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Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. selects contractor for improved bike ferry landing and marina improvements

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Mon, Dec 14th 2015 02:55 pm

Project will enhance the recreational use of the Outer Harbor and Canalside

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. board of directors met today and approved the selection of Buffalo contractor Pinto Construction Services Inc. to make improvements to the Queen City Bike Ferry landing on Buffalo's Outer Harbor.

The bike ferry, which debuted this past summer, was an instant success, carrying more than 50,000 people in its first season. Pinto Construction will replace a group of existing boat docks at the First Buffalo Marina (32 Fuhrmann Blvd.) on property owned by the New York State Power Authority, and install amenities to permit the expanded Queen City Bike Ferry service.

"The bike ferry has proven to be a success with Canalside visitors," said Robert Gioia, ECHDC chairman. "This project will create an even better experience for riders as they disembark to explore and enjoy the Outer Harbor."

The $825,000 project is intended to enhance the recreational use of the Outer Harbor and Canalside, as well as improve the pedestrian-bicycle trail system along the waterfront. The work will result in a dedicated Outer Harbor landing for the Queen City Bike Ferry with a direct link to the water's edge, rest area for riders and enhanced landscape.

The project includes the replacement of a section of existing transient (i.e. seasonal) docks and the access gangway at the marina. Also, a paved pedestrian pathway will be created, which will extend from the access gangway, through a portion of an existing paved boat storage area on the site, and then terminate at Fuhrmann Boulevard. Additional site amenities and aesthetic features also will be installed, including signage, benches, planters, bicycle racks and accessory structures.

NYPA is funding the project as a result of relicensing agreements tied to the Niagara Power Project. Pinto Construction was found to be the lowest bidder following a bid solicitation for water-bike ferry improvements.

"The Power Authority has been committed to working with its partners in Western New York toward the development of Buffalo's Outer Harbor," said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. "This project will greatly improve the access area to the bike ferry, further enhancing a significant tourism attraction in Buffalo."

The project is slated to begin in February 2016 and be complete by May 14.

As a subsidiary of Empire State Development, the state's chief economic development agency, the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. supports and promotes the creation of infrastructure and public activities at Canalside, the Ohio Street corridor and the Outer Harbor. For more information on ECHDC, visit www.eriecanalharbor.com.

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