An $8 million streetscape project along Chippewa, Franklin and Court streets starts today. Work will include milling and inlay of the roadway, striping including bike lanes where feasible, LED street lights, new traffic signals, sidewalk replacement, curb extensions/bump-outs, audible pedestrian signals, bike racks, 35 new street trees, and on Chippewa, decorative festoon lights strung lightpole to lightpole to accommodate increased outdoor activity along the downtown hotspot.
“These upgrades include repaving, complete sidewalk replacement and new curbing, as well as new City-owned LED street lighting, benches, plantings and other amenities. The goal is to make the Downtown Entertainment District a more attractive, friendly, and engaging place to be,” Mayor Brown said.
“When the Covid-19 pandemic began, we worked with entertainment district business owners to create a safe outdoor space on Chippewa Street that was extremely popular and kept many businesses open at a time when only outdoor and take-out food and drink was allowed,” Mayor Brown said. “As we transition out of pandemic life, we want to create a space that continues to support increased outdoor activities.”
Buffalo Urban Development Corporation President Brandye Merriweather said the upgrades advance the City’s Race For Place agenda. “Buffalo’s Race For Place initiative looks to create vibrant, walkable blocks that connect in a cohesive way to create an inviting experience for Buffalo’s residents, visitors and our talented workforce, while also supporting our local restaurants, retailers and businesses. This project is one of many that will further enhance Buffalo’s sense of place,” Merriweather said.
To accommodate the improvements, Chippewa Street will be closed to vehicular traffic starting at 7 a.m. Monday from S. Elmwood Avenue to Franklin Street. Intersections at S. Elmwood, Delaware Avenue and Franklin Street will remain open for North-South traffic.
Work on Franklin Street will start on Monday, April 12th from Court to Huron Street. Two-way vehicular traffic to be maintained in both directions as the contractor will work on one side of the roadway at a time. Chippewa Street and Franklin Street are anticipated to be constructed concurrently throughout the 2021 season. The contractor will construct one side of the street (sidewalk, curb, travel and parking lanes) at a time in order to maintain a pedestrian access route on at least one side of the street at all times.
Infrastructure work on Court Street is anticipated to begin once the majority of construction is complete on Chippewa and Franklin, either late this year or in early 2022.