises, but said that they were sealed inside containers and many can be recycled or properly disposed of.
DEC officials say they think it will cost them between $10,000 and $15,000 to clear out the building and prepare it for demolition.
The State of New York and the City of Syracuse have been going back on forth on which entity is responsible for the demolition and cleanup of the building. The city wants to demolish the building but claims the state should pay for it. The state wants to oversee the demolition but feels owner Anthony Tartaro should pay.
Tartaro has said that he would give up ownership of the building for removal, but doesn't want to get stuck with the bill, which could reach as high as $2 million. He also wants to retain his rights to the land for future development.
Tartaro had been operating a motorcycle repair shop out of a part of the building until he was forced to vacate the premises last week.
Detour information for Interstate 81 North is as follows:
- I-81 Northbound from south of Syracuse: Exit 16A (I-481) to Exit 9 (Interstate 81)
- I-81 Northbound just south of the 81/690 interchange:
I-81 north to I-690 West to Exit 10 (North Geddes Street), right turn onto North Geddes Street, left turn onto Spencer Street, right turn onto Hiawatha Blvd, left turn onto I-81 ramp.
I-690 Westbound to I-81 Northbound: Continue on I-690 West to Exit 10 (North Geddes Street), right turn onto North Geddes Street, left turn onto Spencer Street, right turn onto Hiawatha Blvd, left turn onto I-81 ramp.
- I-81 Ramp Closure Information:
The Harrison Street on-ramp to I-81 North will have its left lane closed, and both the Pearl Street and the Butternut Street on-ramps to I-81 Northbound will be closed.