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Katko I-81 town hall

U.S. Rep. John Katko answers a question during an Interstate 81 town hall meeting at Cayuga Community College Monday, Feb. 4. The discussion was moderated by Steve Lynch, who serves as Cayuga County's director of planning and economic development. 

There is a new location for U.S. Rep. John Katko's Interstate 81 town hall meeting in DeWitt Saturday. 

The forum, which was initially planned for DeWitt Town Hall, will now be held at St. Matthew's School, 214 Kinne St., East Syracuse. The event will be held in the school's gymnasium. 

Doors will open at 9:30 a.m. The town hall meeting begins at 10 a.m. The forum is free and open to the public. The moderator will be DeWitt Deputy Supervisor Kerry Mannion. 

Katko's office said the town hall meeting was moved to a new location to "accommodate growing public interest." 

The DeWitt forum will be the second I-81 town hall meeting for Katko this week. He held a town hall meeting in Auburn Monday. 

Katko will hold additional I-81 town hall meetings in the city of Syracuse and town of Salina. 

The town hall meetings seek feedback from residents about the project. The I-81 viaduct in Syracuse reached the end of its useful life and there are three proposals under consideration to replace the elevated highway. 

The alternatives: A street-level community grid; rebuilding the viaduct; and a tunnel-hybrid. 

The state Department of Transportation will release a draft environmental impact statement early this year. The agency will seek feedback through a public comment period and at a hearing in the Syracuse area later this year.

After the comment period and hearing, the state will issue a final environmental impact statement and endorse one of the proposals to replace the viaduct. 

The Federal Highway Administration must approve the report before the project proceeds. 

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