DeWitt town board passes resolution against redirecting I-81 traffic; Clay will address the issue

— “I really don’t think it’s good for the economy of the city, I think they’ll lose more business than they’re going to gain,” he said. “It’s imperative to our Central New York community to keep the traffic flow going north to south from New York City up to Canada — that’s a crucial stretch. And in the suburban towns north of Syracuse, there are so many businesses up there that are going to be totally cut off.”

He said that DeFrancisco, Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli and Senator David Valesky are currently meeting with CNY towns and are trying to persuade the Department of Transportation to rethink the options. And he encourages all members of the community to reach out to both local politicians and the DOT to ensure that all voices are heard.

Meanwhile, Clay Supervisor Damian Ulatowski said the Clay Town Board has not addressed the question, but it should.

“We as a board haven’t talked about it,” he said.

Route 481 runs through the town of Clay into Oswego County with one exit (Exit 12) at Route 31 near Great Northern Mall.

Though the board had not taken up the matter, Ulatowski said he personally had doubts about the DOT’s proposals.

“Am I concerned personally? Of course I am. The options they’re giving us — I don’t know if any of them are the best ones,” he said. “There’s a lot of traffic going up and down I-81. If you put that on the ground or in a tunnel, I don’t know what impact that would have on traffic coming north. It’s a very good question, and I suppose we should address it as a board.”

Ulatowski said he would bring it up with the board at its next work session.

For more information or to voice your opinion about the project, visit thei81challenge.org.

Sarah Hall contributed to the reporting for this story.

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