$136,000 of state funding to support installation of Erie Canal scenic overlook
New York State Sen. Sean Ryan and Assembly member Bill Conrad on Thursday announced $136,000 of funding from New York state to support the revitalization of an existing swing bridge abutment for use as a scenic overlook to the Erie Canal and the historic swing bridge in the City of Tonawanda. The grant is part of $24.3 million of funding awarded to 56 municipalities and not-for-profit organizations across New York to support park improvements, heritage area enhancements, and historic preservation projects.
A press release stated, “The project, which is currently under progress, will complement the City of Tonawanda’s ongoing efforts to address the reduction of shoreline located along the Empire State Trail. It will increase access to the waterfront area that surrounds the City of Tonawanda, and will include stabilization of the existing abutment to provide a viewing area with landscaping, lighting, cultural and historical interpretation, a fishing access point, and a resting area for trail users.”
Ryan said, “The Erie Canal is the crown jewel of the City of Tonawanda, and the city has put a lot of effort into making the area around it more accessible. This project will provide people who are already out riding their bikes or walking along the Shoreline Trail another scenic spot to stop and take in the beauty of the canal.”
Conrad said, “The City of Tonawanda offers some of the most beautiful natural scenery in Western New York, thanks to its waterfront location. The Erie Canal, with its majestic history, ecological richness and recreational value, is a resource with limitless potential. With the creation of this inviting overlook, Tonawanda will further enhance for local residents and tourists alike the accessibility and enjoyability of one of its best assets. I thank our state partners with Empire State Development and the WNY Regional Economic Development Council for recognizing the promise of this project, and I commend the City of Tonawanda’s leadership for building on the great progress it has made in revitalizing and promoting its network of blueways and greenways.”
City of Tonawanda Mayor John White said, “We know that 850,000 people use the Tonawanda bike path every year. Providing this area for visitors to fish or just sit and enjoy the view will help get more of those people to stop and visit the City of Tonawanda. The project will also help address the continuing erosion happening along the canal. Thank you to both Sen. Sean Ryan and Assembly member Bill Conrad for their support on this project.”