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Why is 600 block of Main Street still closed to traffic?

Posted at 7:55 PM, Dec 16, 2014
and last updated 2015-12-11 19:54:54-05

After a nearly two-year construction project that cost millions of dollars to reopen portions of Buffalo's Main Street to traffic, parts of the street are still blocked off.

The situation is frustrating small businesses in the 600 block of Main Street, who were hoping that traffic would begin flowing into the area this past October.

"There are a couple of new businesses on Main Street that will be hurting until the street is opened up," said John Nowak, chef at the Bijou Grill.

Business owners were being told by the City of Buffalo that the hold-up was the result of the NFTA training metrorail operators to handle the street with cars.

But a spokesperson for the NFTA said that is incorrect, and that the delay is actually caused by contractors for the City of Buffalo who still have to finish testing and synchronizing infra-red cameras that trigger crossing gates.

A spokesperson for the City of Buffalo insists that its role in the construction portion of the project was complete as of mid-October.

The contractors are scheduled to work on the cameras later this week.

After the cameras are properly working, the New York State Public Transportation Safety Board will review a "Hazard Analysis" of the area before allowing both trains and cars to share Main Street.

Businesses are hoping that the situation will be resolved before the end of the year.

"It has hurt me.  Obviously, I can't keep losing money every month.  So no, I can't go on forever like this," added James Neff, owner of the newly-opened Buzz Coffee Shop.