Infrastructure improvements are planned for a busy South Buffalo street and a nearby park. Details were announced on Monday.
The two-part project includes work along Abbott Road, between Southside Parkway and Potters Road, and the Warren Spahn bridge, which crosses over Cazenovia Creek in Cazenovia Park.
Work along Abbott Road will include the installation of benches, ADA accessible sidewalk ramps on street corners, and new lighting. That portion of the project is expected to cost about $3 million.
"The Warren Spahn Bridge project will be the rehabilitation of the superstructure, which is our term for the top of the bridge," said Michael Finn, engineer for the City of Buffalo. "We'll be removing all of the steel girders and all the deck, replacing it to extend the useful life. We'll also be replacing the sidewalks and railings to make them fit better within the context of the park."
The funds come from last year's state budget, Mayor Byron Brown said during the announcement. He, along with State Senator Timothy Kennedy and Buffalo Common Councilmember Christopher Scanlon, envision public investment to improve Abbott Road will generate tens of millions of private sector dollars, as Mayor Brown said happened when the city updated Niagara Street.
Both the Abbott Road and Warren Spahn Bridge projects are in the design phase. City officials said construction work will begin next year.
An estimated 12,000 vehicles use Abbott Road daily. Finn said traffic along Abbott Road will be accommodated during the project.
"Whenever we're doing any projects in the city, we're always looking to keep the roads open," Finn said. "A lot of businesses along these corridors rely on the traffic to access them, so we'll be doing that like we do on all of our projects."
During the news conference announcing the projects, Keith Noren approached to ask a question on behalf of the public. Noren frequents Cazenovia Park and said while both projects sound good, he believes the bigger quality of life issue is slowing down the traffic. He suggested speed enforcement would even generate more money for the city to pursue other quality of life improvements.
"The way the money is allocated, as far as enforcing traffic laws, the money stays here instead of flowing to Albany," he said. "You can fund projects by protecting people's lives."