City moves forward with 'Cars Sharing Main Street' project

Jul 3, 2013

The day when cars will be able to run the full length of Main Street in downtown Buffalo is getting closer as City Hall awards another major construction project. 

It's $15.7 million contract to begin the Phase I Redevelopment of the 500 Block of Main Street. That is the  stretch between Chippewa and Mohawk Streets.

The contract went to the same construction firm, Mark Cerrone, currently re-building the 600 block of Main Street between Tupper and Chippewa.

Work at Main & Tupper
Credit WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond

The new contract is for a project which totals around $21 million once everything is added in. The Tupper to Chippewa construction pact is $8 million and surrounds a Metro Rail project replacing rail and concrete roadbed for nearly $2 million.

“We are proud of the progress we’re making to return two-way traffic to downtown Main Street,” said Mayor Byron Brown.

The Mayor said the public support for returning cars back on Main Street is showing up in dollars for development just between Tupper and Mohawk.

"In these two blocks, the 600 block and the 500 block, not even counting the spending that we've seen from the 700 block. Right now, it's exceeding $70 million in terms of projects that are announced, projects that are underway and investments that are definitely going to happen," said Mayor Brown.

Public Works Commissioner Steven Stepniak said many aspects of the project are different from when the subway was built decades ago, reflecting the rising number of people living downtown.

"New on-street parking to allow that accessibility to be even greater, to make a safer environment for pedestrians," said Stepniak.

Working to return cars to Main Street downtown
Credit WBFO News photo by Mike Desmond

The new design includes trees, planters,benches and a pedestrian ambiance to go with more street parking, bike lanes and the new car lanes.