The Syracuse Housing Authority Present their Concerns for Residents at the I-81 Viaduct Project Public Hearing

The Syracuse Housing Authority has reviewed the various “impact statements” regarding Interstate 81 and residents of Syracuse housing Authority properties. In response to statements and analysis provided by NYSDOT and Environmental Justice (EJ) the SHA has made recommendations reflected in 6 points they’re expressing concern over.

As a result, a List of Requested Mitigations and Measures to Minimize Community Impacts was generated. The Syracuse Housing Authority information was presented by Executive Director, William Simmons at the public hearing held August 18, 2021 at the OnCenter. The following link SHA NYSDOT I 81 Comments on DEI provides additional details.

August 18, 2021

Mark Frechette, P.E.
Project Director New York State Department of Transportation, Region 3
333 East Washington Street
Syracuse, NY 13202

RE: The I-81 Viaduct Project Public Hearings for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement

The Syracuse Housing Authority (“SHA”) has reviewed the NYSDOT’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (“DEIS”) and the environmental justice (EJ) analysis prepared for the I-81 Viaduct Project that has chosen the Community Grid Alternative.

Although SHA is in support of the community grid alternative there are some concerns that SHA has regarding the impact that the construction phase of the project will have on our residents, our operations and our employees. SHA residents are part of an environmental justice population and therefore NYSDOT must demonstrate that SHA residents would not be subjected to a disproportionality high level of adverse effects, in accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 12898 and FHWA Order 6640.23. There are over 500 residents that live in Pioneer Homes immediately adjacent to the viaduct and about 300 residents that live in Toomey Abbott Towers.

In the NYSDOT’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), the Table 4-7 titled “Measures to Minimize Community Impacts” does an adequate job of assessing the critical technical areas that need to be considered throughout deconstruction and construction of the project. However, it does not address how to help residents with the health impacts they may encounter throughout the project. Through recent meetings with residents, comments made during door-to-door visits and other comments received, SHA has drafted the following recommendations for protecting the health and well-being of SHA residents during the I-81 Viaduct project:

    1. Access to health services
    2. Access to mental health resources
    3. Air quality monitoring and abatement
    4. Sound monitoring and abatement
    5. An Environmental Health Registry
    6. Voluntary Housing Vouchers for Residents

Click on SHA NYSDOT I 81 Comments on DEIS to download