Local leaders gathered Saturday for the dedication of the Bailey Bridges and Bailey Peninsula Natural Habitat Park in Buffalo in honor of the late Sheriff and United States Marine Corps Korean War Veteran Thomas F. Higgins.
The Bailey Avenue Bridges, which were constructed the same year as Higgins' birth, were recently demolished and replaced with the new Sheriff Thomas Higgins Bridges.
The bridges carry more than 20,000 vehicles per day over Cazenovia Creek and the Buffalo River, they are the busiest direct crossing between South Buffalo and the rest of the City of Buffalo.
Greenspace enhancements were also made to the adjacent Bailey Peninsula Natural Habitat Park at the junction of the Buffalo River and Cazenovia Creek. The park provides direct recreational waterfront access to the public.
Higgins served in the Korean War at age 21, spent 21 years as part of the Buffalo Police force, and had a more than two-decade long career with the Erie County Sheriff's Department.
Throughout his life Higgins also served as President of the Buffalo Naval and Military Park Board of Directors, a member of the Buffalo Commission on Citizen’s Rights and Community Relations, President of the Buffalo State College Alumni Association and Chairman of the Korean War Memorial Committee.
"Sheriff Tom Higgins courageously served our country and our community for decades, and he was someone I was proud to call a mentor and friend," said Senator Tim Kennedy. "It is only fitting that we dedicate these bridges and park in honor of the man who inspired new generations to dedicate themselves to public service and bettering our great city."