A road runs through it

A growing number of cities are considering tearing down a raised urban expressway in order to encourage new development and provide a better design aesthetic, and Syracuse is one of them. In this case, an elevated stretch of Interstate 81 acts as a line of demarcation between two vibrant neighborhoods, downtown and University Hill, and effectively cuts off many streets on the city's grid. City leaders want to remove the unsightly interstate by rerouting the highway around the city and replacing the elevated portion with a boulevard. However, critics say this would be costly and could worsen traffic congestion. Other cities facing similar propositions are New Orleans with its Claiborne Expressway, Cleveland and West Shoreway, New Haven and its highway segments, and Detroit's downtown one-mile freeway. On the side of tearing down highways is also the fact that these structures are aging, particularly elevated spans of structures built in the 1960s, and they are nearing the end of their service life. Societal changes are also at play, with the automobile losing some of its appeal as a mode of transportation. Further details of issues at play in Syracuse are presented, with the need to consider the mobility of those who use I-81 to travel into and out of the city each day and those who travel through in order to reach other destinations, as well as the local impact. The ultimate decision on the fate of I-81 rests with the state department of transportation and the Federal Highway Administration.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Photos;
  • Pagination: pp 50-55
  • Serial:
    • Governing
    • Volume: 27
    • Issue Number: 10
    • Publisher: e.Republic Incorporated
    • ISSN: 0894-3842

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01532416
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 29 2014 11:12AM