Historic Lighthouse Will Open to the Public

April 27, 2011 Updated Apr 27, 2011 at 7:42 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

April 27, 2011 Updated Apr 27, 2011 at 7:42 PM EDT

Summary: Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - Congressman Brian Higgins announced Wednesday the beginning of construction that will allow more public access on Buffalo's Waterfront including the historic Buffalo Lighthouse. The lighthouse has been off limits for years since it's located on the United States Coast Guard's property. The $6.1 million project is federally funded and will expand the Outer Harbor by 7 acres. Phase I will expand the waterfront by 4.6 acres, add park benches, upgrade a walking path, incorporate lighting, and build a decorative security fence.

"You're going to see a new waterfront that's exciting, vibrant, and youthful," said Congressman Higgins. "It'll redefine the entire region from its old declining image to one of limitless possibilities."

The lead contractor is Iroquois Bar Corporation. Phase I is expected to be complete by November, with public access in the Spring of 2012. Phase II of the project will help relocate several buildings owned by the U.S. Coast Guard and transform the remaining acreage into green space.