Thu July 4, 2013
Regional Coverage

Sailing through history

The Lois McClure on Lake Champlain.
Sarah Harris/Innovation Trail

The Lois McClure is a replica of an 1862 canal schooner that's also a floating museum. This summer she's commemorating 19th century transportation history by traveling from Lake Champlain, across the canal system to Buffalo, down the St. Lawrence river to Montreal, and back again.

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Fri June 28, 2013

Port of Oswego shifts its business from water to land

Freight moved by rail and truck has risen to make up half of the Port of Oswego's business.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Jonathan Daniels warns it's about to get real loud just as a fork lift drops a huge block of aluminum. Sure enough, the block creates a thud as the forklift goes back to pick up another piece.

Daniels, the executive director of the Port of Oswego, is making his rounds. Despite the port's prime real estate at the end of the Oswego Canal and the first deep water port on Lake Ontario for ships coming in from the St. Lawrence Seaway, there aren't any ships docked here this day.

But workers are still busy. Inside a warehouse, another crew is filling up a railcar with grain.

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Tue June 25, 2013
Erie Canal

Barge traffic increases along Erie Canal

Tugboat Margot engineer Lee Palmateer and deck hand Kenson Delacruz (background) dock a barge along the Oswego Canal.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

New York's Erie Canal is reviving its history to again be an economic corridor for commercial shipping through upstate New York — after decades of being mostly used by recreational boats.

Shipping from Canada is expected to lead to a level of commercial traffic not seen in decades.

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Tue June 11, 2013

Syracuse lawmakers take up the I-81 debate

Arleen Fordock told the Syracuse Common Council I-81 should be rebuilt through downtown, but wider.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Just a handful of Syracuse residents turned up to the Common Council's first public hearing on the lengthy and divisive debate over the future of Interstate 81 through the city's core.

Previous public forums hosted by transportation planners brought out hundreds of people and generated an equal number of comments and different opinions.

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Fri May 31, 2013

Maffei wants more creative options for I-81's future in Syracuse

Rep. Dan Maffei, D-DeWitt, is calling for more creative options for I-81 future through downtown Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse-area Rep. Dan Maffei has weighed in on the future of Interstate 81 through the city’s downtown. The Democrat, from suburban DeWitt, is calling for more creative options than the ones currently on the table.

Transportation planners last week unveiled the two options (whittled down from five) they’ve deemed most feasible for the aging Interstate 81: rebuilding the elevated highway, or rerouting it and putting an urban boulevard in its place.

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Wed May 22, 2013

Options narrow, opinions widen on I-81's future through Syracuse

Interstate 81 is elevated for 1.4 miles through downtown Syracuse.
Zack Seward WXXI

Transportation planners have narrowed the future of Interstate 81’s path through downtown Syracuse down to two likely options: rebuild, or re-route.

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Tue May 7, 2013

20 year high expected for commercial traffic on canals

Boats sit along the Erie Canal in upstate New York.
J. Stephen Conn via Flickr

While often seen as an economic lifeline of another era, New York's canals are poised to have a big year for moving freight; almost two centuries after goods were first transported on the upstate New York waterway.

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Fri March 8, 2013
Politics and Government

Some Southern Tier air traffic towers facing closure

The regional airports in Ithaca and Binghamton would both lose their air traffic controllers if federal budget cuts known as sequestration take full effect. The first round of closures begins April 7.

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Fri February 8, 2013
Regional Coverage

Businesses bypassed by new I-81 connector road have mixed reactions

Will Farr, of Farr Auto Sales, says the new connector road has alleviated traffic along Route 342 - and that helps customers get in and out of his lot more efficiently.
Credit Joanna Richards

Until recently, the only way to drive between Route 11 and Interstate 81 near Fort Drum was a two-lane road, Route 342. As the Army base grew, local businesses flocked there to serve the increasing traffic. But the state built an $87 million bypass to ease traffic and give military vehicles a direct route to Fort Drum’s main gate. I-781, as it’s known, opened last December. Local shop owners have had mixed reactions to the new road.

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Wed January 23, 2013
Regional Coverage

Syracuse's effort to connect The Hill to downtown continues

The first phase of the Connective Corridor was completed in 2012 and includes a bike lane.
Credit Courtesy Connective Corridor

Red modern-looking street lamps, bright green bike lanes and smoothly paved roadways now stretch from Syracuse University to the edge of the city's downtown.

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Mon December 31, 2012
Politics and Government

"Redshirt sophomore" Maffei ready to return to Congress

Third Way Flickr

Members of the 113th Congress will be sworn in January 3 -- and part of the new Congress will be a familiar face returning to Washington to represent the Syracuse area in a redistricted seat.

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Mon December 17, 2012
Regional Coverage

Thruway cancels plans to raise tolls on trucks

The New York Thruway Authority has canceled plans to raise tolls.
Credit Jacob Enos / Flickr

Updated: Tues. 2:55 p.m. with correction.

The New York Thruway Authority has rescinded a controversial 45 percent truck toll hike proposal, saying it intends to cut costs instead.

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Wed December 12, 2012
The Upstate Economy

Amtrak to take over new tracks in Albany area

The Northeast rail corridor will see shorter travel times and be more reliable. Through a new 25-year lease, Amtrak has taken control of a busy stretch of track leading to the capital region.

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Thu December 6, 2012
Regional Coverage

Fort Drum connector road to I-81 opens

The highway project that creates a direct connection between Interstate 81 and Fort Drum's main gate opened Thursday.

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Thu September 6, 2012

Fracking will bring heavy truck traffic, but towns are ready

A tanker trucks transports water for hydrofracking operations in Susquehanna County, Pa.
Marie Cusick WMHT

Transporting the millions of gallons of water, as well as equipment, sand, and other materials needed to hydraulically fracture a natural gas well requires quite a few truck trips, to put it mildly.

One well site could require up to 3,399 one-way truck trips [PDF], according to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation's 2011 draft environmental impact statement (dSGEIS) on hydrofracking.

All those trips by heavy trucks can quickly beat up and wear out roads if they're not built to handle it.

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Thu May 10, 2012

Sticky notes and surveys pave the way for I-81's future in Syracuse

The I-81 Challenge held its second public meeting Wednesday. Planning officials want the public to help determine the future of Interstate 81 in Syracuse.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The dozens of sticky notes mean the jury is still out.

The tabs of paper were posted next to five options Wednesday afternoon. Each represents a different future for the stretch of Interstate 81 that runs through downtown Syracuse.

Transportation planners from the I-81 Challenge began a second round of community meetings Wednesday. The public input they gather will help decide the aging highway's fate.

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