Congressman Brian Higgins

Representing the 26th District of NEW YORK
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Mayor Brown, Congressman Higgins Announce That The $11.3 Million Makeover For Ohio Street Is One Step Closer To Construction

May 30, 2013
Press Release
City Council approves Mayor Brown’s recommendation to enter into a funding agreement that will allow the city to transform a stretch of Ohio Street into a tree-lined parkway linking Buffalo’s inner and outer harbors; City of Buffalo allocates $1.2 million to the project
An $11.3 million plan to turn Ohio Street into a tree-lined parkway linking Buffalo’s inner and outer harbors continues to gain momentum.  Today, Mayor Byron Brown was joined by Congressman Brian Higgins to announce that his recommendation to enter into a funding agreement with the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation and the New York State Department of Transportation was approved by the City Council, enabling the city to move forward with the construction phase of a 1.4 mile stretch of Ohio Street, between Michigan Avenue and Fuhrmann Boulevard.
 
“Today’s announcement is another example that the redevelopment of Buffalo’s waterfront continues to progress and expand,” said Mayor Brown.  “I am pleased with the continued progress that is being made along our waterfront.  The reconstruction of Ohio Street into a pedestrian-friendly parkway will further strengthen the infrastructure and provide an essential link between Buffalo’s inner and outer harbors.”
 
“We’ve learned through the transformation of Fuhrmann Boulevard into the Outer Harbor Parkway how new and welcoming infrastructure with attractive landscape features and thoughtful planning can literally provide a path to better public access,” said Congressman Higgins.  “When the federal government wanted to pull back critical resources, we fought to have millions stay here in Western New York to be dedicated to this project.  Now with the transformation of Ohio Street into a riverfront parkway we not only connect various destination points along our waterfront, we also connect the community with the waterfront it deserves.”
 
“This project is a great example of Governor Cuomo’s vision of driving private development by providing infrastructure and access along all three of Buffalo’s waterfronts; the inner harbor, the outer harbor, and here on the Buffalo River,” said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia. “The continued development of the Ohio Street corridor is clear evidence of the synergy that has emerged between the local, state and federal governments in transforming the new Buffalo.”
 
The project calls for a two-way picturesque parkway with streetscape lighting and landscaping along with bike and walking paths, making Ohio Street more accessible, while linking downtown Buffalo and the city’s Outer Harbor.  The project also complements other recent developments along the downtown waterfront, including Canalside, part of a $250 million waterfront revitalization project, and the quarter billion dollars in new private investment that stemmed from Mayor Brown’s plan to transform two surface parking lots near the downtown waterfront into two major development projects.
Following are the estimated costs and funding sources for the Ohio Street and Inner Harbor Infrastructure Improvement Project:
 
Federal Highway Administration Funds                                           8,152,000
ECHDC (NYPA Relicensing Agreement) – local match                 2,038,000
City of Buffalo                                                                               1,200,000
GRAND TOTAL                                                                        $11,390,000
 
The ECHDC, in cooperation with City, is now finalizing the detail design on the project after holding several public meetings. The bid will go out by the end of July and construction is expected to start by this Fall, with anticipated completion by Summer/2015.  Once finished, Ohio Street is expected to become one of the city’s most complete streets ever built.
 
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