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Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. board approves east canal construction contract; construction to begin

by jmaloni

Press release

Fri, Mar 1st 2013 10:00 pm

Project promotes Gov. Cuomo's vision for a revitalized waterfront

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. board of directors met Friday to authorize and enter into a contract with Mark Cerrone Inc. for the construction of the east canal and associated features at the former General Donovan State Office Building site in Buffalo. With this action, construction of the east canal will begin, adding another element at Canalside that builds on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's vision for a revitalized Buffalo waterfront.

"The awarding of this contract represents the final piece of business that the ECHDC board had to sign off on before shovels go in the ground," said ECHDC Chairman Robert Gioia. "The east canal project, developed under the leadership of Gov. Cuomo, represents increased year-round attractions and activities for our visitors as well as a catalyst for private development."

The project, with construction slated to begin in March, involves connecting Main Street to Washington Street with a public space that evokes the memory of the Main and Hamburg Canal, yet terminates in a shaded grove of trees, while seamlessly blending into the development site to the north and south. The work will consist of the construction of the east canal on the site of the former Donovan State Office Building. The project will be complete in December.

Perkins Eastman, formally known as Ehrenkranzt Eckstut & Kuhn EEK, was the project's master architect. C&S Engineers was awarded a contract from ECHDC for design services in November. Through the design phase, C&S had numerous meetings with the City of Buffalo and the Buffalo Sewer Authority. In January, C&S presented the plans and specifications to the ECHDC design review committee and the City of Buffalo Planning Board, which made a joint recommendation to accept the design, as it met the project's design guidelines. As a result, at its meeting Feb. 19, the ECHDC board approved the east canal design as consistent with ECHDC's design guidelines for the canalside project.

The item approved Friday authorizes construction of the approved design.

The Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. is governed by a nine-member board consisting of seven voting directors and two non-voting, ex-officio directors. The seven voting directors are recommended by the New York state governor and are appointed by the New York State Urban Development Corporation, d/b/a Empire State Development, as sole shareholder of ECHDC. The two non-voting, ex-officio director positions are held by the Erie County executive and the City of Buffalo mayor.

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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