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      Owasco neighbors concerned about future of 81 in Syracuse

      More than 50 people packed the meeting room at the Owasco Town Hall south of Auburn to make sure their voices are heard regarding the future of route 81 through the city of Syracuse.

      The highway will reach the end of its useful life in 2017. By then state, local, and federal officials will have to decide what to do about its future.

      The two options which seem more likely than others include rebuilding it as an elevated highway or tearing it down to turn it into a ground level boulevard.

      Communities to the south and west of Syracuse, places like Skaneateles and Auburn are concerned that the boulevard option will cause large trucks to rumble through their streets to avoid route 81.

      Owasco town supervisor Ed Weigner says it could affect the quality of life in his community.

      A representative of the state transportation department who attended the town hall meeting says a decision on what to do about route 81 is still two years away so still theres still time for public input.