The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) plans to issue five separate contracts, worth a total of $800 million, for the I-81 project in Syracuse.
Project director Mark Frechette said at an Oct. 7 news conference that the project team will begin working on contractor solicitations to give local contractors the opportunity to bid on the significant amount of work.
He said the team will begin bringing contractors on board in 2022.
NYDOT officials have received more than 3,000 comments from the community expressing concerns and ideas for the I-81 project. Frechette said that the comments and feedback from the community have guided the project and enabled the team to improve it ahead of the construction phase, CNY Central reported.
NYDOT says all comments are credible and will be fully analyzed.
Frechette shared that the comment period will end on Oct. 14. “It’s time for us to start looking at what comes next.”
A final environmental impact statement will be drafted including any engineering changes and any new environmental analysis. The public will then have an opportunity to review and comment.
Frechette said the team is working with the city, the community, and the Urban Jobs Task Force to complete SEP-14 applications required by the Federal Highway Administration. The applications will allow the inclusion of local hiring language within the contracts.
He says many local groups are advocating for local jobs and the team is expecting to work out the details before reaching the construction phase.