Third contract awarded in I-81 Viaduct project

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The third construction contract in the I-81 project was awarded to Salt City Constructors LLC on Thursday, May 16.

This award is the third of eight in the project. The nearly $219 million project will begin the reconstruction of streets in the Inner Harbor and Syracuse’s northside and will build on the construction already underway at the northern and southern interchanges of Interstates 81 and 481. 

The project will focus on consolidating multiple on-ramps along I-81 southbound to one new on-ramp that connects with future Business Loop (BL) 81 southbound. Work includes new and improved southbound interchanges at North Clinton and Bear Streets, along future BL 81, creating a gateway to Syracuse’s northside and allowing for safer access to businesses and residences.

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Also, North Clinton Street will be reconstructed from Bear Street to Genant Drive and will include new pavement, sidewalks on each side, and curbside parking. The new tree-lined North Clinton Street will provide shared-use paths from Court Street south to the intersection of Genant Drive.

Contract three will also enhance safety and mobility for motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists, with the replacement of three bridges connecting Syracuse’s northside to the Inner Harbor. The Bear, Court, and Spencer Street bridges will be replaced with wider structures that include sidewalks and will fit over the expanded future BL 81. A shared use path will also be included on the Court and Spencer Street bridges.   

Future of 81

Additional project features include:

  • Installation of curb bump-outs to shorten pedestrian crossing distances.  
  • Nearly 800 new trees, decorative street lighting and new traffic signals.
  • Pedestrian improvements along much of Bear Street connecting the northside to the Empire State Trail.
  • Improvements to the interchange of I-690 eastbound with Bear Street, providing a more efficient and safe connection.

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