Work to begin on light show at grain mills

August 12, 2014 Updated Aug 12, 2014 at 7:54 AM EDT

By James Fink, Buffalo Business First

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Work to begin on light show at grain mills

August 12, 2014 Updated Aug 12, 2014 at 7:54 AM EDT


With a pair of bids awarded, Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. hopes to see the first of several Buffalo waterfront grain mills lit with an evolving light show by next June.

The waterfront development agency has awarded a pair of bids to Hohl Industrial Services and Frey Electric Construction Co. They will light the Connecting Terminal grain elevator, located across the mouth of the Buffalo River from the Central Wharf, with a decorative light show.

Work on the lighting project will start just after Labor Day.

Combined, the two bids totaled $2,927,210, which was almost $200,000 less than original pre-bidding estimates.

"It is actually 8 percent less that what we had budgeted," said Tom Dee, Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. president.

Bringing the decorative and evolving light show to the Connecting Terminal is the first phase of what officials hope will be the eventual lighting of all 16 grain elevators and a pair of bridges along downtown Buffalo's waterways. The project is patterned after those from other cities, such as Quebec City's Aurora Borealis initiative.

Hohl, the project's general contractor, was the lowest of three bids with one for $1,015,000, while Frey's was the lowest of a trio of bids submitted for electrical work. Frey bid $1,759,500.

"It helped that Hohl has worked on the site before," Dee said. "And Frey has an extensive lighting work history. Both stand behind their numbers."

The grain mills will have a permanent kinetic lighting structure installed. The structure will have five specific light layers that will create the illuminated images.