Brian has long believed in a simple formula for waterfront development: remove the barriers to public access and provide high-quality public space along the water’s edge, and economic growth and development will follow. In 2005 he led the charge to secure a $279 million hydropower relicensing settlement from the New York Power Authority, which is funding much of the work at the Inner Harbor, and fought for the creation of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, which is directing the improvements. The past several years have seen an unprecedented transformation at Canalside and the next several years promise equally stunning changes at the Outer Harbor, along Niagara Falls’ waterfront with the partial removal of the Robert Moses Parkway, and in the Tonawandas.
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The $5 million East Canal public space stretching between Washington and Main streets in Buffalo is under construction with a December 2013 completion date. The East Canal project will create an outdoor public space that will feature fountains, seating and a tree grove. It is located just south of One Canalside – the former Donovan State Office Building – which is currently being renovated into office and hotel space. Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy ceremonially broke ground with local officials on the latest components of the Canalside development today.
Today, in his Washington, DC office, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) met with U.S. Army Corps Buffalo District Commander Lieutenant Colonel Owen Beaudoin as well as Army Corp planning and project management staff to discuss plans recently announced by the Army Corps to fence-off access to Squaw Island Pier. During the meeting the Army Corp agreed to reverse their decision and work with Congressman Higgins to maintain public access to the site.
Congressman Brian Higgins is saying “not so fast” to a federal agency planning to limit waterfront access in Buffalo. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently announced plans to fence off Squaw Island fishing pier, a popular waterfront access point for local fishing enthusiasts. Congressman Higgins raises formal objections to efforts to restrict access to the site in a letter to the Buffalo Commander.
This week marks the annual tradition of removing the ice boom from the Niagara River, a sign of spring, but this year also a sign of progress for Buffalo’s waterfront. An agreement in the New York Power Authority (NYPA) relicensing settlement provided a new home for the ice boom, formerly stored on Buffalo’s Outer Harbor which has resulted in two new public waterfront parks.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) expressed shock and disappointment upon learning of plans by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to “postpone” the 2013 National Veterans Golden Age Games in Buffalo, NY. Higgins is urging the VA Secretary to reconsider and proceed with the event, titled Warriors on the Waterfront scheduled for May 30 through June 4, 2013.