Governor Andrew Cuomo appeared at D'Youville College in Buffalo Thursday morning to announce competition of the New York Gateway Connections Improvement Project at the Peace Bridge.
Cuomo was instrumental in launching the $56.7 million project. There is now a new ramp to significantly reduce traffic congestion at the Niagara section of the I-190 near the Peace Bridge. It carries traffic exiting the Peace Bridge Plaza to the 190 northbound over the CXST railway and an access driveway to the Massachusetts Avenue pumping station. The ramp also passes over a newly constructed tunnel to carry traffic from northbound Interstate 190 to Niagara Street.
The Governor used the announcement to encourage future progress at the Peace Bridge. Cuomo said lessons have been learned by not making a decision about the bridge.
“Peace Bridge makes a very important point; Get it done. Get it done. You want to make progress, you want to get somewhere, move your feet,” Governor Cuomo declared. “This was a bridge to your number one trading partner. This was your revenue source.”
Cuomo noted Canada redeveloped their side of the bridge that was completed in 2007. But he pointed out that debate over building a Peace Bridge happened over 20-years with nothing accomplished.
"Debate, debate, debate and they did absolutely nothing,” Cuomo said. “You made a decision to do nothing for 20 years at a time when Buffalo desperately needed progress and the economy was going south.”
Cuomo told leaders it's time to get it done and not be afraid of taking a risk.
Cuomo said it's time to move forward on improving a major economic link between the region and Canada.
“Engage the conversation. Maybe it’s a little difficult. You make a decision. That is the story of the Peace Bridge. Now $225 million from the Joint Authority, another approximately $60 million from the state that comes together with tens of millions of dollars from the city and the county to do parks in the surrounding area,” said Cuomo.