Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Youngest Member of Common Council Says I-81 Needs to Reopen Before NCAA Tournament

At today's Common Council study session, Matt Rayo (above) sat quietly as he and his fellow Common Councilors unanimously passed motions for next week's meeting. Rayo seems uninterested but that's just his laid back demeanor.

When Rayo starts talking, you realize this job means something to him. He might have been elected the youngest Common Councilor because of his Democratic opponent's big mistake, but Rayo seems to know this city.

And he says he's concerned about the closed section of I-81 reopening in time for March Madness.

The Carrier Dome is scheduled to host the Sweet Sixteen and the Elite Eight, starting on Thursday, March 25th. The first game tips of at 7:10 p.m., right after rush hour. Rayo says people are going to have a tough time getting to the game.

"We're expecting a lot of visitors in the next few weeks for the NCAA tournament," Rayo said at City Hall today. "We can't have I-81 closed any longer than it has been."

According to the Department of Transportation, the closed section of 1-81 affects more than 100,000 drivers everyday. Rayo says people commuting from downtown Syracuse to the suburbs are going face traffic jams and longer commutes on that Thursday.

But, Rayo says he supports Mayor Stephanie Miner's refusal to sign a blank check to fix the problem.

"Obviously, there's been a lot of back and forth between the city and the state," Rayo said. "I'm happy to see the Mayor is taking steps to get it done. I do think we'll get it done in a timely manner."

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