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MAYOR BROWN, CONGRESSMAN HIGGINS OPEN NEWLY REBUILT OHIO STREET

Dec 2, 2014
Press Release
$11.3 million redevelopment project continues to transform Ohio Street into an important parkway linking Buffalo’s inner and outer harbors; City of Buffalo allocated $1.2 million to the project

Buffalo, NY - Mayor Byron Brown and Congressman Brian Higgins officially re-opened a 1.4 mile stretch of Ohio Street today, which continues to undergo an $11.3 million rehabilitation. Ohio Street is now operational, with nearly 70% of the work completed.  The remainder of the project will be completed in spring 2015.

“Having state-of-the-art infrastructure is a key focus for any successful city and the re-opening of the Ohio Street helps pave the way for increased economic growth and an improved quality of life along Buffalo’s waterfront,” said Mayor Brown, noting the city’s allocation of $1.2 million to this project.  “This targeted and strategic investment in Ohio Street will provide city residents and visitors with a pedestrian-friendly parkway and an essential link between Buffalo’s inner and outer harbors.”

"Ohio Street serves as the land bridge between Canalside and the Outer Harbor, providing a critical link between waterfront destinations and local neighborhoods," said Congressman Higgins.  "The reopening of this roadway reopens new opportunity and continued momentum for our city and spots along the water's edge."

The $11.3 million Ohio Street redevelopment project, in compliance with the city’s Complete Streets ordinance, is now operational and 70% complete.  The renovation project included:

  • A new two-lane roadway, linking Buffalo’s inner and outer harbors
  • Within the “active industrial” section (NY Route 5 to Louisiana Street), a center-turn lane was added to facilitate truck movements at driveways and intersections
  • On-street parking was added along a portion of the “neighborhood” section due to the parking demand at Riverfest Park, Father Conway Park and the Boat Launch facility.
  • Work continues on several newly landscaped parks, including at the former Ohio Basin In-let (aka Dead Creek) and Louisiana Street intersection, with several others coordinated for future work.
  • New coordinated traffic signals and a pedestrian-activated crosswalk signal are currently being installed.  Work is expected to conclude by early 2015.
  • A multi-use bike and walking pathway is coming, along with new LED street lighting.  The trees, crosswalks, interpretive elements and signage are scheduled for 2015 completion.

National Grid invested approximately $4.2 million to install new underground duct work and cabling that will meet current customer needs and allow for easy access to accomodate future growth, while examining another $10-12 million in additional investment in that corridor.

"The integrated infrastructure planning for the Ohio Street project should become a model for projects like this going forward," said Dennis Elsenbeck, regional director for National Grid.  "By collaborating early in the design process with the City of Buffalo and Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation, we have been able to invest in infrastructure that should allow us to meet any growth in energy that comes from continued development in this area." 

The project complements other recent developments along the downtown waterfront, including Canalside, part of a $250 million waterfront revitalization project, and the $200 million HARBORcenter project that stemmed from Mayor Brown’s plan to transform a surface parking lot near the downtown waterfront into a major job-generating development project.

The Ohio Street reconstruction project is a great example of a strong partnership between state, city and federal governments.  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

            Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation                                    2,038,000

            City of Buffalo                                                                                   1,200,000

            GRAND TOTAL                                                                              $11,390,000

 

Since 2006, Mayor Brown has focused on infrastructure improvements to spur economic development and job growth. Ohio Street is one of the city’s most complete streets ever built. 

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