Buffalo Skyway

Kyle S. Mackie/WBFO News

After decades of debate and a global redesign competition, the Buffalo Skyway Corridor is coming down—at least part of it. That’s according to the winning idea announced Tuesday.


Empire State Development

Demolish the Skyway Bridge to make way for housing along the waterfront.

 

Enclose the Skyway in glass for a year-round “Skybeach.”

 

Or keep the Skyway, make improvements and reroute traffic.

 

Those are just some of the ideas submitted for New York state’s “Aim for the Sky” competition, which challenged urban planners and architects to reimagine the Buffalo Skyway Corridor as a more recreational waterfront.

 

 

Mike Desmond/WBFO

Commuters frustrated with the detours around the Skyway have a sympathetic ear in Congressman Brian Higgins. Though the re-decking of the bridge has been underway for a few weeks, he remains unyielding in his criticism. For Higgins, the $30 million effort is "a compete waste of money because that bridge could not be constructed today because it's unsafe. It doesn't have shoulders in the event vehicles break down."

Chris Caya

Starting later Monday, only two of the four lanes of the Buffalo Skyway will be open to traffic through November. Inbound traffic will use the lanes during the morning commute; outbound traffic will use the span during the evening commute.  Susan Surdej of the state Department of Transportation says detours have been well-planned, but admits the work is sure to be disruptive to the 40,000 commuters who use the bridge each day. 


Avery Schneider / WBFO News

Construction will begin at the end of this month on the $29 million rehabilitation of Buffalo's Route 5 Skyway, leaving the question of how much impact there will be to commuters and those who rely on them.

Chris Caya WBFO News

The inbound Skyway will be closed to traffic, starting in just under four weeks. It's part of a major deck rehabilitation project that's expected to take two construction seasons to complete. But plans are in place to keep traffic moving.

Chris Caya WBFO News

With rehabilitation work getting underway on the Skyway, Rep. Brian Higgins is calling on the New York State Department of Transportation to ease delays on Route 5.

Chris Caya WBFO News

Local drivers who travel the Skyway can expect delays, road closures and detours in the coming months. The New York State Department of Transportation is expecting to begin rehab work on the bridge over the Buffalo River in the coming months - and a public information meeting about the project is set for next week. But Congressman Brian Higgins is still calling for the Skyway's replacement.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Saying that the nation's infrastructure has been neglected for too long, while the U.S. has spent billions fixing roads and bridges in overseas locations including Iraq and Afghanistan, Congressman Brian Higgins has introduced a trillion-dollar proposal to fix domestic roads, bridges and waterways over the next five years.


WBFO file photo

Commuters who drive the Buffalo Skyway should expect lane closures in both directions for the next several weeks. As WBFO's Chris Caya reports - it's part of a plan to increase safety and determine the future of the mile-long bridge.