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Old 05-21-2013, 05:36 PM
 
Location: DeWitt, NY
1,002 posts, read 1,690,403 times
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The Syracuse.com quick summary doesn't really do today's meeting justice, but here it is: I-81 debate narrows to two choices: new elevated highway or boulevard | syracuse.com

Essentially they have two determined feasible possibilities to study further: reconstruction (same idea, in place, but new build) or boulevard. Both would have some external features that would improve the overall situation - other ramps elsewhere, improvements around the area.

The biggest problem with reconstruction is it would be exceptionally difficult to reconstruct the highway properly and to fix the other problems (the short ramps, the nonexistent connections between north and west, the poor and concentrated hill access, etc.) in the amount of space available to do that in. Several of the obstacles to fixing it properly in place are brand new buildings or newly reconstructed buildings (the Upstate stuff, the COE, and the Crowne Plaza - and there's not much room on the other side to fix it either). And a new overpass will, guaranteed, be wider than the existing one, in order to create proper shoulders and well-banked curves and whatnot.

The boulevard model displayed at today's meeting (you can see the posters online, here: I-81 : Virtual Public Meeting ) leaves it as a highway spur from 481 in the south, going to ground level boulevard near Van Buren St, and terminating at 690 approximately where Catherine Street (Almond on the other side of Erie) passes under it now in some fashion, with 81 north of 690 terminating as a highway at 690 with fixed connections (which, arguably, there isn't really room to do without the boulevard option), with improved drop exits to downtown at that terminus as well.

The tunnel, which I know has been a popular option, seems to have been well studied but due to the short length and narrow channel in which 81 operates now, it could only really be a thru tunnel with 690 access, and would mean the end of the Harrison-Adams exits entirely. To do a tunnel effectively requires more room to build than just the corridor that's available.

Okay, that ended up... substantially longer than what I started to write about. But I think, as conceived, that the boulevard option presented today is by far the best option still on the table... and, including the related interchange changes outside the section necessary, currently has a smaller price tag than any option other than keeping on throwing patchwork fixes at the existing structure - which a) they can't do in perpetuity and b) leads to more unplanned closures that frustrate commuters far more than any change will.
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:59 PM
 
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Thanks for your report. Was there any discussion of the depressed highway option?
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Old 05-23-2013, 10:13 AM
 
Location: DeWitt, NY
1,002 posts, read 1,690,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by backjakcny29 View Post
Thanks for your report. Was there any discussion of the depressed highway option?
I-81 : Virtual Public Meeting has their assessment slide on that one. Similar to the tunnel option, it looks like it was not recommended due to high cost and limitations it places on what they can do around it.
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Old 05-23-2013, 11:07 AM
 
865 posts, read 1,546,350 times
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A tunnel would work IF and only IF an extremely small portion of I81 users through the city actually need to get off at downtown. Anyone that commutes through downtown knows the opposite is true.

There needs to be access - either by viaduct or boulevard to get to downtown.
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Old 05-23-2013, 09:27 PM
 
7 posts, read 14,986 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acknight View Post
I-81 : Virtual Public Meeting has their assessment slide on that one. Similar to the tunnel option, it looks like it was not recommended due to high cost and limitations it places on what they can do around it.
Thanks. I followed the link and read through all of the options.
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Old 05-27-2013, 06:55 AM
 
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I-81 redevelopment offers up too many benefits to ignore: Your letters | syracuse.com
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Old 05-27-2013, 09:21 PM
 
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Interesting take. I tend to agree. I think his idea about renaming the old I-81 as "Destiny Highway" is pretty amusing.
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Old 05-30-2013, 09:20 AM
 
865 posts, read 1,546,350 times
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I remember back in spring of 2011 it flooded REALLY bad - a few people lost cars, etc in it.

Anyone notice the flood again last night? I went through shortly after 5 and there was about a foot of standing water on the Adams Street on ramp ... then, right before 690E joins into 81S, there was 5 or 6 inches of standing water.

Maybe whatever they decide on for the rebuild will have proper drainage?
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:20 PM
 
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Perhaps there is a possibility for more options on the table: http://www.cnybj.com/News/Articles/T...-syracuse.aspx
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:33 PM
 
Location: Florida
1,668 posts, read 2,375,798 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
Perhaps there is a possibility for more options on the table: http://www.cnybj.com/News/Articles/T...-syracuse.aspx
If he can find the money for a tunnel or sub-grade easement, I will fly up there an vote for him next time around (I may not be eligible to vote in NYS, but they do it all the time in Chicago..so what the hell..lol )
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