Congressman Brian Higgins joined New York Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Regional Director Darrell F. Kaminski to detail work underway at Union Ship Canal, the latest in a series of projects along Buffalo's Outer Harbor.
For decades the potential along Buffalo's Outer Harbor remained untapped, the infrastructure remained unnavigable and the public and private sectors remained uninterested in this prime section of Buffalo's waterfront," said Congressman Brian Higgins. "Today, with the new Outer Harbor Parkway, this Union Ship Canal park and numerous other new destination points along the water's edge we are creating an exciting place that is driving people and activity to our waterfront."
Construction at Union Ship Canal is scheduled for completion at the end of this year. The project, administered by the NYSDOT, is funded with $2 million in federal dollars provided through the Recovery Act. Once complete the site will feature an ADA compliant boardwalk and promenade area, cobblestone paths, landscaping, benches, decorative railings and lighting, and markers that will give visitors insight into the site's industrial history.
The project at Union Ship Canal is one of several node projects planned for during the construction of the Outer Harbor Parkway and sits adjacent to the Ship Canal Commons brownfield transformation project.
Below is a summary of pocket-parks and public spaces recently completed or under construction along the Fuhrmann Boulevard, Outer Harbor stretch:
Ship Canal Commons
- Over $9 million project completed in October of 2011
- 22-acre public park on the site which was previously home to the Hanna Furnace iron smelting facility
- Environmental restoration project now features over 400 trees, picnic areas, a foot bridge across Union Ship Canal and bike and hiking trails connecting the Outer Harbor with Tifft Nature Preserve and the Seaway Trail
Gallagher Beach / Times Beach
- Total project cost $1.4 million in federal funding includes creation of a pavilion and picnic area at Gallagher Beach and construction of a boardwalk and decorative signage.
- Completed: May 2012
Industrial Heritage Trail & Tifft Street Pier
- Total project cost $4.2 million (federal funding with a city match)
- Includes construction of a pier at Tifft, a pier at Lake Kirsty and interesting interpretative elements connecting the area with our industrial past.
- Construction currently underway, set for completion in 2013
Outer Harbor Parcel
- $3.3 million project funded with NYPA Relicensing Agreement Proceeds
- Adjacent to Times Beach on a portion of the 21 acres of property comprised of land previously used by NYPA for storage of the ice boom and an additional property formerly owned by Cargill
- Project to include shoreline stabilization, unique landscape features, ADA compliant natural features, wind sculptures, a comfort station and pedestrian trails
- In addition to the public facilities, a portion of the site will be made shovel ready for future private development
- Construction set to begin September 2012 and completed by next summer.