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Higgins: 5 WNY projects totaling $20 million included in federal highway bill

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Wed, Jun 9th 2021 12:50 pm

Riverline, DL&W, Complete Streets project in Tonawandas & waterfront trails in Lackawanna, Buffalo & Hamburg

Five Western New York infrastructure projects totaling $20 million requested by Congressman Brian Higgins have crossed the first hurdle in securing federal transportation funding.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee released the amendment text for the six-year surface transportation bill, which will be considered at that committee at a mark-up today. Included in the first draft of the bill is funding for the following projects supported by Higgins:

•The Riverline / $10.5 million: The Riverline project coverts a former rail corridor along the Buffalo River into a 1.5-mile multiuse urban greenway, connecting downtown Buffalo, neighborhoods and the Buffalo River.

•DL&W Station / $5 million: The DL&W Station project is a buildout of the historic DL&W train station in downtown Buffalo, which will improve public transportation, generate economic activity, development, and revitalize a prominent building adjacent to Canalside. The project includes replacement of NFTA Metro Rail track bed and expanded pedestrian access to the second floor of terminal and adjacent shoreline trail.

•Twin Cities Highway Complete Streets / $500,000: The Twin Cities Highway Complete Streets project will downgrade a grade-separated highway into a walkable street grid. The project will improve connectivity between the cities of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda, advance Complete Streets objectives, enhance streetscape around the historic Erie Canal, and make the surrounding area, which includes a kayak launch and bike path more pedestrian-friendly.

•Lackawanna & Hamburg Shoreline Trail / $2 million: The Shoreline Trail project will connect critical segments of existing multiuse trails and extend Western New York's trail network southward along Lake Erie to enhance bicycle and pedestrian options, adding community-friendly, recreational infrastructure in the former Bethlehem Steel industrial corridor.

•Buffalo Outer Harbor Multiuse Trails / $2 million: The Outer Harbor project will enhance a multiuse trail network on Buffalo’s revitalized waterfront, encourage access to Lake Erie and Buffalo Harbor State Park, improve passive recreation offerings, advance the Outer Harbor as a connector from the south of Buffalo to downtown Buffalo, and continue to establish this area as a destination for Western New Yorkers and visitors alike.

Higgins’ camp said that, while the highway bill is subject to change as it moves through the legislative process, inclusion of these projects in the legislative text is an important step toward securing funding for these projects in the final bill.

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