Syracuse, NY: Lobbying, letters, meetings, billboards: I-81 groups turn up heat as decision looms

Those on all sides of the debate about what should be done with the aging Interstate 81 in the heart of Syracuse are ramping up pressure to try to win support for their side.

In the past several weeks, there have been open letters, Albany news conferences, town hall meetings and activist rallies.

Groups including the New York Civil Liberties Union, Onondaga County town supervisors, state senators and lobbyists have spoken out on the issue.

Billboards are up warning of traffic jams if the highway is torn down.

And it’s likely going to get even more intense once the New York State Department of Transportation finally releases a draft environmental impact statement.