Ahead of a roundtable discussion on the future of the Skyway being held in Buffalo next week, a local member of the state delegation is trying to increase support for removing the span.
Senator Tim Kennedy says he was told the state wants advice about removing the Skyway from the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council. Kennedy is calling on its members for support.
"We want to make sure that the WNY Regional Economic Development Council speaks up, weighs in, and makes the removal of the Buffalo Skyway an economic priority for...our entire region," Kennedy says.
The Buffalo Democrat says the Skyway is "functionally obsolete" and removing the bridge over the Buffalo River will open up 27 acres downtown for development.
According to the Department of Transportation, Skyway maintenance over 20 years will cost $117 million compared to $20 million for demolition.
"When the state removes the Skyway it will remove a major obstacle to waterfront development, creating jobs and really unleashing the potential that our waterfront provides to economic development, job creation, and the transformative nature that it would encourage...for our entire region," he says.
Kennedy admits the project won't happen overnight, but he says it won't happen at all without proper planning and a will to remove the Skyway.