The first major project in the creation of Ralph C. Wilson Centennial Park broke ground Tuesday with the start of repairs to over 1,300 feet of the seawall which sits up against the old LaSalle Park.
Over $6 million in federal funds have been pumped into the project.
The repairs focus on restoring the upper end of the wall, which has been damaged by ice and heavy winds brought forth by Buffalo winters.
United States Army Corps of Engineers Buffalo District Commander Eli Adams, whose team is working on the repairs, said he is proud to be a part of the project.
“The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers work to repair the seawall marks the first tangible steps in transforming the waterfront in this part of the city,” he said. “And ensures the protection of Buffalo’s primary source of drinking water. Though much of the work is ahead of us, this milestone marks the point of no return and we look forward on delivering on much needed repairs and improvements.”
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown credited Congressman Brian Higgins for bringing in the federal dollars for the project, but also to giving a financial break to Buffalo taxpayers.
“Not only did they deliver $6.1 million,” he said. “But they also relieved the City of Buffalo of a requirement to contribute $1.2 million to the project.”
Brown says the city was able to contribute one million dollars to the project through the Niagara Greenway Commission funds and Capital funds.