City promises no traffic jams with new downtown project

Lower Main Street to become car-friendly
Posted at 6:31 PM, Jun 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-14 18:31:32-04

Construction to make the lower portion of Main Street in Buffalo accessible to cars will begin in July.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown announced the project on Tuesday, it's the latest in a nearly decade-long effort to transform Main Street downtown and make it easier for patrons to access restaurants and shops.

This phase of construction will encompass the part of Main Street that runs from Exchange Street to Scott Street.  The idea, is to make it easier for residents and tourists to visit Canalside, the KeyBank Center, HarborCenter and the soon-to-be-open Explore and More Children's Museum. 

Since this is already a heavily trafficked area, city officials say they are taking special measures to make sure the construction does not make it difficult to get around.

"We'll work around the public," said Buffalo Commissioner of Public Works Steve Stepniak. "We'll make sure that the maintenance protection is fine and that we can continue the progress and the success with people coming down here. It won't be a total clogged-up area."

Efforts to make Main Street car-friendly began in 2009 with the 700 block of Main Street. Thr $2.8 million project converted the street into a two-way street and added bike lanes.

The $8 million conversion of the 600 block of Main Street began in 2012 and ended in 2014, and the $21 million conversion of the 500 block of Main Street began in 2013 and it was completed in 2015.

The City has paid for those infrastructure improvements with funding from a 2011 federal TIGER grant, along with money from the state and city budgets. This new phase is expected to cost $22.5 million; $18 million will come in the form of another TIGER grant and both the city and the state will provide the remaining $4.5 million.

Construction will begin at the intersection of Main and Scott Streets and is expected to last until 2020.

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