The New York State Department of Transportation and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation have released a scoping report for work on the historic American Falls bridges (pedestrian bridges) at Niagara Falls State Park.
The public is invited to review the project scoping report, which outlines how the historic American Falls bridges will either be rehabilitated or replaced. The report is available for public review and copying at the City of Niagara Falls clerk's office, 725 Main St., Niagara Falls, NY 14301; the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Office, 1 Prospect Park, Niagara Falls, NY 14303; and the Niagara Falls Public Library, 1425 Main St., Niagara Falls, NY 14305.
Additionally, a public scoping hearing will be held in an open forum format in the City Council chambers at Niagara Falls City Hall, 725 Main St., between 5 and 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 6. The open forum hearing will consist of an information session from 5 to 7 p.m., and a formal meeting beginning at 7 p.m. The open forum will include displays and information stations that will be staffed with representatives from the state to answer questions and discuss the proposed project.
The formal meeting will include a comment period to provide a forum for comments to be made and heard in public. The proceedings of the formal meeting will be recorded. Written and oral comments pertaining to the project will be accepted as a part of the official record during the information session.
Interested parties may file written statements and other exhibits in place of, or in addition to, oral statements made at the public hearing. Written statements submitted at the hearing, or mailed and received before Aug. 22, at the NYSDOT's regional director's office will be made part of the record. Written statements may be mailed to: New York State Department of Transportation, Darrell F. Kaminski, acting regional director, 100 Seneca St., Buffalo, NY, 14203.
The bridges were built in 1901 and have undergone various rehabilitations since that time, the most notable being in 1969 when the flow over the American Falls was "shut off." The bridges required the installation of a Mabey bridge in 2004 to provide for the safe passage across the bridges, additional stabilization was completed this spring.
Scoping is expected to be completed in the fall with preliminary engineering/environmental permitting taking approximately three years. The project is currently anticipated to be under construction in the spring of 2017.
New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation maintains and operates 179 state parks and 35 historic sites. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com, connect on Facebook, or follow OPRHP on Twitter.