Money Secured for Inner/Outer Harbor Connection Bridge

October 15, 2010 Updated Oct 15, 2010 at 5:21 PM EDT

By WKBW Internet

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October 15, 2010 Updated Oct 15, 2010 at 5:21 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Chairman Jordan Levy along with Congressman Brian Higgins announced Friday the release of $5 million, secured through the New York Power Authority, toward the construction of the Buffalo Harbor Bridge.

The bridge would connect Buffalo's inner and outer harbors, and is estimated to cost about $70 million.

There are two bridge concepts being considered; a drawbridge and a vertical lift bridge. There is also the question of location. The two main locations being considered are a site on Erie Street and one on Main Street.

Developers believe the bridge is a key part of developing the 300 acres of Buffalo's Outer Harbor.

So far the ECHDC has secured $7 million for the bridge project, which is only about one-tenth of the total estimated cost. However Congressman Higgins is confident with the recent progress.

"I would argue that over the past 36 months we have made more progress than what has been made in the past 50 years and we are committed to sustaining that effort to the total build out of Buffalo's waterfront," said Higgins.

The ECHDC hopes to complete a final report for the Environment Impact Statement by March of 2012. If all goes well, construction could begin by the fall of 2013.