BUFFALO (WKBW) Monday was the opening day of the baseball season, Tuesday was dubbed the opening day of construction season in Buffalo, and it is the start of a multi-million dollar transformation of Ohio Street, with the goal of bringing millions more to this corridor.
Eleven-point-three million dollars from the city, state, and federal government, now dedicated to giving Ohio Street a facelift from Michigan Avenue all the way to Fuhrmann Boulevard.
"It represents the land bridge between Canalside, the more densely developed downtown Buffalo and the emerging new waterfront at the outer harbor," Congressman Brian Higgins said.
Construction crews are already working to install new water lines and below-ground electricity, before repaving and adding trees over the next year.
Officials say they are following the model of Canalside, which helped bring in Harborcenter and the Donovan building redo. An investment in infrastructure to make Ohio St. suitable and attractive for private development.
"Mix of office, hotel, apartment, restaurants, retail. So we're looking for mixed use development and certainly the ability for the public to be able to access their waterfront to get to the waters edge," Mayor Byron Brown said.
And with all that work, some politicians believe the old connector of inner and outer harbor, the skyway, will no longer be needed.
"As we put an investment of taxpayer dollars into newly invigorating places like the Ohio Street corridor. It's going to become less and less dependent on functionally obsolete and structurally deficient structures like the skyway," Senator Tim Kennedy said.
The status of the skyway remains in the hands of the State Department of Transportation.
As for the Ohio Street project, work is expected to be completed on the brand new parkway come spring of next year.