DOT official says examination of Skyway removal underway

Jan 31, 2013

It appears that Albany is listening to local calls for the removal of the Skyway.

One of the idea's biggest proponents, Rep. Brian Higgins, has been pushing state officials to move forward on the plan. Speaking at a joint legislative hearing in Albany Thursday, DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald addressed the issue.

Credit File photo

"The process is underway right now. What we are looking at is, from a very macro perspective, what the impact could be on the City of Buffalo if the Skyway were to come down from a traffic and pedestrian movement. It's underway. I expected to receive that in the near future," McDonald said.

McDonald was responding to questioning from State Senator Tim Kennedy, who said Skyway maintenance will cost the state $117 million over the next 20 years.

Concerns over the future of the region's decaying roads and bridges were also addressed at the hearing. At year's start, the Department of Transportation allocated ten percent of its budget for area infrastructure upgrades, but according to Kennedy, that promise has not been delivered.

"I'd just like to know why...we have about $90 million that we're short from what's been promised up to this point," Kennedy asked

McDonald assured Kennedy that her department intends to spend the remaining funds before the end of the fiscal year.