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      New issue addressed in discussion of the future of Interstate 81

      A new issue is added to the list of many being addressed in the discussion about what to do about the stretch of Interstate 81 that runs through downtown Syracuse.

      Earlier this week, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) announced it would work with the Department of Transportation to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement as it looks at ways it can improve the deteriorating highway that runs through the city.

      The FHWA is looking at ways it can get the 81 overpass up to standards, without creating any safety issues or additional environmental hazards.

      The Environmental Impact Statement will focus on ways to meet goals of improving safety and travel for locals.

      As the process gets underway, it will be open to community concerns and comments.

      As of now, there are two proposals: re-route the highway traffic to Interstate 481 or bring the stretch of highway that runs through the city down to street level and have it serve as a boulevard.