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Press Releases > Construction On Bailey Avenue Bridges
Construction On Bailey Avenue Bridges
July 22, 2016 – Mayor Byron W. Brown, Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Congressman Brian Higgins, joined by State Senator Timothy Kennedy, State Assembly Member Michael Kearns, South District Council Member Christopher Scanlon and Lovejoy District Council Member Richard Fontana, today announced that a $20 million project to replace the Bailey Avenue Bridges over Cazenovia Creek and the Buffalo River has begun. A land swap between the City of Buffalo and Erie County paved the way for the new spans to be constructed next to the existing structures, enabling the project to move forward. Both bridges, which carry more than 20,000 vehicles per day and provide a critical link to the City of Buffalo, South Buffalo Business District and New York State Thruway, will be replaced and is another great example of a strong partnership between city, state and federal leaders, who secured funding for this project.
"The Bailey Avenue Bridges are a vital link between downtown Buffalo, the South Buffalo Business District and the NYS Thruway, that thousands of city residents and visitors depend upon,” said Mayor Brown. "This replacement project will ensure this important roadway remains viable for years to come and is the latest part of my administration’s significant investment in infrastructure in every corner of our City. I thank my partners in government for helping us secure funding for the project, as well as the County Executive Poloncarz for working together to negotiate the land transfer that enabled construction to move forward.”
“On behalf of the people of Erie County, I am so pleased to see this project here in South Buffalo move forward because this parcel of land is going to end up becoming yet another destination to enjoy for all county residents and visitors to our region,” said Erie County Executive Poloncarz. “The land transfer that took place this past February helped get the wheels in motion for the restoration of this property, which will eventually serve a wide variety of purposes, including a kayak launch, walking trails for nature walks and improved fishing access. I thank our community partners, particularly our friends from the City of Buffalo, for negotiating the land transfer and strategically planning a restoration project that will be envy of other communities when the final plantings are put into the ground next spring.”
“From Fillmore Avenue to Ohio Street and Niagara Street to Bailey Avenue we are seeing how rebuilding the City’s infrastructure is creating a stronger foundation for neighborhood revitalization and business district growth,” said Congressman Higgins. “This over $20 million project, which includes more than $15 million in federal transportation funding, is a great project made even better thanks to the leadership and commitment from Mayor Brown for the addition of streetscape features that enhance the existing basic asphalt plan to include elements inspired by the Olmsted Master Plan.”
The main goal of the project is to replace the two bridges, constructed in 1929, to improve safety for vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists while helping to stabilize the area, promote growth and further improve the quality of life for city residents and business owners. As part of the work, a stretch of Bailey Avenue (U.S. 62) will be realigned between McKinley Parkway and Elk Street by smoothing the existing curve to improve traffic safety and efficiency. The final work will include a newly paved roadway surface, new sidewalks, a water line, LED street lighting, signs, traffic signal, new storm sewer, granite curb and landscaping. The project also includes improvements to what will become a County Park at the location of the existing bridges, as well as a new parking area and various improvements to both City and County parkland.
Senator Kennedy said, “For decades, the Bailey Avenue Bridges have acted as a connector and a gateway for businesses throughout South Buffalo to the downtown corridor and Thruway. Unfortunately, they pose a safety and structural risk given their age and need for repairs, which is why this project to replace them is so critically important,” said Senator Tim Kennedy. “I’m proud that New York State recognizes the impact this project will have on businesses and the more than 20,000 drivers who use this stretch of road daily, and has partnered with the city and federal governments to properly fund it. By taking this step, we’re sending a strong message: pedestrian and driver safety is top priority, and will be for generations to come.”
Assembly Member Kearns said, “I am proud to bring this bridge into the 21st century. The infrastructure upgrade is an urgent issue that is being addressed by our local, state and federal officials. When the work is complete and you can drive over this bridge you will not have to think twice if it is safe for driving.”
Council Member Scanlon stated, “I applaud the Mayor Brown as well as our state and federal elected officials for working together to fund the redesign and construction of the Bailey Avenue Bridges,” said South District Councilmember Christopher P. Scanlon. “This long awaited project will not only serve to improve the flow of traffic, but the beautifying features of the bridges will function as a welcoming gateway to South Buffalo.”
Council Member Fontana said, “The necessity of the bridge replacement created the opportunity to make the Bailey Avenue road way straighter and safer, while at the same time we are able to keep the existing road way open during construction not to impede commerce and traffic.”
Total construction costs are $ 20,887,000. The City’s share is approximately 7%, while the State and Federal share is about 97%. The project is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.
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Photos by Angel Art LTP, compliments of the Greater Buffalo Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additional photos by Adrian Roselli, compliments of Algonquin Studios