EPA grant earmarked for Niagara Street infrastructure

Mar 24, 2014

The reconstruction of Niagara Street this year will include green infrastructure to prevent stormwater runoff and improve the quality of the Great Lakes.

The City of Buffalo received a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the project, it was announced Monday.

The grant will go towards green infrastructure, including the installation of porous asphalt on Niagara Street. The projects include the installation of stormwater planters, rain gardens and the reduction of impervious pavements.

EPA Great Lakes Administrator Cameron Davis, Rep. Brian Higgins, Mayor Byron Brown, and Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper Executive Director Jill Jedlicka attended Monday's announcement.
Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News

Buffalo Sewer Authority Green Program Director Julie Barrett-O'Neill says the project includes curb bump outs to increase pedestrian safety in the corridor. She says it's a way to integrate storm water management right into the pavement.

"The lane configuration is going to change and help to encourage cars to drive slower," said Barrett-O'Neill. "All these areas are being designed to hold stormwater, either just below the surface in planters or below the sidewalk itself. That way, we keep the water out of the sewer and out of the river."

Buffalo is one of 16 cities to receive funding in the initial round of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The Niagara Street project is scheduled to get underway this construction season.