NYSDOT Schedules I-81 Viaduct Project Initial Scoping Meeting For November 13; Project Website Is Launched

ALBANY, NY (11/01/2013)(readMedia)-- The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today announced they will host an initial scoping meeting for the I-81 Viaduct project on November 13 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Oncenter, 800 South State Street, in downtown Syracuse.

In addition, NYSDOT has launched the project website, www.i81opportunities.org. The site contains information about the project, public meeting schedules, and links to provide comments.

The initial scoping meeting will focus on the environmental review process, project goals, preliminary alternatives under consideration, and public involvement opportunities. It will include a presentation about the environmental review process. The presentation is scheduled for 4 p.m. and will be repeated at 6 p.m. Informational displays will also be set up, and project staff will be stationed to answer questions. The public will have the opportunity to provide both written and oral comments.

A second scoping meeting will be held at a later date to address community input and present the alternatives as they are developed.

Those who cannot attend the meeting can submit comments via mail, email, or through the project web site. The scoping comment period will run through January 17, 2014. All comments submitted will be carefully considered and responded to in a report that will be issued following the close of the scoping phase. Additional opportunities for public comment will be available as the project advances through the environmental review process.

To provide written comments about the I-81 Viaduct project, please email them through the project website or to i81Opportunities@dot.ny.gov, or mail them to the I-81 Viaduct Project, New York State Department of Transportation, 333 E. Washington Street, Syracuse, NY 13202.

Scoping is an early phase of the environmental review process required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), for major highway improvement projects. During the scoping phase, FHWA and NYSDOT will disseminate information about the project to the public and involved agencies and solicit comments on the factors that should be considered as part of an Environmental Impact Statement. Ultimately, the environmental review will determine a preferred alternative for the I-81 Viaduct project and any potential benefits and impacts to the social, economic, and environmental features of Greater Syracuse.