In May, we got word that four Inner Harbor streets are to be restored. As planned, ground was broken on the site today by Mayor Byron Brown and Congressman Brian Higgins to kick off construction that is scheduled to be completed next August.
Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Higgins managed to secure $3.8 million in federal funds, which includes $2.3 million in federal stimulus money for the project that will be overseen by the City’s Department of Public Works. The federal funds will see a 5 percent match by the City.
To complete the project, the City of Buffalo has hired Cerrone Construction and DiDonato Associates, whose bids came in under budget. Once completed, the two companies will have restored the following four cobblestone streets: Perry, Hanover, Lloyd, and Prime. They will install granite curbs, traffic signals, street lights, exposed aggregate concrete sidewalks, and landscaping. Close attention will be paid to closely match the original street layout, and original cobblestones will be used.
(DPW Commissioner Stempniak and Mayor Brown with the proposed layout for the Inner Harbor Streets.)
Lloyd and Prime Streets will accomodate two-way traffic, while Hanover and Perry will provide one-way traffic.
Higgins has been pleased with the progress on the Buffalo waterfront, saying, “In the last three years, more work has been done than in the previous 46 years.”
Higgins noted that the restoration has brought a new tax base to downtown Buffalo. He also said that rebuilding the Inner Harbor streets is the first step to building a bridge that will connect the Outer and Inner Harbors, “an important step in replacing the Skyway.”
(Byron Brown and Brian Higgins break ground.)
As for overall waterfront progress, Higgins offered, “So far there have been no grand slams, but we’ve been hitting a lot of singles.”
Department of Public Works commissioner Steve Stempniak is looking forward to the progress on the waterfront, and hopes to see both historical restoration and modern development working hand-in-hand to revitalize the area. Existing sewer and water lines will be reconfigured to make future development easier.