The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) is holding three public information meetings regarding the reconstruction of Ohio Street
in Buffalo. The first meeting, scheduled from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 30 at the 1st Ward Community Center, will discuss the project in the context of the larger neighborhood and planned projects, describe the key elements of the proposed roadway, and provide the design and construction schedules. It will also gather input from residents, commuters and area businesses.
The reconstruction of Ohio Street as a landscaped waterfront arterial will connect the burgeoning Canalside development with the Cobblestone District and First Ward neighborhood, linking key areas along Buffalo's re-emerging Buffalo River. The $11 million project will also connect several recently constructed and planned development projects, including Riverfest Park, the Buffalo Scholastic Rowing Association Boathouse and Silo City.
The Ohio Street and Inner Harbor Infrastructure Improvements project includes a 1.5-mile stretch of roadway, extending from N.Y. Route 5 to Michigan Avenue, and trailway corridors along Michigan Avenue and Perry Street, as well as along the Buffalo River. The full-depth of the reconstruction of Ohio Street will provide for a new two-lane roadway, with a center-turn lane south of the Ohio Street Bridge. A multi-use pathway and sidewalk will be included, as well as new street lighting, trees, crosswalks, and wayfinding signage (Industrial Heritage Trail and Greenway Trails). Storm drainage will be completely replaced, and where possible, innovative stormwater treatments will be used to reduce environmental impacts.
The reconstruction of Ohio Street was included in the May 2006 Southtowns Connector/Buffalo Outer Harbor Project. In 2011, the ECHDC began working with several business owners in the First Ward community and Cobblestone District to review the 2006 preliminary plans and make recommendations for the current Ohio Street project. A Concept Masterplan, using the May 2006 plans as a base and recognizing recent developments within the Project Area, was developed as the basis for this project.