- Associated Press - Thursday, January 19, 2017

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - New York state transportation officials have hired an international engineering firm to examine options for replacing the section of Interstate 81 that cuts through Syracuse.

The Post-Standard reports (https://bit.ly/2k4mWfN ) the Department of Transportation hired WSP/Parsons Brinckerhoff, a Montreal-based firm whose roots date back to designing New York City’s original subway system.

DOT officials say the company will be paid about $2 million to review the options for replacing a 1.4-mile elevated stretch of I-81 where it passes through downtown Syracuse.

Those options include building a wider version or demolishing the highway and replacing it with a boulevard layout and sending through traffic around the city.

A third option - a tunnel - was dismissed last fall by DOT officials. But after lobbying by tunnel advocates, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced recently that the tunnel option would also be considered.

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