Work to remake Niagara Street from Niagara Square to the Peace Bridge is expected to be underway this spring. Planning to extend the work from Porter Avenue to Ontario Street is also moving forward. The City is currently seeking bids from engineering firms to plan, design, oversee construction, and inspect of the streetscape and safety improvement work. This final section was awarded $8.6 million in 2013 through the Surface Transportation Environment and Planning Cooperative Research Program (STEP).
The work from Porter to Ontario is the final piece necessary for the complete conversion of Niagara Street from an outdated four-lane roadway to a “complete street” configured three-lane facility fully in context with the emerging redevelopment of the Niagara Street community.
Enhancements include ADA-compliant crosswalks and ramps, countdown timers, designated bicycle lanes, landscaping, street lighting and new sidewalks. Currently programmed sections in the rest of the corridor include the Niagara Street Gateway project (Niagara Square to Virginia) and locally funded projects (Virginia to Porter).
According to bid documents, the scope of the project includes:
• Milling/resurfacing and restriping the street converting the current four-lane section to a three-lane section that includes bicycle lanes
• Construction of “curb bump-outs” at designated intersections
• Installation of ADA compliant ramps and crosswalks
• Modernization of the existing traffic signal system that incorporates the use of pedestrian “countdown” timers and vehicle detection “pucks”
• Improved landscaping and street lighting
• Public art
The Buffalo Sewer Authority (BSA) is also contributing to the project, as this project is a proposed element within the BSA’s Phase 1 Green Infrastructure Plan. Therefore, the project is aiming to utilize aesthetically pleasing green infrastructure to control/capture 100 percent of the 90th percentile storm for the entire street drainage shed. The project designer is being asked to present options for utilizing sustainable stormwater landscape infrastructure to achieve the goals of the Niagara River Greenway Plan, the artistic design of stormwater conveyance and management landscapes; and public education of the Great Lakes, Seaway Trail and Niagara River.
Bids for the design and oversight work are due March 9.