Projects Currently Underway to Improve Public Access
BUFFALO, NY – Today Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) toured two sites along the Buffalo waterfront undergoing renovations which will greatly improve the public’s ability to access the water’s edge.
“For decades we have seen nothing but rhetoric and studies on the issue of waterfront development,” said Congressman Higgins. “Today we have more than just dreams for a better Western New York; we have tangible progress which opens up the public gate to this region’s greatest natural asset – our proximity to fresh water.”
Congressman Higgins toured the sites of the Erie Canal Harbor Project and the Outer Harbor Greenbelt Project where work is currently underway.
At the Erie Canal Harbor site 560 feet of new floating docks have been delivered and are being fitted along the Central Wharf. When complete, the docks will provide parking, water and electrical services for up to 40 transient boats. The floating docks were paid for with $378,000 in state funds. A 50 foot wide boardwalk, which will run parallel to the floating docks, will be under construction beginning in July with completion expected this October. The Central Wharf boardwalk, railings, lighting and benches cost approximately $600,000, with about 80 percent of the cost covered by federal transportation funds.
The Outer Harbor Greenbelt runs from the site of the old Pier Restaurant to the south side of the Bell Slip. Work is currently underway to build-up the shoreline, install pedestrian and bicycle paths and provide landscape and green space along the 1.2 mile stretch. The $14 million project includes $640,000 Congressman Higgins secured in federal highway funds, $12 million in New York State Brownfield Redevelopment money he advocated for when he served in the State Assembly and over $900,000 in Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority dollars. This project is also slated to be completed this fall.
“The Buffalo waterfront is no longer an attraction only our grandchildren’s generation can enjoy,” added Higgins. “These sites will be premiere destinations for families, bikers and boaters as soon as next spring. And this is only the beginning of the unlimited potential along our water’s edge.”