South Buffalo is getting another big boost in the form of infrastructure improvements. This time it’s a $5 million infrastructure improvement includes the rehabilitation of the Warren Spahn Bridge and streetscape improvements to Abbott Road. Mayor Byron W. Brown, State Senator Timothy Kennedy, and South District Council Member Christopher Scanlon made the announcement, stating that funding is part of last year’s State Budget.
“I am extremely pleased to be able to announce the scope of yet another milestone project that continues the remarkable revitalization in Buffalo,” said Mayor Brown. “I’m grateful to Governor Andrew Cuomo, the State Department of Transportation and our State Legislators for delivering the funding for this important design project. We’re happy to unveil the scope of the first phase of this project today which continues my plan to transform all City neighborhoods into vibrant communities that support local businesses, foster growth and have ripple effects that will keep our City moving forward for decades to come.”
$2 million will be dedicated to the removal and replacement of the Warren Spahn Bridge’s deck and structural supports, sidewalks and railings. The bridge, which traverses Cazenovia Creek, is listed on uglybridges.com. The website “highlights the ‘ugly’ condition of our nation’s bridges thanks to years of neglect and deferred maintenance.”
$3 million will be dedicated to Abbott Road improvements (from Potters to Southside), and will include ADA accessible ramps, new lighting and street amenities (benches, landscaping, etc). There is a healthy business strip between this distance, including some great restaurants such as Conlon’s and Doc Sullivan’s. The stretch is also home to the Buffalo Irish Center. It’s too bad that the City can’t put a roundabout at the corner of Abbott and Southside Parkway – the intersection looks as if it could benefit from one. There is no mention of bike sharrows, or whether they will replace the ghastly cobra neck lamp standards. The street is also in desperate need of trees.
The design process is currently underway. Construction on the first phase is scheduled to begin in 2018, and the City will continue to evaluate the additional work that is required on the next part of the Abbott Road reconstruction.
“Investing in our local infrastructure is the lifeblood to our economy, and as we celebrate today’s announcement, we’re grateful to the Mayor for directing his attention to this highly trafficked roadway,” said Senator Kennedy. “A strong transportation structure is critical to attracting new jobs and businesses, and through the city and state’s continued commitment, we’re working to enhance options for drivers and streamline access to these communities.”
“Today’s announcement is the culmination of years of work,” said Council Member Scanlon. “The $2 million in funding for Warren Spahn bridge complements the nearly $3 million invested in Cazenovia Park over the past 5 years, including the resurfacing of the tennis and basketball courts, complete mill and overlay of Warren Spahn Parkway, structural work on the casino and the rehabilitation of the Shelter House.”
He continued, “Abbott Road has been a major priority for me since taking office in 2012. Working closely with Mayor Byron Brown and the Department of Public Works I commissioned a feasibility study to evaluate the conditions of Abbott Road and develop alternative plans for a full streetscape design. Recognizing that public input is key in making sure the best alternative was selected, the feasibility study was presented at a public meeting in August of 2016 where nearly 100 residents provided written feedback. The residents and business owners of South Buffalo make significant investments in the community, with matching government investment, I’m confident South Buffalo will be one of the best places in the city to live, raise a family, and do business.”