Congressman applauds NYPA taking responsibility for Robert Moses Parkway removal
Days after welcoming the City of Niagara Falls into his reconfigured district, Congressman Brian Higgins stood at the water's edge and laid out a strategy to help Niagara Falls reclaim its waterfront. Higgins reasoned removal of the Robert Moses Parkway was critical to the city's future - and the New York Power Authority was responsible for paying for it.
Since that day, Higgins has continued to push for action on Robert Moses Parkway removal. He stood with residents whose homes were taken when the parkway was built, met with NYPA and state leaders and repeatedly pressed for action. Higgins argued NYPA planned the RMP, built it, evicted homeowners, and owns the land under the parkway to this day. Therefore, he said NYPA bears the responsibility for financing the project.
Today, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a $40 million effort to remove the Robert Moses North section and enhance the area where the parkway now looms, providing the City of Niagara Falls unprecedented access to their waterfront. As Higgins proposed, NYPA will pay for the project. NYPA previously funded $2 million toward environmental review and engineering plans
From Washington, D.C., Higgins spoke about what today's announcement means:
"Today, the people of Niagara Falls will reclaim what was taken from them 50 years ago: Access to arguably the world's greatest waterfront, Niagara Falls.
"Since 1964, the Robert Moses Parkway has cut off the city from its waterfront. The highway is one of several ill-conceived projects rammed through cities 50 years ago that have kept Western New York from realizing its full economic potential.
"Three years ago, I issued a report that detailed the role of the New York Power Authority, which planned the parkway, evicted homeowners and owns the land on which it sits, justifying the New York Power Authority's responsibility to fix what they had broken. Shortly thereafter, work began on the removal of the southern portion and, now as we proposed, the Power Authority will fund the next phase - a $42 million project that takes down a parkway and builds up this city.
"Two weeks ago, I stood with Mayor Paul Dyster to demand the complete removal of the parkway. With today's announcement, Niagara Falls will reclaim its waterfront, and all of the promise that comes with it."