Bound Volume Number


Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-5-2015

Capstone Advisor

Prof. Hubert Brown

Honors Reader

Prof. Randy Wenner

Capstone Major

Broadcast and Digital Journalism

Capstone College

Public Communications

Audio/Visual Component



Interstate 81, 15th ward

Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories



“The I-81 Project: Then and Now” is a documentary regarding the history of Interstate 81 in Syracuse and the ongoing debate regarding the highway’s future in the city. Interstate 81 was built on top of the 15th ward, a neighborhood that was mostly demolished around the time the highway’s bridges were first built in the 1960s. Today, as these bridges reach the age of 50, the New York State Department of Transportation has decided that it is time to replace them. However, several different options are on the table for the new I-81 in Syracuse, including a boulevard replacing the bridges and turning Interstate 481 into the new I-81, building a tunnel underground near the location of the current bridges, constructing a depressed highway along the current viaduct, and rebuilding the bridges, which would need to be wider due to federal regulations. However, there are many factors to consider with each option, and the community remains divided as city residents, area suburbs, elected officials, businesses, and other groups hold varying opinions. Ultimately, there are so many competing interests, so the final decision most likely will not satisfy everyone. This is also due to the highway’s widespread impact on thousands of residents in Central New York as well as travelers through the region.

The documentary can be viewed here:

A corresponding website, including bonus scenes and more information, can be found here:

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Included in

Television Commons



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