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Transportation Chair Kennedy says to expect "changes", so what does that mean for WNY?

Posted at 5:25 PM, Aug 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-11 18:19:48-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — When Kathy Hochul steps into the Governor's position in two weeks, it will bring a Western New Yorker to the seat for the first time in more than 100 years. Transportation Committee Chairman State Senator Tim Kennedy says that Hochul's induction will be a massive deal for the area.

"I think it's about time that we have a Western New Yorker in office that knows our issues that knows Upstate issues," Kennedy said.

Kennedy believes that Hochul will be a helpful ally when it comes to infrastructure plans within Buffalo and beyond.

"Transportation issues like the 33 and the 198 that we have prioritized here at the state level," Kennedy said.

When looking at the Skyway, Congressman Brian Higgins and Senator Kennedy were calling for its demolition due to "safety issues". This came after Governor Cuomo announced in January that the state was preparing to take the Skyway down to begin the transformation into the City of Lights Skyway design. When Hochul takes office, the state would need federal approval for the demolition to be confirmed.

As for the 198 and the 33, those two main-ways have been in the "reimagining phase". The State Department of Transportation has been working on a plan for the Kensington expressway and the Scajaquada. One possible plan has included demolishing the 198 entirely. An update has not come from the State since April of this year. According to Kennedy, everything is subject to change.

"I think everything changes," Kennedy said, "I think we are going to have a reset of state government we are going to have a fresh new look at how New York State operates."

As for the Bills and a new stadium, the state said two weeks ago that talks were on going but in the early stages. Kennedy believes that having someone who grew up a Bills fan in Albany can only help.

"It would be a tragic loss in New York State if we lost the Bills," Kennedy said, "I know that I am committed and the Lt. Governor is committed to making sure the Bills stay right here in Buffalo."