Katko to Secretary Pete Buttigieg: The I-81 Viaduct Project Is Critical for CNY, It’s Time to Move Forward


Washington – Following Pete Buttigieg’s confirmation as Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Rep. John Katko (NY-24) today invited the Secretary to tour the I-81 Viaduct in Syracuse and urged his agency to provide an update regarding its consideration of the project.

In July, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) formally submitted a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for replacing the I-81 Viaduct to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Today, in a letter to Secretary Buttigieg, Rep. Katko stressed the urgency of this project and requested an immediate update on the consideration of the DEIS. To allow Secretary Buttigieg to see firsthand the importance of this project to Central New York, Rep. Katko invited him to tour the current site of the I-81 Viaduct.

As Secretary Pete Buttigieg assumes his new position as head of the Department of Transportation, I believe it is critical that he understand how important the I-81 Viaduct project is to Central New York and the surrounding region.” said Rep. Katko. “For our community, this project represents a monumental opportunity to address the immediate safety concerns surrounding the highway, and to create jobs in and around the City of Syracuse. As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I look forward to working with Secretary Buttigieg, as well as other federal, state, and local officials, to move this project forward.”

The full text of Rep. Katko’s letter can be found below:

Dear Secretary Buttigieg,

Congratulations on your recent confirmation as Secretary of Transportation. As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I look forward to working with you on the many diverse challenges facing American communities.

Today, I am writing to bring specific attention to the Interstate 81 (I-81) Viaduct Project in my district in Central New York. As you may know, the I-81 viaduct that runs through the City of Syracuse has reached the end of its design life and is in urgent need of replacement. Last year, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) formally submitted their Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for replacing the I-81 viaduct to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

The I-81 Viaduct Project presents a monumental opportunity for Central New York. In addition to addressing the immediate safety concerns surrounding the condition of the viaduct, this project has the potential to result in significant job creation and economic growth in our community and the entire region. Critically, community leaders, as well as federal, state, and local officials, have all demonstrated a strong commitment to moving this project forward on behalf of Central New York.

As our community awaits further consideration of the DEIS by FHWA, I would like to respectfully request the opportunity to meet with you and discuss the status of NYSDOT’s proposal. Additionally, I would welcome the opportunity to tour the current site of the I-81 viaduct with you so that you can see the importance of this project to our community firsthand.

Thank you for your time and attention to this request. I look forward to your response.