Higgins: Take the Skyway Down

September 24, 2012 Updated Sep 24, 2012 at 12:36 PM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon

September 24, 2012 Updated Sep 24, 2012 at 12:36 PM EDT

Talk of bringing down the Skyway in Buffalo is heating up once again. Congressman Brian Higgins says getting rid of the Skyway is an important step for Buffalo's future.

Higgins says the skyway is old and outdated -- costing too much money to maintain.

Higgins wrote a letter to the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation, asking it to stop long-term maintenance on the Skyway, and eventually tear it down.

Higgins keeping the Skyway safe and in tact would cost more than 100-million dollars over the next 20 years. He argues tearing down the Skyway and building a new bridge would cost about the same, and free up more than 25 acres of land by the Waterfront for economic development.

He explains "This is a continuing process, and we always have to look for ways to do it better, and I think -- this is a big project, I get that. But you're spending the money anyway. So the question is, what makes most sense for this community to spend their money on?"

The Department of Transportation is already looking into building a new Buffalo Harbor Bridge, which has a price tag of about 75 million dollars. Tearing down the bridge would cost about 25 million dollars.

The Buffalo Harbor Bridge would take about two years to build.

Recently, the Department of Transportation stated that the Skyway is safe and there are no plans to take it down.