Design competition now open for the Skyway

May 13, 2019

New York state officially kicked off the competition for alternatives to the Buffalo Skyway on Monday. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is inviting urban planners, architects, community groups, and others to submit their ideas.

The Buffalo Skyway rises 110 feet above the Buffalo River
Credit File photo: Chris Caya WBFO News

Cuomo made the announcement on a conference call with Empire State Development President and CEO Howard Zemsky.

According to the state, the Skyway handles about 40,000 trips per day of commuter traffic. Cuomo says any proposal to take the bridge down would include discussing traffic alternatives.
"Do you need additional infrastructure? Are there traffic routing devices that would mitigate any need for additional roadways?," Cuomo asked. 

The governor said the winning design could propose reusing the Skyway as a pedestrian walkway. He says a new vision for the site will help revive a key part of the city's waterfront.

Zemsky says there is a tight timeline for submitting proposals. The first part is due June 28.

"The finals will be the week of September 9. From likely eight semifinalists, we will have winnowed it down to eight, and we will really award the first, second and third place winners during that week," Zemsky said.   

First place will be awarded $100,000, second place will be awarded $50,000, and third place will be awarded $25,000.    

Zemsky said the competition focuses on "affordability, feasability and achievability."