Another crucial waterfront project is underway. The construction of Ohio Street has begun – a project that will ultimately create a tree-lined parkway between the Inner and Outer Harbors. At the same time, the project will also help to stabilize a destination that has been created between the two harbors, where a series of parks and waterfront amenities have been created. RiverFest Park, along with Father Conway Park, the Buffalo Scholastic Rowing Association, Freight House Landing, and other projects will now have aesthetically pleasing and productive connectivity that will help to further public and private investment along the Buffalo River.
The roadway may be a relatively short path between two critical destinations, but the resulting impact will help to change the face of a significant 1.4 mile stretch between Michigan Avenue and Fuhrmann Boulevard. “Buffalo is on the move and today’s announcement is another great example of the continued progress and redevelopment of Buffalo’s waterfront,” said Mayor Brown. “I am proud of the progress we continue to make along our waterfront. Transforming Ohio Street into a pedestrian-friendly parkway will further strengthen the infrastructure and provide an essential link between Buffalo’s inner and outer harbors.”
The $11.3 million plan will also benefit sites such as Silo City and Mutual Riverfront Park, both of which are already unique waterfront destinations. “This is just the start of another great season of progress,” said Congressman Brian Higgins. “The conversion of Ohio Street into a riverfront parkway is a critical link in the chain connecting the business community and local neighborhoods to the many points of transformation along our waterfront stretching from Canalside to the Outer Harbor. Like the reconstruction of Fuhrmann Boulevard into the Outer Harbor Parkway, this will be a high-impact project turning a crumbling roadway into a destination with many great public features.”
Visitors to the $172 million HarborCenter (Inner Harbor) will soon find an enjoyable route along Ohio Street (by foot, bike or car) to Outer Harbor destinations such as Wilkeson Point, Tifft Nature Preserve, Times Beach and Dug’s Dive (the restaurant opened for the season yesterday). “Building off the success of Canalside (part of a $250 million waterfront revitalization project), I am pleased to see the city begin construction today on this key connector between downtown Buffalo and the Outer Harbor,” said Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Chairman Robert Gioia. “To get to this point on the Ohio Street reconstruction project was a true partnership between state, city and federal governments. Governor Cuomo and ECHDC played a key role by initiating the project and leading the critical planning and design phase. Today we can say we are well on our way towards another important improvement project that will revitalize our waterfront and restore economic growth in Buffalo.”
The project includes:
- Two-way picturesque parkway
- Streetscape lighting and landscaping
- Bike and walking paths, making Ohio Street
- Linking downtown Buffalo and the city’s Outer Harbor
Funding for the Ohio Street and Inner Harbor Infrastructure Improvement Project:
- Federal Highway Administration Funds 8,152,000
- Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation 2,038,000
- City of Buffalo 1,200,000
Ohio Street should be completed by the end of the year, and is expected to be the city’s most complete street ever built.
The attached renderings are not current (May 30, 2013), and show more (or less) of the current project. The images were pulled from The City’s website and are being used to show the direction of the project, not the finalized details.
Lead image: Kennedy, Higgins, Brown, Stepniak