October 27, 2010 Updated Oct 27, 2010 at 7:46 PM EDT


October 27, 2010 Updated Oct 27, 2010 at 7:46 PM EDT

Construction on the new RIVERFEST PARK on Ohio Street in Buffalo is moving along. According to supervisors from Zoladz Construction, the majority of work should be done by January of 2011.

The multi-million dollar project is cleaning up and converting old industrial land into a river-walk, canoe launch, bandstand, and wharf with floating docks for boaters. It is also the new site for the annual Buffalo RiverFest.

It is a signature project for the Valley Community Association that spent six years planning for the park. Community leaders hope it attracts recreational users and creates new interest in Buffalo's Old First Ward community.

Buffalo's Old First Ward refers to a section of the city that was built along the Buffalo River. The community thrived on maritime shipping and grain transport. Now, many of the old concrete grain elevators are vacant and many businesses in the area have closed. Residents are hoping the RIVERFEST PARK will add "new energy", says Gerhardt Yaskow owner of Gene McCarthy's Pub on Hamburg Street.

A second riverfront park is scheduled to be opened next year. The New York State Power Authority is currently accepting bids to construct the park at the corner of Hamburg and South Streets along the Buffalo River.