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Additional funding announced for Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park projects

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Posted at 1:16 PM, Oct 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-20 13:17:24-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was in Buffalo Sunday to announce $10 million in funding for two signature projects that will be a part of the new Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park which will be located at the current site of LaSalle Park in Buffalo.

The $10 million will go towards a replacement pedestrian bridge on Hudson Street and a lagoon feature.

"The progress in Buffalo and in Western New York is undeniable. That success should be shared with everyone, and that's what the reimagining of LaSalle Park is all about," said Governor Cuomo. "Our vision from day one has been about democratizing Buffalo's waterfront, and by investing in this new bridge and in this new lagoon, we can help ensure communities that for too long have been blocked from the waterfront get to experience it and all the benefits of the region's renaissance."

There are four designs submitted for the new pedestrian bridge, one will be decided on by the end of the month.

The new pedestrian bridge, which is estimated to be a $15 to $17 million project will also receive $5 million in funding from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and $3 million from the City of Buffalo.

It was just over a year ago that The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation announced $50 million in funding to redesign LaSalle Park into Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park and an additional $50 million to Buffalo parks and trails.

The governor's office says the need for the new pedestrian bridge came due to the Imagine LaSalle community engagement process. The existing pedestrian bridge has dangerous sightlines and is not ADA accessible.

According to the governor's office, the state sees this investment as an opportunity to make the pedestrian bridge a significant structure in the city.

"These state funds to the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park builds on the Governor's extraordinary commitment to Buffalo's waterfront and the people of this community," said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. "The city's additional $3 million commitment for a new pedestrian bridge into the park guarantees it will be a signature element, creating a safe, inviting gateway into Buffalo's largest waterfront park."

The lagoon, which will also receive state funds "aims to create natural habitat, capture water through green infrastructure and generate shoreline resiliency for climate change," according to the governors office.