ROAD CONSTRUCTION: N.Y. looks to build missing link between I-81 and I-690

Six options being considered, with a tunneling alternative also a possibility

News June 26, 2014
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Motorists in Syracuse wanting to get to the airport have to convert their vehicles into a “street jumper.” Call it a grounded version of the airborne “puddle jumper.”


Currently there is a missing portion of highway between I-690 and I-81 in New York. Those wanting to get to the Syracuse Hancock International Airport take I-690 east before being diverted on to city streets on their way to I-81 north.


The New York State Department of Transportation seems ready to fill the gap, and offered up six alternatives—three that call for a new viaduct and three for a street-level option—that are being considered. The I-81 project also will include work on existing ramps and reconfiguring the West Street interchange with I-690.


New York State Sen. John DeFrancisco also would like a tunneling option to be considered. DeFrancisco said a tube with a boulevard running above it would knock down an existing viaduct and offer motorist a fast track through the city.


“Those people who want a north-south thoroughfare and those people who want the boulevard and the viaduct gone should be pleased with this,” he said. “I think it’s a reasonable compromise.”


The NYSDOT is still in the beginning phases of the I-81 project, and still has not produced data on traffic in the area.

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