Statement by Congressman Brian Higgins on Removal of the Buffalo Skyway
With infrastructure prioritized in remarks by both the Governor and the President-elect today, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) expressed great optimism about continued progress toward removal of the Buffalo Skyway, opening up access and connectivity to the Buffalo waterfront.
Higgins said, “Governor Cuomo today re-affirmed his commitment to ending decades of inaction to finally tear down the Skyway. Tonight, President-elect Biden will lay out a vision for economic recovery, including an investment in infrastructure, something long overdue for which I have repeatedly advocated. In this tumultuous time for our community and country, this is alignment for the progress we need. Infrastructure must be a key component of recovery - restoring jobs, driving economic development and lifting up communities.”
The New York State Department of Transportation, in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), has completed the Project Scoping Report for removal of the Buffalo Skyway. The final environmental impact statement (EIS) is currently underway and slated to be published in the next few months. The entire environmental review process is scheduled to be complete by the end of the summer.
Last year Higgins endorsed the “Boulevard Plan” outlined in the scoping report. Under this option, the Buffalo Skyway is removed between Church Street and Tifft Street and a new Boulevard is created connecting NYS Route 5 to the I-190 along Tifft Street. The plan would also provide new, safe pedestrian and bicycle access between South Buffalo, West Seneca and the Outer Harbor.
Congressman Higgins has spent well over a decade pushing for removal of the Buffalo Skyway which was originally built in 1955 to accommodate freight shipments in Buffalo’s once-bustling port. The elevated highway that takes people up and away from the city and waterfront has outlived its useful life and no longer meets today’s transportation safety standards.