Write a 6 pages paper on i- 81 highway syracuse- options for rehabilitation or replacement. The average annual daily traffic ranges from 43,000 to 99,000 and has remained flat since 2003. Only 12% of this is through traffic. Buses and trucks are only 8-9%. Commute times are below national averages (NY-DoT, p 11).
The Syracuse University and medical institutions have $ 700 million in projects which are limited by space. The I-81 acts as a physical barrier to expansion at their present location on University Hill (NY-DoT, p 18).
The City of Syracuse has made a master plan for the redevelopment of a new urban center with a town square with businesses and high-density housing around it. The I-81 is a significant visual element rising above the surface streets and most downtown buildings (NY-DoT, p 18). The viaduct acts as a barrier and prevents pedestrian and bicycle mobility (NY-DoT, p 14)
Mark Frechette, the Viaduct Project Director for the NY Department of Transportation summarized the project alternatives evaluated by the NY DoT in the slide shown Fig 2 (Frechette, p10).
The “No Build” option is the Environmental Protection Agency requirement for all such projects. For the Viaduct project, the evaluation of the “no-build” option would serve as the baseline to compare the various “build” options (Frechette, p 12).
The tunnel option and the depressed highway options have been ruled out by the NY-DoT study. The water table in the area is high and it is saline, requiring special disposal methods. This would require cut-and-cover construction, which would close the Viaduct and Almond Street for a long duration. The sub-surface utilities would need to be relocated. Ramps for access to the tunnel would cause a number of local streets to be closed or dead-ended. The estimated cost would be $ 1.50 billion – $ 1.75 billion (Frechette, p 28-30).
The rebuild options for the Viaduct are aimed at bringing the design up to current standards. The width of the new Viaduct would be increased to 82 feet from the present 66 feet with two travel lanes in each direction. The speed limit for vehicles would be 55 mph. The Viaduct height may need to be increased by 5 to 10 feet.  .The space under the Viaduct would be designed for interconnection of surface-level streets and with better pedestrian and bike access. . .
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