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The latest step in the Skyway removal plan

Posted at 4:58 PM, Aug 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-29 18:24:05-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — In the beginning of 2019, we knew the Skyway would be going away as Gov. Cuomo announced a competition to replace it.

The top designs were revealed in September, and the winner was announced that same month. But a few days later the Governor said funding may slow the process to remove or replace the Skyway.

Congressman Brian Higgins called for its removal in October. And in the beginning of 2020, the state put out a call for public input on a plan to replace it..

As the plan to remove it advances, Congressman Higgins said a new Boulevard option would provide greater access to the city's Waterfront.

"Fifty-thousand people live in south Buffalo, they can't get to the outer harbor safely. They're integrated with a lot of high-speed traffic. We will see very generous pedestrian bicycle access," he said.

This latest plan calls for the removal of the Skyway from Tifft Street to Church Street, and replacing it with a new Boulevard connecting Route 5 to the I-190 along Tifft Street.

"No more expressways, no more highways. Boulevards, parkways, no more pedestrian bicycle access in parks as an afterthought; they will be the forethought," said Higgins.

More parks and pedestrian access mean a better environment. And with the pandemic, more people have been purchasing bikes.

"Keep in mind you know post-pandemic Buffalo is going to look a lot different, more people are working remotely. So what we knew traditionally to be rush hour is going to change profoundly," said Higgins.

The House of Representatives approved a $1.5 trillion Infrastructure bill on July first.

The next step is a public scoping process to give people an opportunity to review and weigh in on the plan.