Plans for the removal of Buffalo’s Skyway are now on hold, indefinitely. Congressman Brian Higgins making that announcement.

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Higgins while convinced the elevated highway needs to come down, says without a viable alternative for travel between the Southtowns and downtown, removing the  Skyway will only make the commute worse according to NEWS 4 (WIVB-TV).

Higgins and fellow Democrat Tim Kennedy have been critics of the Skyway, calling it obsolete, unsafe,  and an impediment to waterfront development.

But the two lawmakers say that transportation officials have not come up with a satisfactory alternative.

“The Skyway being removed is going to wait for another day. Ten to fifteen years down the road we will have plenty of time for community input, ” Kennedy said.

Higgins points to state engineers’ design for a new route through South Buffalo which he said just repeats past mistakes.

“Making the Thruway corridor more attractive as a commuter option for folks originating out of the Southtowns.”Higgins and Kennedy also met rough going for the Skyway plan from their own party and are turning their attention to less controversial projects such as the reconstruction of the Kensington Expressway.

Senator Sean Ryan backed both Higgins and Kennedy’s new plans and released the following statement :

“I thank Congressman Higgins and Senator Kennedy for listening to the concerns of many stakeholders and backing away from the Skyway plan. We are at a critical moment for the future of Buffalo and Western New York. With the federal government poised to pass a sweeping infrastructure package in the coming months, and a President who is committed to providing funding to restore communities separated by highways, we must focus our attention on plans to remove the Scajaquada and Kensington Expressways as they currently exist. Restoring Olmsted’s vision will reunite neighborhoods and fix historic injustices. This must be our main focus. As legislators, coming together and putting our full weight behind these projects will be the key to making this vision a reality. We have a unique opportunity to make lasting change that will reshape the future of the City of Buffalo for generations to come.”

All of this is about bringing federal infrastructure money to Western New York. Right now, Skyway supporters are set to make a presentation to the Hamburg Town Board, already on board for keeping the Skyway.

Did you know there are people whose fear of heights keeps them from traveling the Skyway or any elevated roadway?  Some places around the country like the Golden Gate Bridge in SanFrancisco actually have drivers that will drive your car across the span while you cringe in the passenger seat with your eyes closed.

 

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