A newly-renovated bridge complex in South Buffalo and the neighboring Bailey Peninsula Natural Habitat Park have been named in memory of late Erie County Sheriff Thomas Higgins.
A dedication ceremony was held Saturday. Mayor Byron Brown said Higgins' life was all about service -- service to his nation and service to his community.
“I think it is a very fitting tribute to honor Tom by putting his name on the new Bailey Avenue bridges and park for all he did to protect and serve the City of Buffalo, as well as Erie County, for more than 40 years,” Brown said.
The Bailey Avenue bridges over Cazenovia Creek and the Buffalo River were recently replaced in a $36 million project.
Greenspace enhancements were made to the adjacent Bailey Peninsula Natural Habitat Park, part of the Erie County Parks System, at the confluence of the Buffalo River and Cazenovia Creek. The space provides direct recreational waterfront access to the public and includes an ephemeral pond as well as new native plants added to the wet and dry meadow areas including approximately 8 trees, over 40 shrubs, and 11,000 wildflower plantings.
A new sign designating the Thomas F. Higgins Riverfront Bridge and Park reads: Among the most accomplished law enforcement leaders of his generation, Sheriff Thomas F. Higgins served forty-two years in Western New York law enforcement, including as the Sheriff of Erie County (1986-1998), Undersheriff of Erie County (1977-1985), and in the Buffalo Police Department (1956-1977), where he had served as a Lieutenant.
Higgins died in June at the age of 88.