Thursday, December 1 2022

The judge bought threadbare arguments

For the editor:

Re “State judge orders temporary halt to reconstruction of I-81 in Syracuse(November 10, 2022):

So a new dark money funded group is rising to sue to block the Interstate 81 plan to move forward? Why? Because the state and federal government process was flawed? How? Because he didn’t decide to dig a tunnel? Build the Harriet Tubman Skyway? Rebuild the existing viaduct? Giving the owners of the failing Destiny USA mall and failing Northside hotels what they wanted?

This project will never start until a piece of the old viaduct crashes into the street below. And now what?

Pierre Lotto

Fayetteville

Suddenly there is a chance to redesign the city

For the editor:

As it concerns “State Judge Orders Temporary Halt to Reconstruction of I-81 in Syracuse”, the strategy of trying to change a result after the fact in court may not have worked to keep Donald Trump in the White House, it could pay off for opponents of Community Grid.

After more than a decade of buying billboards and posting false information on social media, opponents of replacing the I-81 overpass with a community network found a judge who granted a restraining order to stop work on the project until the debates are held in January.

If the judge sides with the grid opponents in January and overturns the decision record and environmental impact statement, then what? Should the state restart the environmental review process? So what, another 10 years of design? Would he just order NYSDOT to build a replacement overpass? NYSDOT has previously argued that a new overpass would cost more than the community network and would require the demolition of up to 24 buildings. We would therefore see additional costs for projects in addition to the delays imposed by legal proceedings.

New York State has had a unique opportunity to redesign Syracuse’s road system, and it may only take a judge a few months to decide what it looks like, regardless of what traffic engineers say. Let’s hope it won’t go in that direction but having granted “Renew 81″ its injunction, I have no more hope.

Michael J. Gallagher

Corland

ALSO OF OPINION:

I-81 Planners Still Can’t Answer DeWitt Residents’ ‘Most Basic Questions’ (Your Letters)

DeWitt’s Participation in Lawsuit to Stop I-81 Community Network Frivolous, Unnecessary (Your Letters)

The ultimate I-81 trial is another skirmish in the culture war (Your letters)

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