Hochul discusses plan for the future of I-81

Transportation
February 04 2022 08:00 am

(WSYR-TV) — On Wednesday’s State of the State address, Governor Hochul introduced 228 initiatives for New York State. “What I am proposing is a whole New Era for New York.”

Hochul spoke about several state initiatives regarding infrastructure. “Infrastructure can mean different things to different people. To me, it’s exciting because it’s all about creating connections. Connecting neighborhoods, connecting people to jobs, and connecting people to their families.”

One of these initiatives she introduced was a plan for I-81.

“We’re going to reverse the damage done more than half a century ago, with projects like the Kensington Expressway in Buffalo, I-81 in Syracuse, the Inner Loop in Rochester, and the Cross-Bronx Expressway.” said Hochul, during the address.

I-81

Hochul went into more detail on her plans in the State of the State book, available on the Governor’s website. In the book, she acknowledges that I-81 is an essential travel corridor for the Central New York region and specifically mentions the downtown Syracuse area.

Hochul says that the planned I-81 project will address the geometric, structural, and safety concerns of the highway. The project would replace the interstate with a community grid that would disperse traffic along local north-south streets.

Additionally, Hochul claims that the project would create a new high-speed business loop and reconnect neighborhoods severed by the interstate’s creation. This reconnection, Hochul states, creates opportunities for mixed-use developments and safe pedestrian and bicycle access.

As part of the I-81 project, Hochul mentioned a reimagining of the 118-acre East Adams neighborhood, where over 1,000 public housing units are located, with a connection to the New 15th Ward.

In the State of the State book, Hochul writes, regarding the New 15th Ward: “The revitalization project would create a mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhood where families — especially children — can thrive and have genuine opportunities for successful futures.”

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