SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) –With interstate 81 as a backdrop, some community members gathered to share why they want more than just a grid.
“The grid, it’s a great idea, but that doesn’t change the fact of the traffic doesn’t change the fact of having a turnabout at a school,” said community member Charles Garland. “It doesn’t change the fact that you have towns, businesses, industry that were built up solely around I-81.”
What Garland would like to see, is an idea that’s been shared previously – a skybridge that would also have a grid. It would also pay tribute to a prominent figure in history, and be named The Harriet Tubman Memorial Freedom Bridge.
“The beautiful thing about it, it will be 70 feet high, reaching to the north star. At night, it will be lit up, heading to our neighbor up north in Canada,” Garland explained.
Tubman’s relatives joined garland. Although they live in Auburn, they welcome this alternative.
“This bridge is going to be up and over and kind of eliminate some of the high traffic and congestion and emissions,” said Karen Johnson Walker, Tubman’s great great great grand niece.
Lanessa Owens-Chaplin is Project Counsel for the New York Civil Liberties Union and meets regularly with neighbors who live nearby the viaduct.
“We have heard complaints about children with asthma, parents with asthma and other health issues that really want this viaduct gone,” Owens-Chaplin explained.
Meanwhile supporters of the bridge option hope their alternative will be...
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