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      Scoping meeting allows Syracuse to voice opinion on future of I-81 viaduct

      The New York State Department of Transportation held its first scoping meeting tonight at the Oncenter on the I-81 viaduct project.

      As the 81 overpass that runs through Syracuse approaches the mid-century mark, the DOT is considering five solutions for the viaduct, which will either need to be replaced or repaired.

      The first plan is to build a new overpass that would be updated to modern standards and would more readily accommodate traffic patterns. Three plans would lower the three mile section. One would bring the interstate to boulevard or street level. A third plan would create a depressed highway and a fourth plan considers building a tunnel. The final plan, dubbed the "do nothing plan" would simply make needed repairs to the current structure.

      Tonight's forum ran from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and allowed the public to make a two minute public statement or submit their comments in written form. The DOT will be collecting comments through January 17 and all comments will go on the project's official record. A future scoping meeting, which has not yet been scheduled, will take place in the new year.

      Comments can be emailed to: I81Opportunities@dot.ny.gov or mailed to:

      New York State Department of Transportation

      I-81 Corridor Study Comments

      50 Wolf Road

      Albany, NY 12232