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Renderings of Improvements to I-81 Viaduct Project Released


Governor Kathy Hochul on Thursday unveiled new renderings that give Syracuse residents their first glimpse of the new safety and access enhancements coming to the Inner Harbor and Northside as part of the I-81 Viaduct Project’s third contract. The six renderings depict improvements to North Clinton Street, new bridges along Bear, Court, and Spencer Streets, and pedestrian and cyclist enhancements that connect residents on the northside to the Empire State Trail.

“We are delivering on a promise to reconnect communities across New York State and in the City of Syracuse,” Governor Hochul said. “These renderings illustrate the exciting future of the Northside of Syracuse and Inner Harbor neighborhoods, providing access and safety improvements to the highway and creating safe and beautiful access for pedestrians and cyclists with new shared use paths.”   

Visuals show a new gateway to the City’s Northside and Inner Harbor, focusing on a reconstructed North Clinton Street that will include new pavement, sidewalks, a shared-use path and on-and-off ramps from future Business Loop 81. 

Renderings also include a preview of the three replacement bridges on Bear, Court and Spencer Streets. These structures will be longer to fit over the expanded future Business Loop 81 and feature new sidewalks. Additionally, a shared-use path will be included on the Court and Spencer Street bridges.    

Pedestrians and cyclists will have improved access to the Empire State Trail through a new shared-use path constructed north of West Bear Street. A view in one of the new renderings shows the existing shared-use path along the Empire State Trail, south of West Bear Street, reconstructed and with amenities that include a bike repair station, bike racks and seating.  

Contract three of the I-81 Viaduct Project, under construction in the Inner Harbor and northside, is an extension of the work already underway in the northern and southern interchanges of Interstates 81 and 481 and is supported by federal funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. In the summer of 2023, Governor Hochul, along with federal, state, and local leaders’ broke ground on the I-81 Viaduct Project. Major construction on contract one in the northern interchange of I-81 and I-481, and contract two in the southern interchange of I-81 and I-481, has been underway for more than one year.

The I-81 Viaduct Project will replace a 1.4-mile stretch of elevated highway that has not only reached the end of its useful life but divided the City of Syracuse for decades. The dismantling of the viaduct and construction of a Community Grid will reconnect neighborhoods, modernize infrastructure, give motorists additional ways to safely access Downtown Syracuse and improve mobility for pedestrians and bicyclists.

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