Robert Moses Parkway Demolition Proposed

December 12, 2011 Updated Dec 12, 2011 at 6:27 PM EDT

By WKBW News

December 12, 2011 Updated Dec 12, 2011 at 6:27 PM EDT

Niagara Falls (WKBW) The road to a better future in Niagara Falls could begin with a plan to tear down a portion of the Robert Moses Parkway.
Senator Charles Schumer was in the Falls Monday to look over this new plan of action.

On Monday in Niagara Falls, Senator Chuck Schumer played the role of President Ronald Reagan, and the southern portion of the Robert Moses Parkway was his Berlin Wall.

"Mister Transportation Secretary, tear down this road!" Schumer said to cheers.

Schumer along with Falls Mayor Paul Dyster and others are now pushing for a plan that would demolish the road from John Daly Boulevard to Main Street, allowing waterfront access, and tearing down the so-called "barrier" between the City of Niagara Falls and the Falls itself.

"Robert Moses Parkway, since its inception, has stood between the city's residential and commercial neighborhoods and the Niagara River, our greatest asset," Mayor Dyster said.

"Visiting Niagara Falls was apart from visiting the city. We want to link them. This is a major step in linking them," Senator Schumer added.

Five million dollars in state funding has already been secured, and Schumer says he sees "no problem" getting the rest of the funding, about ten million dollars, from the Department of Transportation. With it demolished, Schumer says, Niagara Falls would do nothing but reap the benefits.

"It'll boost housing values. It'll provide a shot in the arm to existing businesses, and attract new businesses to the vacant properties. The expected investment would create jobs, jobs, and more jobs in the city," he said.

And for local businesses like the Falls Side Hotel, this plan is nothing but good news.

"It's going to be spectacular. Everybody has talked about the challenges that this city has had, but I haven't been here a long time so I guess I have a different outlook. I've seen progress in the last five years and it gives me a reason to be optimistic," Hotel owner Faisal Merani said.

Senator Schumer says he will lobby to get the project fast-tracked by the federal government, as well as securing the remaining funding. Schumer was confident and says he hopes to see a start to construction within six months.