Tear Down the Structural Racism of I-81

Act Now

More than 50 years ago, the Interstate 81 Viaduct ripped through a working-class Black neighborhood in Syracuse. It displaced long-time residents and ensured that poverty, pollution, and a lack of resources would hurt the community that lived in the highway's shadow that still persists today.

Now a portion of I-81 is crumbling and the construction project to replace it could improve housing conditions, health outcomes, and economic and educational opportunity for all people in Syracuse.

Removing the I-81 Viaduct is a step in the right direction - but there is more work to be done to right a historic wrong and build a better, more equitable future in Syracuse.

The New York State Department of Transportation released its Draft Environmental Impact Statement on July 16, 2021. This document represents the DOT’s current plan for how to replace the viaduct. The public now has a chance to weigh in and influence the DOT’s final replacement plan.

With only days to submit a comment from the release of the draft, we must act now! Submit a comment below.

Message Recipients:
NYS Department of Transportation

Map of I-81
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More than 50 years ago, Interstate 81 ripped through a working-class Black neighborhood in Syracuse. It displaced long-time residents and ensured that poverty, pollution, and a lack of resources would hurt the community that lived in the highway's shadow that persists today.

I agree with the New York State Department of Transportation's current preferred option to remove the 1.4 mile stretch of the viaduct and replace it with a street-level grid. Removing the viaduct is a great first step toward racial justice. However, we need to continue to advocate for environmental, racial, and economic justice to ensure the fair and equitable treatment of community members who live in the shadow of the viaduct.

The permanent removal of the viaduct could improve housing conditions, health outcomes, and economic and educational opportunities for all people in Syracuse. In order to do that, the NYSDOT should consider the following recommendations in its Environmental Impact Statement which will guide the construction project moving forward:

These recommendations will assist the NYSDOT in meeting its own stated goals for the project. These include enhancing economic growth and vitality in the City, re-connecting the Syracuse community, and providing better access to jobs, businesses, and services in downtown Syracuse and beyond.

The recommendations will also help right a historic wrong and create more equitable outcomes for the entire region.

Sincerely,

[First Name] [Last Name]

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