On October 29, a number of public officials announced the opening of the mile-long Shoreline Trail Extension in Lackawanna, which was underway throughout the course of the summer. According to Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, the project is the just tip of the iceberg when it comes to developing 150 acres of the former Bethlehem Steel site.
“Today we opened the Shoreline Trail Extension and began constructing a new public road to spur development at the 150 acres of the site we acquired last year,” stated Poloncarz, regarding the ribbon cutting for the trail. “This is just the beginning of development on the site of the former Bethlehem Steel complex. Much more will come soon.”
The Shoreline Trail is a continuous multi-use pathway along Lake Erie and the Niagara River, within both Erie and Niagara Counties.
Poloncarz, who is a Lackawanna native, feels that by developing the former industrial land, it will spell out a new day for Lackawanna, and the city of Buffalo. Many people still look at Buffalo as a Rust Belt former steel town. By reinventing and reinvigorating this particular waterfront site, WNY residents will be able to point to the project and say that we have turned yet another corner.
Cycling has become a big boon for Buffalo in recent years. So much in fact, that the Outer Harbor is getting a Bike Park. This new Lackawanna Shoreline Trail Extension will allow even more WNYers to utilize the amenity without being required to drive their cars to the site. This new trail extension connects to myriad other trails along the waterfront, creating a circuit of sorts, where cyclists, walkers, and joggers can get healthy and enjoy the great outdoors.
Next up, the current phase will see the addition of trees, benches, and waymarking signs. The following phase will see the continuation of the trail to Woodlawn Beach.
Photos courtesy Poloncarz administration