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Cuomo announces completion of Greenbelt Public Pathway extension

Tue, Jul 28th 2015 05:15 pm
The Greenbelt Public Pathway extension in Buffalo.
The Greenbelt Public Pathway extension in Buffalo.

DOT and ESD joint project brings access to Buffalo's Outer Harbor

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of the Greenbelt Public Pathway extension along the Outer Harbor in the City of Buffalo. The $145,000 project, funded by the New York Power Authority, included the construction of a new multiuse trail adjacent to the Michigan slip that connects the Greenbelt Public Pathway with the trail along Fuhrman Boulevard. The pathway creates a safe avenue for pedestrians and bicyclists alike, as well as points of access for fishermen and potential commercial watercraft.

"Today, we're seeing another piece of Buffalo's resurgence falling into place," Cuomo said. "Buffalo's Outer Harbor is a tremendous scenic location in Western New York, and this new pathway offers another opportunity to experience it firsthand. This project adds to what is already a great destination for tourism and recreation, as well as an economic engine for the region, and I look forward to seeing it enjoyed by visitors and residents alike for years to come."

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, Regional DOT Director Darrell Kaminski and ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia cut a ribbon today to celebrate the opening of the new portion of the trail, which will provide pedestrians and bicyclists access to the views along the Buffalo River.

"The Queen City continues to reimagine new ways to capitalize on its abundance of natural resources, whether Lake Erie, Canalside or environmental upgrades along our waterways," Hochul said. "The extension of the Greenbelt Public Pathway at Buffalo's Outer Harbor will create a better outdoor experience for thousands of Western New Yorkers by providing improved access and recreational opportunities. Gov. Cuomo understands this and is continuing his commitment to help our region realize its full potential."

"Access to the waterfront is our No. 1 goal at ECHDC," Gioia said. "This trail takes people right along the water to enjoy the boats, try their hand at fishing from the shoreline and experience the most magnificent sunsets. We thank the Department of Transportation for their work on this project, which is the latest waterfront improvement on the Outer Harbor."

"Gov. Cuomo has worked with elected officials and community leaders to transform the Buffalo Outer Harbor into a first-class recreation destination," New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll said. "Western New Yorkers have miles of continuous pathways and trails, boardwalks, pavilions, piers and fishing docks to enjoy, providing great opportunities for walking or biking along the beautiful waterfront."

This path project was progressed by NYSDOT and ECHDC and featured a combination of state employee and Western New York contractors. The companies that contributed to this project include Nova Site Company of West Seneca, Buffalo Crushed Stone and New York State Fence of Hilton. NYSDOT maintenance crews removed the existing fence, relocated boulders, supplied the millings and did site preparation work. Fencing was then installed along the path with gates to allow users access to the water's edge. Bicycle racks and trash receptacles will be installed as part of the project.

Funding for the 12-foot-wide multiuse path was provided by the NYPA Relicensing agreement.

The pathway continues the design and feel of the current Greenbelt Pathway that has been utilized by thousands for picturesque waterfront views.

"From Times Beach and the Buffalo Lighthouse to Tifft Nature Preserve, Wilkeson Pointe and Buffalo Harbor State Park, we have invested in parks and public spaces for visitors to take in the natural surroundings up and down the water's edge," said Congressman Brian Higgins, who fought to secure the federal NYPA relicensing settlement that funded the Greenbelt Public Pathway. "This trail provides new access and connections to make exploring the Outer Harbor easier and enjoyable for the growing number of people coming to visit."

"As Buffalo's waterfront continues to experience a resurgence, we need to ensure that we're offering ways for visitors to truly access all of its beauty and opportunity," State Sen. Tim Kennedy said. "With the completion of the Greenbelt Public Pathway extension, we're taking a significant step towards better connecting families with all that the Outer Harbor has to offer, and investing in a destination that will only continue to grow."

Assemblyman Sean Ryan said, "Connectivity and public access to the water are what will drive future development of Buffalo's waterfront. I am thrilled to be joining the NYSDOT and ECHDC for today's event to announce a new multiuse trail, which will further improve the connections along Buffalo's outer harbor. With the addition of these new paths and bike racks, Buffalo's reputation as a bike-friendly city continues to grow. Exploring our waterfront is easier than ever, thanks to investments like this one, and our new Queen City Bike Ferry, which is moving pedestrians and bicyclists throughout the inner and outer harbors."

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, "The Greenway Nature Trail adds another level of connectivity to the waterfront for residents, and adds to their ability to access the unique natural beauty Erie County offers. I encourage outdoor enthusiasts to spend a day and explore the great outdoors on the waterfront."

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said, "The Outer Harbor is one of our city's greatest assets, and the extension of the trail, coinciding with the nearly completed $11.3 million makeover along Ohio Street, benefits residents and visitors by providing a natural playground for boaters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts. The new trail is another visible sign of the continued progress taking place in Buffalo's Ohio Street neighborhood as we continue to improve and expand opportunities along the waterfront, creating jobs and spurring new investment."

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