The vast construction job on the Skyway is complicating access to the always-popular Italian Heritage Festival, which starts Thursday.
There are detours to make up for closing of the inbound lane on the bridge. Police have developed a series of reroutings to get visitors to the festival as conveniently as possible. Parking is free so that visitors can park right on the grounds for the four-day festival.
Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo says there will be detour signs all over, to help people get to and from the festival site.
"There will be detour signs directly for the Outer Harbor on the Skyway. There will be a traffic car starting around 4 p.m. that will be positioned up on the Skyway, closing off the Outer Harbor ramp, pushing traffic directly to Tifft Street. At Tifft Street, then there will be officers directing people back in so that we don't wind up with a queue of traffic on the Skyway," said Rinaldo.
Rinaldo says there are thousands of free parking spaces and motorists are encouraged to park right at the event. But, he adds, visitors should be prepared for large crowds.
"We do ask people to have patience. The festival, as we know, draws hundreds of thousands of people every year. If you're coming down, obviously, with the Skyway closure, it will cause some amount of traffic congestion. But, if you follow the detours and trust the plan that we have in place, people shouldn't be tied up in traffic."
The festival, now in its second year on the Outer Harbor after decades on Hertel Avenue, runs from July 12-15 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.