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Safety concerns prompt closing of I81 in Syracuse

The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) is advising travelers in the Syracuse area that Interstate 81 (I-81) northbound between the I-690 interchange and Court Street is closed to traffic, due the

impending collapse of a multi- story brick building adjacent to the roadway and concerns about public safety.

The abandoned building, located in the 900 block of North State Street, backs uponto I-81 just north of downtown Syracuse. Since the building is so close to I-81, it is feared that pieces of it could land on the roadway. As a precaution,northbound lanes will be closed for one to two weeks, or, until the building can be safely removed.

NYSDOT's Acting Commissioner Stanley Gee said, "We recognize that closing I-81 will be an inconvenience for motorists, but in the interest of public safety, we have no choice but to close the highway until this unstable building is demolished. Detours and signage will help people negotiate the alternate routes until we can be assured that I-81 is safe for travel."

Traffic will be detoured as follows:

I-81 Northbound from south of Syracuse:

Exit 16A (I-481) to Exit 9 (Interstate 81)

I-81 Northbound just south of the 81/690 interchange:

I-81 north to I-690 West to Exit 10 (North Geddes Street), right turn onto North Geddes Street, left turn onto Spencer Street, right turn onto Hiawatha Blvd, left turn onto I-81 ramp.

I-690 Westbound to I-81 Northbound:

Continue on I-690 West to Exit 10 (North Geddes Street), right turn onto North Geddes Street, left turn onto Spencer Street, right turn onto Hiawatha Blvd, left turn onto I-81 ramp.

I-81 Ramp Closure Information:

The Harrison Street on-ramp to I-81 North will have its left lane closed, and both the Pearl Street and the Butternut Street on-ramps to I-81 Northbound will beclosed.

Permanent and portable variable message boards will be placed along the detour routes and other area roads advising motorists of said detours. Southbound traffic on I-81 should not be affected at this time.

Motorists exiting Saturday's Syracuse University-Villanova basketball game should follow the detours above, and expect slow moving traffic around the downtown area.

For updated information on this situation, please refer to www.511ny.org (

http://www.511ny.org/ )or dial 5-1-1.

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